Healthy Tips for Terrific Tailgating
Cool autumn weekends bring blankets, jeans, and football games. At colleges across the country, game day has become a ritual of sophisticated food and festivity. The perfect formula for a fun-filled day involves toting along coolers, barbecue grills, and baskets of food, then serving up a feast from the trunk of your vehicle.
Tailgating has long since progressed from chips and cold sandwiches to sophisticated buffets complete with tablecloths. This all-American fall ritual can seem a little intimidating when you’re watching your weight. But, there’s no reason a tailgate picnic has to sideline your weight loss efforts. With a little planning, you can stick to your healthy eating plan while cheering on the VOLS.
Take a Tailgate Time Out
Before you dive into the buffet, follow these tips to curb or calorie intake:
- Earn a little splurge on Saturday afternoon by saving a few food items from your eating plan during the week.
- Before the festivities begin, have a small snack that contains protein and fiber so you’ll be less tempted to overeat. Don’t go hungry!
- Survey all the offerings before you load your plate, then select plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean dairy and protein.
- Take something to the tailgate that you know you can eat to help you stay on track.
- Eat from a plate instead of continually grazing from the buffet. This will help you keep track of how much you’re eating.
- Remember that alcohol has plenty of calories. One tactic is to alternate between alcoholic drinks with zero-calorie beverages throughout the day. Remember that too much alcohol can lead to increased hunger.
Score Points With Guests
If you’re the party host, do your guests a favor by making sure your buffet includes plenty of healthy offerings such as:
- Fresh fruit, sliced or in salads or kabobs
- Assorted vegetables with low-fat dips and salsas
- Low-fat snacks such as popcorn, pretzels, and baked chips
- Lean meats and seafood and low-fat cheeses
- Whole-grain breads and crackers
- Salads made with light dressings
- Salsas, wraps, salads, or stews made with fiber-filled and high-protein beans
Betsy Johnson runs all over Knoxville, either training for her next event or taking her two sons to their practice or game.