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9 Frighteningly Fattening Fall Foods

Avoiding these rich fall favorites can help you make it to Thanksgiving without gaining a pound.

Fight Fattening Foods

Follow these tips to help you enjoy fall’s harvest without the extra calories: 

  • Rule No. 1 is to try enjoying the autumn harvest simply prepared, without lots of extra fat and sugar. A roasted sweet potato is so delicious it really needs nothing, so skip the butter, brown sugar, nuts, and marshmallows.
  • Get moving. Do some push-ups, sit-ups, or jumping jacks during halftime or commercials. Better yet, watch the game while you pedal on your stationary bike. "Stay active and be consistent with your routine, or try to get 10,000 steps each day," suggests Farrell. "Use your lunch time to add steps."
  • Don’t keep tempting food out. Put those candy bowls out of sight, and serve the tailgate buffet at halftime, with nutritious nibbles like veggies and low-fat dip to hold you over until then.
  • Decide how many alcoholic drinks you are going to have before the fall outing, then alternate them with nonalcoholic beverages. One 12-ounce regular beer has 150 calories; make it a light one and you'll trim 40 calories.
  • Be aware of the amount of food you're eating. Check your portion sizes and compare to the nutrition information on the recipe or package.  It is easy to eat two to three times as much as the normal portion size.
  • Eat mindfully by paying attention to the food on your plate, eliminating distractions like the television and chewing slowing to enjoy each mouthful and allowing your brain time to get the signal that you are full.
  • Use low-fat cooking techniques and substitutions to help trim calories without compromising flavors. "You can enjoy comfort foods, but you have to do so in moderation and try to lighten recipes so they are not overloaded with fat and calories," says Farrell.

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Reviewed on October 17, 2007

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