Eating Healthy While Tailgaiting

October 19, 2015


Nutritious AND Tailgate?


            The excitement of fall, cooler weather and football makes it one of my favorite seasons! Whatever team you are a fan of (Go Purdue!), I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but football weekends tend to pack calories while watching the players exercise. Here are some tips to enjoy your fun weekends without completely ruining your health and fitness goals:


1.     Eat Before …. Even though you will be eating a bunch at the tailgate, it’s a good idea to still eat a hearty breakfast before. Eating regularly throughout the day will help avoid overeating due to extreme hunger. Also, eating right when you get up has shown to boost your metabolism for the whole day. The importance of breakfast is another subject though.  


2.     Drink Water …. Staying hydrated in the hot sun or outdoors is important especially when you are enjoying alcoholic beverages that have a naturally dehydrating effect. Water is also calorie free and will help decrease your intake of excess calories throughout the day.


3.     Practice Mindfulness …. Just being aware of what you are eating has been shown to benefit your calorie intake. Just focusing some attention on what you are choosing to eat during the game will make a big difference!


4.     Plan Meals …. You have a right to be hungry! Make sure you plan to have meals if you are going to be out all day. You will most definitely fill up on high calorie dips if there isn’t something of substance to eat. Try making veggie and meat skewers for an easy meal. Also, make a plate of food and sit down like it’s a meal instead of grazing all day.


5.     Bring Snacks …. That’s what tailgating is about! Bring yummy snacks like veggies and dip, Mediterranean dip with hummus and olives or fruit salads. Many people like healthy food and will eat it if it’s offered.


6.     Make Swaps …. Try sneaking healthier swaps that no one will notice. For example, if you are making a dip that calls for regular sour cream, swap it with plain greek yogurt!


7.     Move Around …. You are a sports fan aren’t you? Play games like bags or catch and dance to the music. Just moving more all day will make it a healthier day!


8.     Allow Yourself …. Don’t tell yourself you can’t have any unhealthy food. This will just set you up for failure. We know if we tell ourselves something is ‘bad’ or set too high of expectations, we are likely to fail. Allow yourself to indulge; it is a time to have fun! It’s over indulgence we’re trying to avoid.


9.     Keep track of time …. Tailgating and parties are some of the top places for foodborne illness to occur. You don’t want to be held up in the bathroom on a fun weekend. Meat and dairy products are the first to spoil and typically should be thrown out after being out of a refrigerator for 2 hours.


After all, it’s the weekend and time to enjoy yourself after a hard week! If you got off track on Saturday, get back on track on Sunday instead of “I’ll start Monday.” Happy Fall! 

The Author

Karen Bobos, MSed

Karen M. Bobos, MSed, has been in the fitness industry since 1996 and feels her highest accomplishments are those results achieved by her clients through her guidance. She educates clients that there is no trick to being healthy, no magic pills, but rather optimal health is achieved through eating right and moving your body.

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