Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

9 Frighteningly Fattening Fall Foods

Avoiding these rich fall favorites can help you make it to Thanksgiving without gaining a pound.
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Summer is the season for fresh fruits and vegetables, but when the temperature starts to dip, many of us turn to rich fall foods perfect for football games, hayrides, cozy fireside meals, and, if we aren’t careful, weight gain.

All it takes is an extra 100 calories per day to pack on 10 pounds a year. Year after year, the weight adds up and gets harder to lose. While it's true that cooler weather lets us hide under layers of clothing, the best strategy for your health is to avoid this weight creep altogether, experts say.


"There is no time like the present to tighten the belt and get ready for the holidays, when there are food, temptations and parties galore," says Suzanne Farrell, RD, owner of Cherry Creek Nutrition. "It is only going to get worse as we get closer to the end of the year."

This doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself of all your fall favorites, but you do need to make a few simple changes, experts say. Here's a look at some of fall's most fattening foods, along with tips on how to avoid or improve them so you can make it to Thanksgiving without gaining a pound.

Fattening Fall Foods: From Healthy to Horrendous

Fall offers all kinds of delicious and nutritious foods, from apples to root vegetables, but we have a knack for taking healthy foods (think sweet potatoes) and making them decadently rich. When simmered in cream, baked in pie crust, sautéed in butter, or topped with cheese, these foods go from good to bad.

"Foods like apples, squash, nuts, and pumpkin are super nutritious, but the nutritional goodness is masked when you add lots of extra calories," says Tara Gidus, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

And don’t forget those game-day favorites, served on a tailgate or in front of the television. If you're a typical sports fan, you could find yourself seated on the couch for hours at a time on college football Saturday, professional football Sunday, and again on Monday night. Not only is that a big chunk of time to be sitting, but you could easily devour a mountain of chips, nachos, hot dogs, pizza, wings, ribs, sausages, and let’s not forget the beer. 

"Eating and drinking for hours at a time coupled with little physical activity is a perfect formula for weight gain," says Gidus.

Oktoberfest adds another opportunity to celebrate, with calorie-laden beer, sausages, and potato salads.

Today on WebMD

vegetables
Video
feet on scale
Blog
 
Woman looking at reflection in mirror
Article
Hot cup of coffee
Quiz
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens