Check out these 5 healthy tailgating tips and tricks for this upcoming football season! This time of year is full of delicious food and drinks so dealing with the temptation can be tricky. But these 5 tips will help you enjoy yourself and have a wonderful tailgating season!
Tip 1: Bring Your Own Side
It's hard to control and even know ahead of time what people might be bringing to a tailgate. In true potluck fashion, these events tend to be full of delicious, yet heavy, foods.
My biggest recommendation is to bring a dish that you feel good about eating. I always start with fruit and/or veggie, with my go-to being a veggie platter with a Greek yogurt Ranch dip or some sort of fruit salsa.
Another favorite of mine is a healthier charcuterie board, full of fresh fruits and veggies, low-fat cheeses, and lean meats. I have a whole post on how to build a healthy charcuterie board!
Tip 2: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
The weather can be very hot, especially at the beginning of football season. Plus, being outside all day can take a toll! You want to make sure you're staying hydrated by consuming enough fluids throughout the day. Sipping on things like water, fruit-infused water (this would be a fun drink to bring! Simply cut up whatever fruit you like and let it sit in water overnight) with either flat or sparkling water, unsweetened sparkling water, or unsweetened iced tea!
Tip 3: If you do drink, opt for lower calorie drinks
This is a big one. Alcohol itself contains calories (mostly in the form of carbohydrates but is metabolized more like fat) so it's hard to not consume ANY calories here. But going for light beer instead of heavier IPAs and using no-calorie mixers can go a long way!
My go-to beverage of choice is either vodka or tequila with soda water and lime. You're still getting your drink, a "bite" from the sparkling water (and you can use flavored!), and extra flavor from the citrus.
Tip 4: Prioritize protein + veggies
Like I said above, tailgate food can be difficult to navigate. I recommend making a lap and checking out everything that's available or going to be available. Go for the lean proteins first, like a lean beef or turkey burger, grilled chicken, Greek yogurt, scrambled eggs (for a morning tailgate) and veggies (enter the veggie platter your brought!).
I want to note here that it's okay to enjoy the "unhealthier" foods! Allow yourself to savor whatever foods you look forward to having on these occasions. It's all about portion size here, hence why I recommend filling up on protein and veggies first, then allowing yourself to "splurge" and have whatever food your heart desires. It's all about balance!
Tip 5: Enjoy time with friends and family
This is the whole point of the get-together! A big pointer here is to physically distance yourself from the food area. Find somewhere where you can sit or stand, hang out with people, play games, etc. that isn't hovering over the food.
By standing close to the food and constantly picking all day, we sometimes end up eating more than we normally would if we had stepped away and focused on enjoying the company of our friends and family.
My favorite tailgating recipes:
- Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip
- Strawberry Fruit Salsa
- Healthy Charcuterie Board
- Light Whipped Feta Dip
- Kale Caesar Salad
- Savory Rosemary Pumpkin Hummus
- Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Dip
- Healthy Buckeyes (Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites)
- Crispy Buffalo Tofu Bites
- Healthy Cookie Dough Dip
- The Best Hummus Recipe
- Baked Tortilla Chips
- Simple Guacamole Recipe
I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, or questions on these healthy tailgating tips and tricks! Feel free to comment below or DM me on Instagram @theperfectpearr 🙂