Healthy Tailgating Tips

How to Navigate the Tailgate- Sunday Football Tips

Watching Sunday football, or any sport, typically involves socializing and of course, eating! Our eating patterns on these days are usually much different from most days. The table below compares healthy eating and tailgate eating. You’ll likely notice they are exact opposites!

Healthy Eating

Tailgate Eating

Having set meal and snack times

Skipping meals and grazing throughout the day

Including high fiber, low calorie foods

Including low fiber, calorie dense foods

Drinking calorie-free beverages

Drinking soda and alcoholic beverages

Limiting variety at meals

Having tons of variety

Being active

Sitting a lot

How can you balance participating and still meeting your weight loss goals? Below are some helpful tips:

  • Eat before you go. Calorie-dense foods become much more tempting when we are over-hungry. Eating something beforehand will help manage your hunger, allow you to make a healthier choice, and keep portions in check.
  • Offer to bring something. This way you will have a least one high fiber, low calorie option. Try making a healthier version of a Sunday favorite such as buffalo cauliflower. Or try putting together a veggie tray with a greek yogurt dip.
  • Make a plate. Avoid standing around the food and picking. Filling a plate will give you a better idea of how much you’re having and when you’re full. Choose a small plate if there is one available.
  • Limit variety. Fill your plate with 3 foods that you really want to have. Include at least one side of vegetables if available.
  • Look at the menu ahead of time. If you’re going out to eat, try to look at the menu’s nutrition information. Look for meals under 500 calories. If something you want to try exceeds this, box half and add a side salad or steamed vegetables.
  • Eat slowly. Football games take several hours so there’s no rush! Eating slowly allows you to enjoy your food and will help you recognize when you’re full.
  • Include calorie-free beverages. Alternate alcoholic drinks and soda with a calorie-free drink such as water, flavored water, Crystal Light, or G2 Gatorade.
  • Go for a walk during half-time. Getting up and moving around will help take your mind off of the food!