5 top tips to kickstart your autumn diet

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Characterised by the soft smell of nutmeg, the sound of leaves crunching beneath feet and the soothing taste of comfort food, autumn is the favourite season of many for a reason. 

It is a period which marks the start of our wintery indulgences in chocolate, pies and other hot, fatty foods.

And whilst everyone deserves their share of such delights, it’s important that we maintain the healthy, balanced diet that most of us devour during summer. 

So, as you relax with a rich cup of coffee or creamy hot chocolate, why not make a note of these five tips to help you kickstart and maintain your autumn diet. 


1. Drink water 

Glass of water

Water makes up an approximate 76 percent of human muscle mass, an average 60 percent of the body and 80 percent of the brain. In other words, it’s vital. 

Yet despite it being an indivisible part of our existence, water is often something we do not get enough of during the day. 

Whether it’s your unquenchable thirst for espressos, forgetfulness at work or domestic distractions, we often neglect our body’s need for lots of water – a whole 6 to 8 glasses of it per day is what we should actually be drinking, according to the Eatwell Guide

Among its many other roles, water regulates blood pressure and body temperature, cushions joints, aids digestion, supplies your cells with nutrients and oxygen and protects organs and tissues, an essential measure for exercise and weight loss.

During exercise, studies have shown that water helps to prevent the damage, breakdown and wastage of muscle protein which occurs when our muscle cells become dehydrated. 

So if you’re the human embodiment of a camel who can go hours without a drop, get yourself a large, reusable water bottle to keep yourself topped up! 



2. Plan ahead with frozen meals

Makhani The word ‘diet’ does not exclusively refer to the restriction or limitation of food and also refers to the group or types of food which an individual consumes. 

This is important to remember when you’re trying to stay in shape or lose a bit of weight. 

Chances are, reducing your food intake will only make you hungrier and more likely to fill up on unhealthier foods later on. 

An easy and often more cost-effective way to help control your weight is to incorporate frozen meals into your autumn diet. 

In the darker, cooler months of the year, cooking evening meals after work seems like a disagreeable mountain which you just don’t have the mental capacity to climb. 

Frozen meals offer a solution to avoid this unnecessary hike by telling you the exact calories and nutrients which each dish contains. 

At Hey Fresto!, we’ve made it even easier for you to monitor what you’re consuming by providing a selection of meals which are under 500 calories

For the ultimate autumnal comfort food, try Hey Fresto!’s spicy and warming Indian curries, like our tender butter chicken, or sample some British staples such as our rich beef stew with red wine and our indulgent cauliflower bake.


3. Improve sleep, reduce stress 


Sleep and stress, two simple words which have an enormous impact on your ability to maintain a healthy body and will need your attention in order to facilitate your autumn diet. 

It’s no hidden secret that there is a close connection between sleep and stress levels – people have been studying the link for years. 

Geiker et al. found that stress can negatively affect sleep patterns, food intake, weight gain and abdominal obesity as well as finding evidence to suggest that the severity of stress and other mental disorders could be reduced by improved sleeping patterns.  

According to the Sleep Foundation, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. 

Get any less and you’ll be at risk of sleep deprivation which can come with the pleasant side effects of mental health disorders, diabetes, obesity, pain, hormone imbalances, cardiovascular disease and immunodeficiency. 

Research has also shown that a continued lack of sleep can increase a molecule called endocannabinoids (eCB) which has been linked to our cravings for highly-palatable foods; the less sleep we get, the more our desire for fatty and sugary foods increases. 

So, however you reduce stress and achieve an undisturbed kip – be that exercise, a shower, listening to music or chilling with your family – make it your priority to support your autumn diet. 


4. Choose an exercise you love 


Exercise is a word that instils excitement in some and utter dread in others. 

It can be low-impact, high-intensity, cardiovascular, strength-based, aerobic, flexibility-promoting or coordination-building. 

But whatever type of exercise it is that you decide to pursue to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it needs to be something that you enjoy doing. 

One study demonstrated the importance of this with evidence showing that the strongest predictor for a person’s regular attendance of exercise was high levels of enjoyment, followed by self-efficacy and social support from family and friends. 

When you are participating in a sport or exercise you like or even love, the time appears to pass quicker and you are much less likely to experience the cycle of dread, avoidance and guilt which often plagues people who are beginning a new activity. 

If you despise high-commitment workouts, try something like swimming, walking or cycling where you can choose the level of intensity; if you struggle with motivation, participate in something with a friend or family member or join a team sport to help you keep you engaged. 


5. Eat more vegetarian and vegan foods 

Hey Fresto! vegetable paella

The final top tip on this list is to eat more vegetarian and vegan foods, a change which may be tricky for those looking forward to the return of autumn’s meaty stews and hearty roast dinners. 

But it’s a transition which brings rewards – of 1500 people with varying diets who were assessed in a Belgium study, it was the participants who had fully plant-based diets that were deemed the healthiest, with meat-eaters the most likely to be obese or overweight. 

Often richer in healthier fats than meaty food, plant-based meals can support individuals to practice better eating patterns and lead a healthier lifestyle. 

And just because a meal is vegan or vegetarian does not mean that you cannot enjoy some autumnal comfort. 

If you don’t believe us, give our moreish Keralan red pepper curry, black bean and butternut squash chilli or vegetable paella a taste. 

You won’t be left cold and hungry! 


Want to keep up your autumn diet? 

Check out Hey Fresto!’s bundles for simple, satiating meals that will keep you on track with your healthy eating goals. 

If you are looking for tasty vegetarian meals delivered this autumn, you have come to the right place! Hey Fresto! offers a wide range of nutritious and warming vegan and vegetarian meals – perfect for the Autumn and winter seasons.