The Diet Detective: 7 Ways to Stay Healthy This Fall

Eat Big in the Morning

Recent research reported from Sam Houston State University in Texas found that eating in the morning reduces total calories eaten for the entire day. What should you eat? It's getting colder, so how about a nice bowl of oatmeal with blueberries?

Oatmeal is a "whole" grain, which means you get all the health benefits, including plenty of protein and soluble fiber to help you feel full and restore your glucose levels after a long night's sleep.

Oatmeal is also low in saturated fat, as well as high in potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc. Make sure to avoid the extras like brown sugar, butter, salt, honey and whole milk.

Enjoy the Fall

Go to museums, go hiking, take long walks and bike rides, and use a pedometer. Keep in mind that once we set the clocks back, it gets darker earlier, so there are fewer outdoor options for physical activity in the evening.

Make adjustments by joining a gym, planning evening walks at the mall or becoming an early riser. Walk your kids to school.

Make it interesting by using mapmywalk.com or maps.google.com, which has a drop-down menu where you can choose "walk" to directions and the distance to anywhere.

Also, check out the following sites for hiking: Trimbleoutdoors.com (offers thousands of day hikes), Localhikes.com (lists local hikes around the United States), Trails.com (has more than 38,000 trails but charges $49.95) and Recreation.gov.

Relax and Stay Calm

Try to readjust to the fall work and/or school schedule. A recent study from the Netherlands' Maastricht University appearing in the journal Obesity showed that even when a person is not hungry, he or she will eat when under significant stress.This is especially the case when the summer ends and the "back to school/back to work" pressures mount.

You don't have to avoid eating altogether, but you do need to make healthier choices. Try to keep junk food out of your office and home, and make sure to have plenty of fall apples and pears on hand. If that's all you have, that's what you'll eat. Also, consider air-popped popcorn.

In a first-of-its kind study, scientists at the American Chemical Society reported that snack foods like popcorn contain "surprisingly large" amounts of healthful antioxidant substances called polyphenols.


Charles Stuart Platkin is an Active Expert , nutrition and public health advocate, author of the best seller Breaking the Pattern (Plume, 2005), Breaking the FAT Pattern (Plume, 2006) and Lighten Up (Penguin USA/Razorbill, 2006) and founder of Integrated Wellness Solutions. Sign up for The Diet Detective newsletter free at www.dietdetective.com.

Copyright 2009 by Charles Stuart Platkin

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