How can you keep an eye on your figure during the autumn, when the first signs of fatigue and seasonal depression appear and the temptation is great to throw yourself on fatty and sugary products? By adapting your diet and focusing on superfoods and good trace elements. 

9 tips for slimming down in autumn


Summer is already far away. At the beginning of the school year, constraints return and the days get shorter... For the morale as well as for the figure, this period is perilous, especially when you are already overweight. And if, paradoxically, it was the right time to finally change our habits in a sustainable way?

In principle, eating is good for you," says Dr. Frédéric Saldmann, nutritionist and cardiologist. But many people accentuate their weight problems by inflicting drastic and sometimes crazy restrictions on themselves. This food abuse not only increases overweight, but also alters health, morale and form."

The key to losing weight serenely at the beginning of the school year: "Balance your diet," emphasizes Dr. Armelle Marcilhacy, nutritionist. This prevents deficiencies conducive to fatigue and stress, which, by disrupting hormonal secretions (cortisol, insulin ...), increase appetite, promote storage and cravings for fatty and sweet snacks."

Avoiding processed products

Prepared meals, dairy desserts, cookies, sauces... these industrial foods with formatted flavors, induced by refined ingredients, large amounts of salt, sugars and low quality fats are not good for our health.

These products are full of food additives and provide "empty calories", i.e. a lot of energy but few protective nutrients. It is better to buy raw and cook (fruits and vegetables, fish, meat, dairy products, cereals...).

Reduce your sugar and salt intake

Banish the salt shaker at the table

Salt makes you bloat and stimulates your appetite! To get used to it, Dr. Frédéric Saldmann advises eating without adding salt and avoiding overly salty foods for several weeks. "At first, you find everything tasteless, but from the third week, the tolerance threshold lowers and it's won!"  

Herbs and spices can replace salt. We bet on cumin, ginger, curry, thyme, rosemary, mint... but also different vinegars or lemon.

We cut the bridges with the sweet

It is also important to cut out the sweet taste for a few weeks by consuming natural drinks and dairy products and by limiting sweet products. As a substitute, you can use vanilla, cinnamon, mint, powdered oilseeds, natural extracts...

For coffee, if it seems bitter, try other brands and make it less strong. For tea, look for sweet or flavored varieties.

The slimming tip: choose a bitter taste

Celery, asparagus, citrus fruits, coffee, cocoa, endive, dandelion, artichoke, black radish ... "The bitterness clearly reduces the desire for sugar and, by delaying the time of swallowing, has an appetite-suppressant effect contrary to sweet and salty tastes that stimulate the appetite," notes Dr. Frédéric Saldmann 

 Selecting sources of proteins, carbohydrates and fats

It's all about making wise choices to increase the nutritional quality of the plate.

  • Proteins. They are made up of amino acids, some of which must be provided daily by the diet. Three in particular are beneficial for mood: tryptophan, precursor of serotonin, phenylalanine and tyrosine, precursors of dopamine and noradrenaline. They are mainly found in animal products: dairy products, fish, meat, eggs.
  • Carbohydrates. The fuel of the brain. However, while some carbohydrates cause a sudden rise and fall in blood sugar levels, leading to cravings and fatigue, others are slowly assimilated and stabilize blood sugar levels, ensuring lasting satiety and energy. We focus on low to moderate glycemic indexes and we avoid products with a sweet taste or that are too refined.
  • Lipids. While saturated fatty acids should be consumed in moderation, unsaturated fats, especially omega-3, are essential. They are found in certain oils (colza, flax...), fatty fish (sardines, salmon...) and oilseeds (nuts...).

Look for fortifying micronutrients

Watch your iron intake

The recommended intake of iron for women over 18 is 16 mg/d and 11 mg/d after menopause.

  • Advantages: Iron stimulates immunity, physical and intellectual performance.
  • Where to find it ? Blood sausage, liver, red meat, legumes (only 5-10% assimilated, as opposed to approximately 50% for animal products)

Take care of your magnesium intake

The recommended intake of magnesium for women over 18 is 300 mg/day.  

  • Benefits: Magnesium stimulates energy production and helps prevent stress, anxiety and fatigue.
  • Where to find it? Cocoa, oilseeds, dried fruits, whole grains, mineral waters (Hepar, Badoit...) 
Watching your calcium intake

For women aged 18 to 24, the recommended daily intake is 1,000 mg/d. For women 25 years and older, it is 950 mg/d.

  • Benefits: Calcium is involved in nerve transmission, bone formation and muscle contraction.
  • Where to find it? Dairy products, oilseeds, certain vegetables

Watch your vitamin C intake

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 110 mg/day for women aged 18 and over. It increases to 120 mg/d for pregnant women and 170 mg/d for nursing mothers.

  • Advantages: Vitamin C contributes to the resistance to infections, to the repair of collagen of tissues and cartilages...
  • Where to find it ? Cabbage, parsley, blackcurrant, citrus fruits, kiwi...

Take care of your vitamin B intake

The recommended daily intake of vitamin B for women over 18 years old varies according to the type of vitamin B: 1.6 mg/d of vitamin B2; 5 mg/d of vitamin B5, 1.6 mg/d of vitamin B6; etc.

  • Benefits: B vitamins are involved in energy production and the proper functioning of the nervous system
  • Where to find them? Meat, fish, poultry, whole grains, eggs... 
Watching your vitamin D intake

The recommended daily intake of vitamin D for women over 18 years of age is 15 µg/d.

  • Benefits: Vitamin D stimulates immunity and calcium metabolism.
  • Where to find it? Fatty fish, cod liver.

Watch your copper intake

The recommended daily intake of copper for women over 18 is 1.5 mg/d.

Benefits: Copper is involved in immunity and the production of red blood cells.

Where to find it? Offal, shellfish, whole grains, legumes

Watch your zinc intake

The recommended daily intake of zinc for women over 18 is between 7.5 and 11 mg/d.

Benefits: immunity

Where to find it? Meat, seafood, wheat germ, nuts, dried vegetables. 

Eat complete meals

The recommended plate: a quarter of lean meat, fish or eggs, a quarter of starchy foods and half vegetables.
With: 1 to 2 tbsp of vegetable oil (rapeseed, walnut, flax (seasoning) and olive (cooking), 1 dairy product and 1 whole fruit.

Make breakfast the main meal

If breakfast is the easiest meal to skip, everyone must do according to their obligations and social context.   What is important is lunch. A British study that compared women who ate the same number of calories at lunch and dinner for 3 months found that those who ate the caloric meals at noon weighed 1.5 kilos less at the end of the experiment.  

Spreading out your food intake

The body, especially the brain, works day and night. To feed it continuously, we take our meals at fixed times. And, if two meals are too far apart, plan a tonic snack: tea or herbal tea + fresh fruit or nuts + plain milk or 1 slice of ham or 1 egg.

Note: limit yourself to one piece of fruit per meal. They too contain sugar, but they are a source of essential nutrients. So keep them whole and in small quantities (3 plums = 1 apple or 1 pear = 15 grapes = 1 orange).

Don't hesitate to take a break in the middle of a meal

Before refilling your plate, moving on to the next course or ordering dessert, specialists advise taking a 5-minute break to give your brain time to process the signals of satiation.

Focus on proteins for breakfast

Breakfast conditions the tone and the following food intake. Trade in sweet or refined products (jam, refined cereals, buns, etc.) for carbohydrates with a moderate glycemic index (wholemeal bread, muesli with no added sugar, etc.) with oilseed puree or butter, and a source of protein (ham, egg, dairy). Possibly a fresh fruit.

Make smart changes and replace certain eating habits

Objective: gain in nutritional density without increasing the energy bill.

We replace :

  • chocolate bars with dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa (magnesium, iron...) ;
  • bread, rice, pasta and white cereals with wholemeal versions (vitamins B and E, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, fiber...);
  • olive oil and sunflower oil by rapeseed, walnut and flaxseed oils (omega-3);
  • breakfast cereals with wholemeal bread or sugar-free muesli (vitamins B and E, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, fiber...).

Use superfoods

Some foods are distinguished by their incredible nutritional richness. They are real allies when you want to watch your weight:

  • Kale: it is full of vitamins (A, C and K) and minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium).
  • Cocoa: stimulating micro-substances: caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, magnesium...
  • Chia seeds: omega-3, antioxidants, protein, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, manganese...
  • Sardines: one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids and calcium.
  • Buckwheat: complete proteins, sustainable energy, magnesium, copper and iron.
  • Banana: dopamine, tryptophan, slow carbohydrates, and a cocktail of minerals (zinc, magnesium...).
Our light fall recipe ideas:

  • Detox kale soup (36 kcal)
  • Warm green asparagus with parsley cream (46 kcal)
  • Kale, mint and sesame soup (96 kcal)
  • Spelt stew with almonds and herbs (116 kcal)
  • Stuffed zucchini with vegetables (137 kcal)
  • Steamed cod in green sauce (138 kcal)
  • Sautéed broccoli with shrimp (153 kcal)

Thinking about green tea

"Accompanying your meal with tea, as the Japanese do, helps to change your lifestyle, says Dr. Saldmann. Sipped from the beginning to the end of the meal, it helps to control the appetite, encourages to eat less quickly and replaces the dessert." In addition, it accelerates the metabolism of fats.