But here's some really good news: That back-to-school rush and nip in the air can be a real inducement to get back on the weight-loss track. "You have new routines and different weather, so making healthier changes is an easy adjustment you can combine with other changes," says Susan B. Roberts, Ph.D., a weight-loss expert.
"You can acquire a lot of bad habits in the summer," says Roberts. "All those fruit and ice drinks, for example, are great when they 'replace' other foods in the warm months but are not good news when they supplement them. So think about cutting back on liquid calories while keeping up the healthy salads that were so refreshing in summer."
September also conjures up our own memories of being a kid and returning to school, lunchbox in tow. "Taking food with you is a great way to save calories," Roberts advises. "Virtually nothing you buy out is as healthy as home-packed food."
Ready, Set, Go!
That's why it's important to prepare ahead, says Lona Sandon, M.Ed., R.D. "Don't wait until the last minute to shop for school supplies, and include food storage baggies for yourself. This way you don't have an excuse not to take along a healthy lunch and snacks."
She also recommends you stock your pantry and refrigerator with plenty of healthy foods for easy-to-prepare meals and snacks. That means trading the chips and margarita mix of summer for delicious and nutritious fall foods like crisp apples. "If you're well stocked up at home, you'll be less tempted to hit the drive-thru," she says.
Finally, don't let all the fall activities undermine your fitness routine. "If your evenings are filled with shuttling kids to and from activities, then try to get your 30 minutes of exercise in the morning or during your lunch hour," she suggests. "Instead of watching the game from the bleachers, walk the perimetre of the field for 30 minutes."
With a few simple changes and back-to-school planning, you can make that brisk autumn weather work in your favour as the days grow shorter—and the pounds keep dropping!