Be Mindful: Eating Increases in the Fall

It is that time of year when it starts to get dark earlier, the days get cooler, football and school is in full swing—in other words, it is the beginning of Fall. And something else happens as well: we start eating more.

People show a marked seasonal rhythm, with increased total caloric consumption, especially from carbohydrates, which is associated with an increase in meal size and a greater rate of eating. Why do we eat more in the Fall? More than likely, it is biological—putting on weight in preparation for the potential winter famine our ancestors faced.

Perhaps we eat more simply because bathing suit season is over, and we can start hiding excess calories beneath our winter clothes. Whatever the reason, it is important to realize that fall foods (soups, stews, breads, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, apples, pumpkins, and all types of greens) can actually be healthier than foods of other seasons. They are packed with great nutrients, such as fiber, protein, beta carotene and vitamin C.

Here are a few tips to keep the Fall tasty and healthy.

Soups are great if they are not made with cream or cheese. Just watch serving sizes because we tend to eat whatever is in our bowl. Stews can be hearty and also fattening. Use lots of fresh vegetables and go light on the meat and potatoes. TV and Food: Avoid unconscious eating while watching football and new Fall TV shows. Never bring the whole bag or bowl of anything to the couch or coffee table; pre-measure it in the kitchen beforehand. When it comesto chips, make sure they are baked, not fried.

Harvest: Celebrate the Fall harvest in other ways, not just by making pies. Apples are low in calories when they are off the tree, not in a pie. Pumpkin: If you must have pie, try making pumpkin pie without the crust or make pumpkin bread with bananas or applesauce instead of oil. Turkey: Turkey is healthy, as long as you keep it lean and white. Time Change: Keep in mind that once we set the clocks back, it gets darker earlier, so there are fewer outdoor options for physical activities in the evening. Make adjustments by joining a gym, planning evening walks in well-lit areas or becoming an early riser.

Here is a delicious and healthy Taco Soup recipe to try:


· 1 tablespoon minced garlic

· 1 small, diced onion

· 1 pound of lean ground turkey or beef (93/7)

· 1 packet taco seasoning

· 1 cup salsa

· 1/2 cup diced green chilies

· 4 cups tomatoes, diced

· 1 cup of spicy or regular tomato juice

· 2 cups chicken broth

· 2 cups kidney beans (15.5 oz can)

· 2 cups black beans (15.5 oz can)

· 4 cups corn, canned or frozen

· 1/2 cup fresh cilantro


1. Spray pot with nonstick spray, add onions and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes or until garlic is fragrant and onions are translucent. Stir occasionally.

2. Add ground turkey or beef and cook until no longer pink.

3. Add chicken stock to meat.

4. Then add black and kidney beans and corn (drain all). Add tomato juice then taco seasoning, salsa, tomatoes, and green chilies.

5. Mix everything together and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes, then turn to a simmer for 10 additional minutes.

6. Soup is ready to serve. Sprinkle with cilantro and you can even top with a low-fat sour cream and reduced fat cheese and enjoy!


Posted: October 19, 2022

Category: Health & Nutrition, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Fall, Recipe

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