Football season can mean different things to different people. For the football fans who simply love the art of football, the goal for the weekend will be finding seats closest to the 50-yd. line. For the fans who love the art of tailgating more than the game itself, the goal for the weekend will be figuring out the best food/booze ratio for the all-day event. This blog is for you, my friends. Let's preface these tips by saying we are in no way trying to kill your tailgating spirit! We believe life is meant to be lived! However, let's treat this amazing Fall tradition as a speed bump in healthy choices and not a complete derailment!
1. Eat Before You Leave The House! Just like you never want to go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, never go to a tailgate hungry. A lot of people have the mindset to not eat or eat very little before the big event because they know they will be consuming ridiculous amounts of calories. This is a no-go! Make yourself a huge healthy lunch so by the time you reach the party you are a gazelle simply grazing the buffet rather than pulling a seat up next to it with a napkin tied around your neck.
2. Be The Cool Kid With H2O! Bring a bottled water to nurse throughout the game! Staying hydrated will not only help with the hangover, but also keep your appetite in check. We know the booze is inevitable but choose water over soda. Moreover, drinking diet soda will only make your cravings for the junk food stronger.
3. Sport The Small Plate Like A Champ! Grab a small plate for the grub and sit far away from the communal chip bowls. It is much easier to monitor how many trips you make to the food table over how many times you stick your hand in the snack bowl.
4. Come Up With A Game Plan! Invited to a friend's tailgate? Find out what they are serving and ask if you can contribute. Bring some little goodies that go well with your current diet plan so you will always have options. This is not to say you can't partake in the gourmet nachos; just try and balance it out with some carrot and hummus action. Going to a bar? Try to find a grilled option on the menu, i.e., grilled chicken fingers or steak bites. Want pizza? Order a pizza loaded with veggies over a plain cheese. The fiber in the veggies will fill you up so you end up eating less.
5. Play Your Own Game! Everybody loves a good drinking game. Tell yourself you will only get another drink when one team scores a point. Give yourself a limit of one plate of food per quarter. (There's 4, right?) Use the timer on the game to see how long you can last in-between chip grabs. Make yourself the promise that for each drink and plate of food you will add 5 minutes to your next workout. Doesn't sound like fun? Grab a friend or make it a party theme! These things are always more fun with a group.