Tailgating the Healthy Way

It’s football season again which means it’s tailgating season.  Tailgates can be a ton of fun, but also wreak havoc on your health goals.  And you don’t want to miss out on the fun of tailgating just because you are trying to be healthy!  But you can have fun and be healthy too.  Follow these tips for healthy eating at any tailgate, and you’ll have fun, be satisfied and survive football season in style!

  • Eat healthfully before going to the tailgate.  Many of us tend to eat very little before splurging on food, and this can lead to extreme hunger and overeating.  Instead, make smart choices with lots of protein and fiber, such as lean meats, nuts, vegetables and whole grains before the tailgate to keep you from being overly hungry and overeating at the party.
  • Take a walk through before you grab a plate.  Most tailgates are buffet style.  So before you make any decisions on what you are going to splurge on, make sure you know all your options.  By doing a walk through you may spot the brownie at the end of the table you would rather have than the fried chicken fingers at the front.  Choose your splurge item carefully and fill up the rest of your plate on healthier choices.
  • Fill up on healthier options.
    • Chicken (wings or breasts) without the skin.  Eat the meat which is full of protein and skip the high calorie skin.
    • Pulled Pork (found often in the South)
    • Chili without the add ons (cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, etc.)
    • Popcorn
    • And of course, if your party offers fruit and vegetables, load up on those!
    • Sandwich with lean meat and veggies (if available).  Skip the mayo and cheese.
  • Drink plenty of water. Not only will you stay hydrated if it’s a hot Fall day, but water helps you stay full and is zero calories!
  • Socialize a lot.  Once you eat, stay away from the buffet.  An easy way to do that is to socialize.  Talk with friends and play games.  This is the fun part of the event anyways, so focus on fun instead of food.

So this Fall, have fun and don’t fret!  You can enjoy your normal activities and achieve your health goal.

What do you do to stay healthy during tailgates or other parties?


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