In the world of sports, numbers are pretty important. In the world of health and fitness, numbers can be important too. And the typical tailgating or game day meal can come in at over 1,200 calories. So here are some tips for enjoying your meal at the game, without overdoing it.
1. Make sure not to go too hungry. It is easier to stay level headed about food choices if you aren’t ravenous. Aim for a balanced pre game snack of volume to fill your tummy, which will save minimal room for high calorie snacks. A good example? Maybe an apple with peanut butter, cottage cheese with fruit, or hummus with veggies.
2. Put foods on a plate. It is easier to track portions when you aren’t eating out of packages or standing in front of a table of food.
3. Survey the scene before diving right it. Take note of what is offered, the healthy choices and also the “worth it” splurge foods. Make a plan!
4. Balance your meal. Aim for 1/2 of your plate to be fruits and vegetables, 1/4 whole grain and 1/4 lean protein.
5. Rethink traditional party foods. If you are grilling, use extra lean ground beef, lean ground turkey or even veggie burgers. Also, use whole grain buns and low fat condiments. Maybe try grilling some veggies, potatoes or corn on the cob as well.
6. Take initiative. Instead of relying on others to supply healthy foods, volunteer to bring veggies and dip or chopped fruit. These will give you volume, without relying on high calorie side dishes like creamy salads and chips.
7. Watch your condiments. If high calorie dips look good, take a small portion and use veggies to dip rather than high calorie chips. Even better, try salsa!
8. Watch what you drink. Sodas and alcohol and can add up fast. Try one drink if you must, and then switch to water. It’s hot! You need to stay well hydrated anyway!
9. Get festive with weather appropriate foods. And if it is cool weather, try a chili using lean meats, beans and veggies paired with corn bread or low fat crackers.
10. Enjoy yourself! Just watch your portions and don’t get overly full.