fitnessIt’s no secret that reaching weight loss goals can be difficult, regardless of the time of year. In fact, 54% of U.S. adults are currently trying to reduce their weight. But even though the weather is cooling down and the holidays are right around the corner, you still have plenty of opportunities to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle all season long. Here are just a few quick tips to help you stay on top of your weight loss goals this fall season.

Incorporate fresh and seasonal fruits and veggies into your diet.

Forget about pumpkin spice — fall is the best time of year to munch on some of the most festive and delicious fruits and veggies. Just take your pick of all the apples that are in season at this time of year and enjoy them raw. Pumpkin is also a fat burning food, as long as it’s fresh or canned (that PSL from Starbucks obviously won’t cut it). Pumpkin is more versatile than you think, but make sure to prepare it properly, since one in six Americans gets sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages each year, according to the CDC. Try having it for breakfast by mixing it with nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, and almonds.

If you do opt for fresh pumpkin, don’t forget about the seeds — they’re delicious when roasted and can provide an extra boost of protein and other essential nutrients.

“These delicious little super seeds are packed with protein, fiber, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus, as well as potassium, zinc, selenium, folate, niacin, and amino acids arginine and glutamic acid. They’re also great stress relievers (chew away stored frustration through crunching). Less stress means reduced cortisol levels, which keeps you thin!” certified nutritionist and board member of The National Association of Nutritional Professionals, Karen Langston told Shape.

Try to get in the habit of early morning workouts.

The shorter days of fall mean that you’ll likely have limited options if you want to work out during the daytime. If you truly want to burn as many calories as possible throughout the day, it’s best to work out in the morning. We know — it definitely isn’t easy, but it gets your body into calorie-burning mode and helps it stay there all day long. The exercise is up to you, but try to include some cardio a few times a week. Furthermore, going outdoors whenever possible can help your body absorb some extra vitamin D. But 75% of U.S. adults wear Rx or plano sunglasses, so don’t forget to bring your own shades along if you plan on jogging or exercising in an area that’s particularly prone to direct rays.

Ultimately, there are so many factors to be considered when trying to reach your weight loss goals, and while these habits are certainly beneficial, they’re just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making a permanent lifestyle change. Always consult with a medical professional to get the most specialized advice for your needs.

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