Fall is upon us and that means it's time for pumpkin inspired coffee, treats, breads, pies and more. It's also the beginning of the typical weight gain season as well. It's hard to get wrapped up in the leaves changing, the cooler weather, the decorating and let's face it, the marketing of it all. You head to the local Eastchase or Atlanta Highway Starbucks for a regular coffee but the temptation of the pumpkin spice latte stares you in the face. If you're health concious, this can actually become a stressful time. And if you're not careful, stressful or not, you can pack on the pounds by indulging in the season's most popular fare.
You can still enjoy the festivities without destroying your waistline. Make some simple swaps to stay on track this Fall season.
Fall festive treat: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (Grande): 380 calories and 49 grams of sugar. Drink 4 of these a week and pack on 5 pounds before Thanksgiving from latte's alone.
Fall festive alternative: Fresh Market Pumpkin Spice Coffee: 0 calories without cream or sugar. Mix with 1 tablespoon half and half and Truvia for only 20 calories per cup.
Fall festive treat: Pumpkin bread: The typical slice of pumpkin bread averages almost 400 calories. That's the calorie equivalent to a decent size meal. And while pumpkin bread is delicious, it provides little nutritional value, so you'll be hungry in no time. Starbucks features a slice for 390 calories while Whole Foods packs in 360 calories per slice.
Fall festive alternative: Make your own pumpkin bread with this calorie saving recipe and save nearly 200 calories: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pecan-topped-pumpkin-bread-10000001673145/.
Fall festive treat: Pumpkin pie: 350 calories is in the average serving size slice of pumpkin pie. Trouble is, the average person eats two servings in one slice, taking those calories way on up to 700. Between office parties, church get-togethers and good old fashioned cravings, you could easily eat your way into 2 additional pounds of fat before Thanksgiving even hits, if you have a slice of this a week this season.
Fall festive alternative: Try baking your pie with this tasty and simply recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/classic-pumpkin-pie-10000000549931/. You'll save almost 150 calories, and if you're doubling up on portions, that's a whopping 300 calories per slice.
Fall festive treat: Halloween candy. There's no way of getting around it, other than not participating at all. Here are some tips to keep yourself from overindulging this year.
Do not buy the candy early. Buy it one or two days beforehand. It'll be there, don't worry. That way you aren't tempted to dip in the bag before the holiday even hits.
When your children bring home the candy, have everyone set aside 4-5 pieces of their favorite and throw the rest away. Yes, throw it away. No one needs an endless supply of candy.
Fall festive treat: Pumpkin spice milkshake. Sonic offers a seasonal shake with 710 calories and 78 grams of sugar for a regular and 1040 calories and 119 grams of sugar for a large. That's terrible damage to your diet. It would take almost two hours of running to burn that off. And the sugar will send you crashing in no time.
Fall festive alternative: Pumpkin Spice Shakeology. Shakeology is a whole nutrition supplement that tastes delicious and can be blended into a shake. It's cost per serving is comparable to the diet derailer above but carries only 17 grams of natural sugar, 150 calories per serving and 17 grams of protein. Blend it into this festive creation for 280 calories and 27 grams of protein. Visit www.shakeology.com/teamchloe.