When the summer season changes to fall, your body changes too. With Autumn now fast approaching the days will soon grow colder and darker. You’ll be less likely to do physical activities outside and you’ll crave different foods. The beginning of Fall also starts a countdown to some of the biggest eating holidays. To prepare your body for the new season, consider these four recommendations for fall.
Keep Yourself Committed to Exercise
When the weather turns colder and the days grow shorter in fall and winter we just aren’t quite as motivated to exercise. But with greater time spent indoors, and big eating holidays and get-togethers around the corner, it’s important to continue moving your body. Make exercise a priority by creating a schedule for it. Try finding a workout partner to help keep your motivation level up and to make it more fun.
Track What You Eat
Consider starting a food journal to record what you eat. A journal can be a good reminder to eat better and it will help keep you figure out when you may be eating too much, too little or when you’re eating out too frequently. You can jot down your meals in a notebook or do a search online for apps that can aid you in tracking your food consumption. Monitoring your weight weekly is a good way to stay on top the season’s effects on your body as well.
Increase Your Smart Carbohydrate Intake
When the days get darker many people experience seasonal affective disorder, which is a form of depression. Adding more carbs each day is a good pick-me-up when you feel down. A Biological Psychiatry study found that a high-carb (but not a high-protein) meal boosts people’s moods. WebMd.com says the connection between carbohydrates and mood is all about tryptophan. As more tryptophan enters the brain, more serotonin is synthesized, improving mood. It’s important to eat smart carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which also contribute important nutrients and fiber to your diet. Foods that increase serotonin levels in the brain include fish and Vitamin D.
Supplement with Vitamin D
The “sunshine vitamin” helps you maintain optimal blood levels when you aren’t in the sun as much. Vitamin D is also good for bone health, aids in weight loss, and boosts immune function, which is extra important during the late months for the year when cold and flu season starts.