3 ways to fall-proof your weight loss
You’ve swapped out T-shirts and shorts for long pants and warm sweaters, and replaced summer salads with hearty soups and stews. Just because the warm weather is on its way out doesn’t mean that your weight loss plans have to go with it.
Here are a few weight loss pitfalls that tend to crop up when the season changes—along with tips to prevent them from sabotaging your success. All of these tips support Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, called Food Optimizing.
1. Back to a morning routine
Whether or not you have kids, back-to-school season means back-to-business for pretty much everyone, from dealing with the morning scramble to returning to a daily routine after the breezy summer months. When life feels frantic, it’s easy to just grab whatever is convenient for breakfast (like bagels, muffins, or sugar-packed granola bars)—or to skip it altogether, only to grab a sugary pastry later for a quick hunger fix.
Save yourself from going off track—and save your sanity!—by prepping a few things in advance, suggests Amy Shapiro, RD, a nutritionist and founder of Real Nutrition NYC. Some healthy, Food Optimizing make-ahead options include overnight oats or a frittata.
Keep in mind… “When things are stressful, focusing on what you can control—your meals—can actually be calming,” notes Yvonne Sanders, head of Slimming World USA. And if you do grab that muffin on the way to the office? Don’t beat yourself up. “Just tell yourself you slipped, and you’ll get straight back on track,” she says. “When we are kind to ourselves, we do better.”
2. Eating “al desko”
As fall—and its cooler weather—rolls in, it can feel more difficult to leave your desk when lunchtime comes around. Cue another afternoon of eating over email catch-up.
No matter how busy work gets, avoid eating at your desk huddled over work. “Stepping away from your desk can give you a much-needed pause and keeps you more mindful about what you’re eating,” Shapiro says. Plan to eat lunch away from your work area (in a break room, an empty conference room, or even on a park bench). And bring your lunch from home so you can easily stick to plan—a hearty, homemade soup packed with veggies makes a tasty, filling option.
Keep in mind… It can be easy to view lunch as a reward for a morning of hard work, Shapiro notes. But that doesn’t mean you have to choose quick, unhealthy food that will leave you feeling tired and hungry later. Instead, anticipate a different midday pick-me-up: a break to sip some coffee or tea while catching up on your newsfeed to help you recharge, or a planned conversation with a co-worker about the latest Netflix series.
3. Pumpkin spice everything
From the supermarket to the corner coffee shop, the spiced treats of the season (which are often loaded with sugar) beckon. If pumpkin spice is your weakness, take a tip from Lisa Alexander-Taylor, Slimming World USA’s member support manager: “I carry seasonal teabags with me so that I can satisfy my cravings throughout the fall,” she says.
Pumpkin is a Free Food on the Slimming World plan, meaning you can eat it without weighing, counting, or measuring it. For an on-plan PSL fix, stir plain pumpkin puree into fat-free plain yogurt with a dash each of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and no-calorie granulated sweetener.
Keep in mind… If you find yourself ready to give in to a seasonal treat, ask yourself: “Is this treat as important as the goals I’ve set for myself?” The answer very well may be yes, says Sanders, who also lost over 63 pounds* on the Slimming World program. If you’re meeting a friend for a pumpkin-spice latte, go ahead—just be portion-savvy. Asking for a “short” latte with skim milk and no whipped cream is an on-plan choice that will keep your weight loss safe.
*Your weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and how much you have to lose.