5 fall habits that can make you overweight

Ever since the temperature dropped, it's almost as if you can hear sighs of relief from women all over the country. No more worrying about looking hot in bikinis or shorts! No more tank tops or halter tops in which you can't help but flaunt less than perfectly cut, "bat wing" arms! We get to hide in sweatshirts now, yippee! Or ... wait ... is it really worthy of a yippee? Might we be headed into dangerous weight gain territory?

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It's very likely. There are a multitude of missteps that seem to sneak up on us in the fall that can lead to an unhappy situation on the scale. Here, a few of the fall "fat traps" and how to outsmart 'em ...

  1. Seasonal food. This is a no-brainer, but yet, every year, it seems to do a number on most of us. No matter what your holiday-themed comfort food vice -- pumpkin lattes? Heavy beers? Halloween candy? Broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl? Mac 'n' cheese, mmmmmm -- there's a chance it's going to tempt you between Labor Day and New Year's. The fix: There's no reason we shouldn't be able to enjoy festive treats, but too much of anything is bad news. So it doesn't hurt to hunt down ways to make your favorite holiday foods a little bit "lighter." Like going with skim milk in that gingerbread latte or cutting the sugar in your apple pie recipe.
  2. Skipping workouts based on the weather ... or the daylight. I think most of us are guilty of this -- I know I am! "It's too cold/rainy/dark out" can easily become the excuse du jour not to go to the gym or go for a run just about every du jour in the fall. The fix: Indoor workouts, maybe at home? I speak from personal experience when I say some days, especially when the weather's crappy or it's pitch black out at 5 p.m., nothin' beats rolling out of bed, pulling on your yoga pants, and popping in a Jillian Michaels DVD. She kicks my butt harder than any elliptical at the gym could!
  3. Parties galore! Sure, summer's a blast, but the real party season begins in the fall, thanks to tailgating, every Sunday turning into a mini-Super Bowl party, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. And when it feels like there's a "special occasion," we tend to give ourselves a free pass to forget smart eating. The fix: Whether you're the host or the guest, you can provide a healthy dish you love. That way, if all the other pickings are fatty buffalo chicken wing dip and nachos, you're all set with at least one thing you can fill up on that's not totally evil.
  4. Colder weather = bigger appetite. No, you're not imagining it -- when your body's colder, your appetite is stimulated, because eating generates body heat. In fact, your body generates about 10 percent more heat on a full stomach than on an empty stomach. The fix: Stay warm by wearing layers, cranking up the heat, hiding under the covers, or better yet -- working out!
  5. Naturally roomier clothes. Why bother worrying about toning your arms, doing squats for those legs, worrying about a muffin top when we can hide in hoodies and sweatpants 'til spring? The fix: You still wanna look hot naked, right? Or at least good in front of friends and family at all those holiday parties? Sadly, as much as we would like to, one cannot wear sweatshirts 24/7.

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These annoying habits aside, it's not out of the question for fall to be the perfect time for reinvention. No one says you have to wait 'til New Year's Eve to be on top of your weight and/or overall wellness!

What's another fall "fat trap," and how do you cope?


Image via drcornelius/Flickr


Written by Maressa Brown for CafeMom's blog, The Stir.

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