One of my favorite times of year in New England is the fall - I love the foliage of colors and the cool crisp bite in the air after a summer long blast of heat. I love pulling out my sweaters and boots, and readying myself with heavier moisturizer. Another part of fall I love is the return of Pumpkin spice -recipes seemingly everywhere- from the pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks to the pumpkin toppings on pizzas. After a diligent summer of salads and fruit smoothies, the rich decadence of the assorted pumpkin delights is almost irresistible. And when chocolate is added to the equation at Halloween, I start to crumble in face of my overwhelming cravings. I know I'm not the only one, right?
As we enter the season of monthly holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years), we wanna look good in our costumes, party dresses and holiday photos, but those accompanying treats can be a real ball buster. Most of us can summon enough will power when we have skimpy summer dresses hanging in our closets, but in a season of chunky knits and well.. chunky cookies (!), we need a little (for me- a LOT) extra will power. Here are some tips on summoning that extra motivation. We all have it inside- but we have to work at summoning it!
1. Make a healthy switch.
For example, try swapping the banana muffins you could pick up from your local grocery with lower-calorie homemade muffins. For one recipe, you could check out my recipe from Monday. Other easy switches are: Instead of the pumpkin bread or double chocolate brownie, nuke a pumpkin oatmeal or chocolate chip cookie in the microwave. Tina from www.Carrotsncake.com has awesome recipes for that.
2. Drink some extra water.
During the summer, it's easy to drink more water, (It's hot out!) but remember you can still be dehydrated during the winter. You may actually be confusing thirst for hunger.
3. Keep the healthier foods in sight.
You know the saying "out of sight, out of mind"? Yeah, that totally doesn't work for me. If I have a slice of pumpkin pie in the fridge, I'll always remember that. However if I have a bowl of crunchy and delicious-looking apples in the fridge as well, I'm actually more likely to go for the apple than the pie. Sounds ridiculous but it's true. I believe in "in sight, in your mind".. haha I know, clever, right?
4. Work out!
Whether it requires you making appointments with a trainer or signing up for an exercise class, or just having a reminder on your calendar- get your butt to class. Exercise not only helps you feel better for having doing good to your body, but it also helps you be more conscious of your food choices. Did you just suffer through a Cardio dance class? Yeah? Put down that roll.
5. Recruit a friend
Accountability can be a real deal breaker for many people. Whether it's for exercise or eating right, having a buddy who's going to ask you what you've been doing and eating, can be the difference between you having that extra slice (of cake, pizza, or pumpkin bread!) or not. Plus, when the goings get tough and you start to feel crabby without your daily dose of junk, a friend can be the perfect person to vent to (as opposed to bottling up those feelings!).
6. Indulge a little
We're all human. We all need a little treat once in a while. I would argue, even a small treat daily is fine. Just make sure it's small. Let yourself enjoy an indulgence meal once a week, and then eat lighter for the rest of the week. Bethenny Frankel's theory that one's diet is like a bank account is the perfect way to think about it. Once in a while, we're going to invest in an expensive purse or pair of shoes (aka Spaghetti Bolognese with white bread and extra sauce anyone?), and that's okay. However you have to balance your budget- you gotta rein it in after that big ticket item.