Healthy foods to fuel your Autumn running

by | Nov 1, 2023 | Nutrition

Simple tips for cold-weather nutrition that won’t undo your Summer progress

Anyone else’s appetite go into overdrive at this time of year? Maybe it’s the darker evenings or change in temperature, but salads definitely aren’t cutting it.

Autumn eating is often linked to heavy, stodgy food. But this can have an impact on your calorie intake, causing weight gain or an annoying plateau. With a bit of thought and planning, it’s completely possible to eat hearty, filling food without ruining your diet goals.

Healthy eating tips for cold weather

Remember that the key to losing or gaining weight is calorie balance. If you are in a calorie deficit (eating less than you burn, or burning more than you eat) you will lose weight. If the reverse is true, you’ll gain weight or maintain. But of course this isn’t the whole picture. We are humans, not calculators!

It’s a great idea to know roughly how many calories you need to eat for your goals. But you also need to consider your hunger, appetite, food preferences, and relationship with food as the seasons change.

1 Keep an eye on calorie intake and portion sizes for your goals
2 Focus on foods you enjoy preparing and eating – this is key to success
3 Include enough protein from meat, fish, tofu, pulses, beans, legumes, eggs
4 Use herbs, spices, and flavoursome vegetables to keep food tasty
5 Consider moving to more warming foods like stews, soups, casseroles, tray bakes, risotto, stir-fries

How much do you need to eat for Autumn running

As the seasons change, it’s a great idea to revisit your energy needs. Most people are more active in Summer, spending more time outdoors, gardening, cleaning the car, and walking. If you’ve recently lost weight, your baseline calories will have reduced (sorry!) Use an online calculator like https://tdeecalculator.net/ to assess your energy needs. From there, you can work out roughly how much you need to eat at this time of year.

Healthy foods that are filling

Nature is a clever thing, it’s almost like it knows what the body needs at Summer turns to Autumn. Try to include more seasonal foods in your weekly food rotation to benefit from the vitamins, fibre, and micronutrients in Autumn foods.

Use a variety of root vegetables, squash and gourds, leafy greens, Autumn fruits, herbs, spices, lentils, beans, and pulses to pack out your meals with goodness.

2 healthy recipes for Autumn running

Banana and cinnamon porridge

50-75g oats
Water or milk of your choice
100g real Greek yoghurt or Skyr
1 medium banana
Pumpkin seeds

Cook the porridge with the milk or water, ½ tsp cinnamon, and half the banana (diced) until your preferred consistency
Serve up with the rest of the banana sliced on top, extra cinnamon, 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, and Greek yoghurt or Skyr on one side of the top of the porridge

Butternut squash soup with chicken

1 butternut squash
1 small white or brown onion
2 garlic cloves
2 chicken breasts or 6 thighs
Chicken stock
Sage and rosemary

Chop the squash in half, remove the seeds.
Put one half in the oven to roast (add a little oil or spray oil)
At the same time, put your chicken in the oven to roast
Chop the other half of the squash into cubes and fry them off in a heavy lidded pan with olive oil, adding the onion and garlic as it cooks
Add the herbs towards the end of the cooking
Remove the squash from the oven and add it to the pan
Add the chicken stock and blend until you have your preferred soup consistency
Tear or cube the chicken and add to the soup
Serve with black pepper and a swirl of cream if you fancy it


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