The best time of year has begun (football season!), which means tailgating becomes the Saturday ritual. By mid-week, you are already looking forward to tailgating and meeting up with old friends. But how do we stay on track with our health and fitness goals with all this pizza eating and beer drinking? Well, it's actually easier than you'd think. For one, you won't completely throw out your progress by indulging in these festivities one day per week, but let's take a look at how we can make healthier choices.
1. Get your workout in before tailgating begins. Depending on the kick-off time, it might make for an early morning, but it will leave you feeling better about yourself and keep you energized throughout the day. Even a short workout will suffice. Wake up 30 minutes early to get a quick run in or hit a 20-minute circuit. Some movement is better than no movement!
2. Eat lean meats. Although chicken or ground turkey isn't necessarily a "game day treat", they are great options if you bring your own meat to grill. If those don't trip your trigger, go for lean ground beef or a lean cut of steak.
3. Stick to lighter beer. Drinking light beer in moderation will not only leave you with a lower calorie intake, but also make a little bit more room for all the other delicious tailgating foods! Don't forget to replenish with water after every glass or tall boy. 8oz beer, 8oz water, 8oz beer, 8oz water... You get the picture. Water will keep you feeling fuller and hydrated, as well.
4. Bring a healthy side dish to the party. Side dishes are the hardest to stay away from at the tailgate. So many snacks to munch on throughout the game, it's hard to stop! Instead of your standard chips and dip or pigs-in-a-blanket, bring a veggie tray or buffalo cauliflower bites (yum!).
5. Take it easy on the sauce. Sauces and dressings have hidden calories, carbs, and fats that you need to be careful of. Put the sauce on the side of your food, so you don't overdo it. Another option would be to substitute with guacamole or salsa to get wholesome foods into your meal or snack.