By Shani Petroff
From Halloween night through the ball drop on New Year’s, life is an eating frenzy. Parties, holidays, and the extra treats brought into work can all be tough to resist. Everywhere, there’s temptation to go way over my SmartPoints® Target. But while there are some challenges this time of year, there are also some options that make it easier, and I’m trying to focus on those.
I do not like exercising or walking around outside when it is too hot out. But right now, in my area, I can walk at a brisk pace for a good stretch of time and not get overheated or sweaty. And the scenery is beautiful. I love looking at the trees and leaves that have changed color. It gives me extra motivation to do things like walk the long route to work and choose the park instead of a restaurant (or some other food/drink venue) to hang out with a friend.
As the weather gets colder, I’m less inclined to stop by an ice cream or frozen yogurt shop and pick up a cone for the road. Sometimes, in the summer, even when I’m not hungry, I find myself grabbing a sweet treat that I don’t really want or need. But in the fall, when there’s a chill in the air, it’s much easier for me to keep walking by those stores. (Especially if I’m wearing gloves — which I find cumbersome.) In fact, if it’s chilly enough, the item I’m most inclined to buy is a cup of tea, which is definitely better for my SmartPoints budget than ice cream.
The season change means I have to switch to my warmer clothes. For better or worse, putting them on is a reminder of where I was at this point last year and where I want to be next year. I’m still working toward my goals and summer will be here before we know it.
I also love nice, cozy, healthy, hot meals like soups, stews, and turkey chili. These are the months when I really crave them. You can’t go wrong with a low SmartPoints value meal that is also filling. I find it really easy to stop by the grocery store near work and pick up a cup of their premade soup. The nutritional information is available, so I know how many SmartPoints value I’m getting (it’s generally pretty low when I go for the vegetable or tomato basil). When I’m feeling under the weather or tired, I have chicken soup delivered from one of my favorite delis. And the prepared meals (like stuffed cabbage and stew) I find at the market by my apartment are made with ingredients I can put into the recipe builder and calculate. It all helps keep me on track.
I’d love to hear from you. What are your fall tricks and tips? You can find me on Connect at @shani!
Read more Shani Weighs In.