7 Ways You Can Avoid Putting On The Pounds During The Fall Months

It’s sweater season, and you know what that means: endless odes to knits, wool and cashmere. Fall is just about the only time the adjective “chunky” is a compliment, and that’s the truth.

The unfortunate reality of cooler temperatures is we settle into looser silhouettes, only to soon find our bodies physically became that shape.

Think of Play-Doh in a mold.

Instead of keeping our green smoothie bikini bodies, we’ve gone ahead and eaten ourselves 14 pounds heavier under the assumption no one can see our food babies permanently nesting beneath our v-neck sweaters.

Whether you’re just starting freshman year of college and letting loose in the 20-something's Disneyland (otherwise known as a dining hall) for the first time or you're a full-fledged adult hunkering down as the weather gets chilly, take heed.

As much as we wish macaroni and cheese was advisable for every meal, it’s certainly not.

Instead of eating your cold-weather feelings (#hangry), think about revising your habits to stave off fall-induced chub gain.

"Just say no" to the edible extras.

When the temperature drops, the ovens turn on — and that’s not always a good thing.

Although an apartment scented with gooey, melting chocolate might remind you of your mother, it also brings calories you wouldn’t have consumed during the summer.

We’re not against treating yourself, but do so wisely. No one needs a scone every time he or she buys a coffee, or a snack each time he or she strolls into the office kitchen for a quick work break.

Swap booze for something warmer.

During the summer, we toss back gin and cucumber drinks a few times a week. When autumn hits, however, stocking up on bottles of red wine seems mandatory.

Instead of filling those long, dark nights with booze, try something equally relaxing and light on calories: hot tea.

Whether you prefer the rich taste of cinnamon or the mellow vibes of chamomile, you’re getting the same benefits of wine without any of the thickening consequences.

Stay thirsty.

For some reason, we totally forget about water when we’re trapped inside all winter. During hot weather months, the incessant beads of sweat dribbling down your back make replenishing fluids a near-constant task.

But once we’re bundled up, it’s still just as important to gulp down fluids. Many times, our bodies mistake dehydration for hunger or cravings. Carrying a water bottle is an easy fix.

Put your carbs to work for you.

There's almost definitely a direct correlation between how cold it gets outside and how much bread we crave. Rather than purchasing endless loaves of white bread, it’s important to maintain and shape healthy habits.

That means indulging the desire for chewy goodness, without going overboard.

Swap white pasta for its better companion, whole wheat noodles, and try just eating half a bagel instead of the whole thing. Work within the parameters of your craving, just don’t let it rule your life.

Pick up a gym membership.

Surely, your mother has already given you this advice over the phone.

We don’t usually side with her, but she’s right: It’s important to stay physically active during the winter. Not only will you keep the pounds off, but the health of your entire body will also improve.

During June and July, it’s so easy to slip in a walk or hop on a bike.

When you cut all that out, there’s a devastating increase in time spent sprawled across your couch. Take action for your own benefit, and hop on the elliptical.

Don’t hide in comfy chic.

We love sweaters, don’t get us wrong.

But, burying yourself under layers of loose-fitting clothing only signals your brain to let it all hang out.

Instead of holding your body, mind and health accountable for the decisions you make, it’s a no-holds-barred race to eat anything you like.

Take responsibility for yourself, and make it a point to bust out a fitted dress or camisole every now and again this winter. You’ll have the motivation to take responsibility for your body.

Schedule your own milestones.

Here’s the tough truth: Only you are in charge of keeping yourself in shape.

Our brains struggle to actualize vague goals like “avoid fattening meals." Instead, set weekly goals that are simple to achieve.

For example, this week you’ll run 5 miles at the gym. Next, you’ll stay away from booze.

This way, you’re never depriving yourself of all the activities that make fall and winter such festive times of the year.

Now, go enjoy snuggle season.