Diet Detective: Tips For A Healthy Fall

It's happening—the sun is setting earlier, kids are going back to school and there's a chill in the air. During this time of year something else happens too: we eat more.

People eat about 200 calories more per day in the fall, says John de Castro, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas, El Paso. And that's not counting weight gained during the Thanksgiving holiday.

We eat more in preparation for the winter months of famine. However, there's no longer a winter famine, and this time of increased calorie intake causes weight gain.

Avoid the bulge this fall with these healthy eating tips. Make hearty homemade soup, stay active and more. 

More: 4 Fall Soup Recipes

Make Healthy Soup

Make and eat vegetable-based soups to enjoy a hearty meal without the excessive calories that many cold-weather comfort foods like cheesy pasta and casseroles have. Avoid making high-fat soups loaded with fatty meats, cream and cheese. Try this chicken noodle soup recipe when it starts to get cold outside.

Eat Smarter

Avoid unconscious eating while sitting in front of the T.V. Never bring the whole bag or bowl of anything to the couch or coffee table. Instead, premeasure it in the kitchen beforehand. If you want to eat chips, choose ones that are baked, not fried. When indulging in pizza, be careful with toppings, which can double the total calorie count.

More: 7 Lifestyle Choices to Stay Healthy and Happy

Eat Fall Produce

Fall fruits and veggies are low in calories and loaded with nutrients. Try these ones:

Apples have been shown to reduce the risk of some cancers as well as cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes. They're loaded with flavonoids such as quercetin, which is important for keeping blood vessels healthy and reducing inflammation throughout the body.

Butternut squash and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which is said to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Pears (medium size) have 5.5 grams of fiber, 212 milligrams of potassium and are a good source of vitamin C.

More: 10 Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Comfort Foods

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