As the weather starts to cool down and the leaves begin to change, we know that the fall season is upon us. This means some of our favorite fall things like football and Halloween — and thus, lots of tasty treats! While the cooler months may seem like the season for snacking, your health and fitness goals don’t have to suffer. In fact, there are so many tasty fall foods for weight loss that can even be enjoyed all throughout the holiday season too!
Best of all, no deprivation or dieting necessary!
Fall In-Season Foods
Once summertime starts to wind down, nature graces us with a slew of good-for-you foods, including fall foods for weight loss! While this season is best known for the beloved pumpkin, beneficial fall foods go beyond this popular gourd.
From squashes to greens, there are tons of research-backed healthy seasonal foods to support your goals.
Some of our favorite healthy fall foods include:
- Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale
- Brussels sprouts
When it comes to foods for weight loss, the seasonal fall options are abundant (and tastier than ever)!
The Benefits of Eating Seasonally
Years ago, it was unheard of to eat a tomato in February or an apricot in December. People ate what was freshly grown — many options were not available year-round!
These days, however, thanks to technology and transportation, most foods are available year-round. While unlimited access may be convenient, keep in mind: eating seasonally can be much more beneficial.
Tastier When In Season
For starters, eating produce outside of its natural growing season just doesn’t taste as good as those that are naturally blossoming in a garden or on a farm. Think about a sweet summer tomato you snag from a vine vs. one that you get at the grocery store mid-winter. Chances are, the summertime tomato is going to be much juicer and tastier than the winter variety.
Smaller Carbon Footprint
Eating seasonally is also better for the environment. If a food isn’t grown locally, it has to make its way to you somehow! And that may require the need for trucks, airplanes, and boats. This means additional fuel and energy, and a large carbon footprint. All to support your out-of-season cravings! Plus, seasonal eating helps support local farmers and businesses! A win-win.
If you want the most nutritional benefit, it’s wise to eat seasonally. When non-seasonal foods are transported to your local store, there’s more time for the nutrients to degrade during transport. Add excess sun exposure to the mix, (which can break nutrients down too) and you’re left with less than optimal nutrients that you would have received had you opted for a seasonal local option.
The Best 5 Fall Foods For Weight Loss
Knowing the aforementioned benefits, it’s easy to see how eating seasonally could support weight loss goals. After all, if foods are more nutritious and tasty, incorporating them into your diet will be easy!
Among the bounty of seasonal fall foods, some are better than others when it comes to supporting your goals. With that said, here are top fall foods for weight loss that should find their way on your plate this season!
It should come as no surprise to see pumpkin at the top of our list when it comes to fall foods for weight loss. While there’s no denying the deliciousness of all things pumpkin, did you know it’s just as nutritious as it is tasty?
Pumpkin is full of fiber, a nutrient that helps to support weight loss by making us feel fuller for a longer period of time. For many, increased satiety means reduced sugar cravings and less calories consumed throughout the day.
And, since pumpkin is made of mostly water (over 90%, in fact), it is naturally low in calories too!
To enjoy pumpkin as a fall food for weight loss, add it canned to smoothies or baked goods, or try it roasted in savory dishes for a nutritious punch that is oh so delicious.
Cauliflower is a well-known weight loss friendly food, so naturally, it’s on our list. While this cruciferous veggie can be found as early as June, its peak season typically runs from September to November. Probably one of the most versatile veggies around, cauliflower is also a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition and weight loss.
You’ve probably seen cauliflower as the star ingredient in pizza, rice dishes, and even snack crackers as a replacement for grains and other calorie-laden foods. And for good reason! This healthy swap is packed with good-for-you nutrients such as fiber, plus it’s low in calories and virtually tasteless.
This fall vegetable is a fantastic food to include for fall weight loss friendly recipes. Think: game-day snacks, holiday apps, and light yet filling dinners!
Here are some yummy ideas:
- Turn cauliflower into a pizza crust
- Bake it into buffalo cauliflower bites
- Even add it frozen to smoothies for a low-sugar thickener in place of fruit!
Need some inspo? Try these five ways to use cauliflower that you likely haven’t tried yet!
If you are craving something indulgent while working toward your fall weight loss goals, lean on figs to satisfy your sweet tooth. These fall fruits are full of satiating fiber and low in calories.
Toss them on a salad with chicken and kale, add them to your smoothie, or simply eat them on their own for a yummy and simple fall snack.
Cooler weather means plenty of comforting recipes filled with this fall weight loss friendly food. With so many varieties to choose from, you’re bound to find tasty ways to add mushrooms to your plate!
Like cauliflower, mushrooms are a versatile veggie that can be easily incorporated into many meals. And, since they have a similar consistency to meat when cooked, these veggies can be a low-fat and low-calorie plant-based protein swap for meals like meatballs, tacos, and burgers.
Since they’re high in fiber and vitamins, mushrooms are the perfect fall food to add to a healthy eating plan!
Jerusalem Artichokes / Sunchokes
Surely you have heard of probiotics, the small but mighty bacteria that offer a major health benefit! While eating probiotics is utterly important to supporting a healthy microbiota, we can’t neglect the importance of eating prebiotic fiber! Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that act as fuel for the live bacteria in our bodies.
We get our prebiotics from the foods we eat, and one excellent source is Jerusalem artichoke. Research suggests a healthy microbiota can help support weight loss goals, and maintaining a healthy microbiota is possible when enough prebiotic fiber is consumed. Thus, Jerusalem artichokes are one of our favorite fall foods for weight loss!
Plus, they help support our energy levels with their rich iron content. In fact, just one cup provides almost 30% of your daily iron needs!
Try them sauteed on their own with some olive oil and garlic, mixed into a roasted veggie bake, or on top of a warm salad bowl.
Delicious Seasonal Fall Favorites To Support Your Weight Loss Journey
Embracing fall produce can help you get into the autumn spirit and support your weight goals at the same time. Including fall favorites like pumpkin, sunchokes, figs, and mushrooms in your dishes can boost your nutrition in a low-calorie, fiber-rich, and utterly delicious way. Eating seasonally is simple with a little know-how, and including this practice in your healthy habits will give you amazing benefits.
Happy fall and happy eating!