When the weather finally starts to cool down, there’s a certain kind of food we want to eat. Soups, stews, heaping mounds of pasta, anything made in a slow-cooker, lots and lots of pumpkins—we want autumn grub, and we want all of it. Unlike the salads and smoothies of summer (which keep us cool when the sun just won’t quit), we crave these dishes because they satisfy our hunger while warming us up.
The only downside with these fall foods is that they can often be pretty darn decadent. And if you’re interested in losing or maintaining your weight, tossing back bowls of mac and cheese and chili on the reg might get in the way of your goals.
If losing weight is something you’re interested in doing, there are a couple of important things you’ll want to keep in mind before you modify your eating habits. For one, healthy eating looks different for everyone—calorie cutting may work for some, but it can be harmful for others. Whatever your situation, be sure to consider all your options. And when you’ve landed on a weight loss plan, check in with your doctor to determine if it’s the right one for you.
Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, and just want to eat healthier in general, these 11 lower-calorie versions of all your favorite decadent fall foods can help you do just that. They’ll satisfy your cool-weather cravings in a way that doesn’t overdo it.