Updated: Nov 6, 2022
Well here we are, sooner than we hoped, but here nonetheless. It is Autumn, the season of balance and transition. It's not too cold and not too hot. The harvest is upon us, and some much needed preparation is happening for the winter and holiday season.
With the shorter days and cooler mornings and evenings, new cravings spring upon us. I for one have been dreaming about food. Not just any food. I've been consuming double stacked bacon burgers with gouda at twilight. Endless Indian and Ethiopian cuisine has penetrated my dreams and I wake up with a salivating mouth. I mean part of that is my forced celibacy according to Google (the audacity) but part of that is the body's natural reaction to the change in weather and survival reflex.
When the cravings seem to be ramping up and one is on a weight loss journey it is important to plan to fail. Planning ahead will save the remorse that follows when losing track of a diet. The community doesn't support extreme calorie deficits, however, for losing weight it is important to not fall into the same habit of comfort that may have caused weight gain.
Here are a few tips to surviving the Autumn cravings:
Make dates to cheat. - This one is easy for the holiday season is near and there will be very obvious opportunities to have a little break from the diet. I recommend saving social drinking and indulgence for Halloween and Thanksgiving. If you are a military veteran of course you can include Veterans day and perhaps only 3 days following. Do not keep leftovers, and get rid of that candy by 12 'o' clock midnight.
Meal prep has never been more fun! - If one of your comfort foods is pizza for example, well that can easily be made at home. Take more action when it comes to comfort food. Trying to eliminate the things we like to eat will not keep adherence. However, that doesn't mean we need to act on every whim. Learn to cook some of your favorite autumn dishes. or if you can't help but to order out that curry ox tail, split it into portions that will provide at least 3-4 prepped meals. If in the States, this is more than possible.
Stop eating when full. No need to feel pressured to clean the plate. Dishes around this time are rich and deliciously heavy. That means the calories are high and the nutrients are dense. A few bites may be all one can handle. Nothing wrong with that. I myself am Queen of the Doggy Bag.
Plan outings that aren't associated with eating and drinking. A lot of folks say this is the season to not expect anyone to hang out after work. DO make it out of the house for at least an hour-90mins each day. The air this time of year is top notch and with the lack of sunlight, oxygen is just as important. Plan gym dates, play board games at a tea shop, go indoor climbing, but resist the urge to sit in the house and order take out.
Keep your goals numerical and away from the scale. It's bulking season. Now is the time to be stacking the plates on the barbell. Now is the time to fight for those extra reps per set. Now is the time to be training the heart rate to withstand higher thresholds. Why? Why not? Also, weight gain may be inevitable and for that reason reaffirming consistency and adherence is vital to surviving the season. Don't worry, we'll run it off in March with the help of our new muscle gains.