It's tailgating season, and that means gathering with friends and family and enjoying spreads of food. Tailgate season might just be the gateway to gaining weight in the wintertime, thanks to all of the calorie dense foods available. But take heart, you don't have to give up on your nutrition and fitness goals, and you don't have to avoid tailgates or football watching parties either!
Just go in with a plan. Here are 10 tips for managing tailgate season:
- Don’t show up hungry! If you start in the morning, eat a protein rich breakfast before you leave. If you start in the afternoon, eat a good lunch/snack.
- Make a mental plan for what you’ll eat if there are not so healthy food options and if there are some solid healthy options.
- Plan your drinks wisely. Beer calories can be a big surprise for people without a plan. Balance out those alcohol calories with water. If you're a teetotaler, calories in soft drinks can sneak up on you too.
- Put food on your plate and do not eat out of the bag or container. This will reduce sneaky snacking that we sometimes lack accountability for.
- Once you serve your plate, walk away from the food area.
- Use smaller plates and cups to assist with portion control.
- Fill your plate with color! Fruits and veggies can help fill you up with fewer calories than traditional snack foods.
- Try a new healthier take on an old favorite recipe. Try substituting Greek yogurt for mayo or sour cream. Try veggie based dips like corn salsa or black eyed pea salsa instead of creamy or cheesy dips.
- Set goals for yourself. For example, you might choose to drink 2 bottles of water for every alcoholic drink or soft drink. Or you may choose to eat a plate of veggies first and then move on to more calorie dense foods.
- Get moving! Talk a walk, throw the football, play cornhole, or walk your dog. Just get moving!
Here are two recipes that are healthy and tailgate friendly!