Tailgating Tips for Your Health
By Sara Butler
Football season is here, which means it’s time for some serious tailgating. Meeting up with friends and family before the big game is a fall tradition for a lot of people, but it’s not exactly known as the healthiest thing you can do. Here are some tips to help you create a healthier tailgating experience for yourself and everyone you share it with!
You Must Plan Ahead
Just as with any other party, planning ahead for decent food selection is a must. You can prepare yourself by making sure not to show up ravenous so you don’t have to combat temptation. Have a healthy meal or snack full of protein and healthy carbohydrates about one to two hours before it’s time to tailgate.
You should also:
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid spreads and dips; they’re often high in calories
- Load up on fruits, vegetables, and lean meats
- Limit alcohol since it’s full of calories
Take Your Own Snacks
The best way to make sure there’s a healthy option is to bring it yourself! You can even make traditional tailgating fare lighter by:
- Using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise
- Substitute low-fat milk or cheese in recipes
- Bake the chicken wings or fries instead of frying them
- Bring cut-up fruit
- Serve salsa instead of cream-based dip
Be Your Own Referee
When it comes to tailgating, you have to set limits for yourself. No, you don’t have to blow a whistle and give yourself a 10-yard penalty for eating that chicken wing, but you should set limits and try to follow them. You should:
- Have a small plate of the things you really want to satisfy craving – but just one small plate
- Eat vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins before moving on to other things
- Have at least once glass of water for each alcoholic beverage you consume
- Be mindful since being in a group can cause you to lose focus and deviate from your own rules
One of the greatest things about tailgating is that it’s outside, which creates the perfect opportunity for you to move around and work in some exercise. You can play a rousing round of cornhole, play fetch with your dog, and toss the football around with friends and family. Remember, tailgating isn’t just about the food and beverages, it's about enjoying the people you’re with and watching a game you enjoy!
Have fun and stay healthy this football season!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Memphis, Tenn.