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I am a Midwest girl who loves the fall. I mean come on chunky sweaters, leggings, and boots! Even my husband is well aware that I will blow my monthly budget on new fall clothes. Having said that, I need to remember how hard I worked this summer to lose weight and I can’t let myself regain that weight because my pants now have elastic waists. Fall can be tricky. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Forza Supplements, a UK diet firm, dieters can gain up to 5 pounds in the fall, as September marks the second fattest month of the year, closely trailing December. Dieters put on an average of 2 pounds in September, which is what they lost in preparation for summer in June.

So, how are we going to stay on task this fall? The first thing that needs to be done is meal prep for the week. On Sunday I will sit down and figure out what we are going to eat for dinner all week. This is nothing elaborate, and I often make the same things. I will usually make either chili or white chicken chili on Sunday. I make enough in the Crock-Pot that I can eat it for lunch for the next few days. I will also make a big salad and dressing that can be eaten throughout the week. Making this doesn’t take long, so it’s not like I am spending my whole Sunday prepping and planning. In fact, I use Shipt and have the groceries delivered. I hate going to the grocery store, and on the Shipt app I can order from my previous orders so I don’t even have to search for specific foods. I also have several places that I will order already-prepared meals from if it’s a week with a lot of work obligations. Among my favorite already-prepped meals are BistroMD, HercuLean Meal Prep, and Freshly. I will also use the premade meal kits that are at Kroger if I run out of options.

We can’t talk about fall and not discuss pumpkin-spiced anything. A tall (12 ounce) Starbucks pumpkin spiced latte has 330 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 39 carbs in it. In addition, when most of us order this decadent drink we sip it over a few hours. Doing this causes our bodies to constantly release insulin and store fat. If you are going to splurge on this drink, sit down and drink it over the next half hour to minimize the weight gain. Better yet, make yourself a cup of pumpkin-spiced tea or hot apple cider tea. These are both great options that have zero calories. In addition, add a pumpkin-spiced candle to your kitchen. It will give you that warm fuzzy fall ambiance without any calories.

Get out and enjoy the fall! Go to the pumpkin patch, go to the football game, go for a walk in the great weather. Let’s keep our focus and keep on our weight-loss journey! You got this. Remember all your hard work this fall will pay off when the holiday season comes around . . .