More than the beefy football players, the ball whizzing through the air, and the face-painted screaming fans, tailgating can be the best part of football season. You get to pre-game with your slap-happy friends, gorging on brats, wings, and dogs, and washing it all down with pitchers of full-bodied beer. Translation: Calories, Fat, Carbs… oh and lots of fun! Fun aside, football season can be torture for any diet-dedicated fan. In fact, it can even result in a 10 pound weight gain. Yes.
Thankfully, you can still have just as much fun without packing on the pounds (transforming from a tight end into a wide receiver by season’s end). And you don’t have to rain on the game to do it.
Chances are: everyone who shows up to tailgate is looking to have a good time. They are in high spirits and up for anything…. Like playing calorie-singing games!
Play Ball! Bring a football and toss it around while you’re eating. After you eat and before the game begins, play your own game of
Cheer on the Team! Do the Gator Chomp like they do in Florida, go crazy like Virginia Tech to the Metallica tune “Enter Sandman,” or jump up and down and make as much stomping noise as possible like they do during South Carolina’s “2001 A Space Odyssey” entrance. Or create your own.
Check Out the Competition: Walk around the park to see what everyone else is doing. Better yet, jump around building up the excitement amongst the other tailgaters (fact is they are probably too intoxicating to remember those crazy painted faced fans the next day anyway… so have fun with it!). It’s a great way to get away from the food and burn some extra calories.
Couch Potato Quickie:
Multitask your Super Bowl watching hours with a Couch Potato Quickie Workout. The “couch potato” concept of “lazy” isn’t necessarily true. In fact, the great news is that TV watching is actually a great opportunity to burn some calories and tone up during those 30-60 minutes. Here’s your couch potato quickie. Have fun!
EAT! Feel like you’re indulging without packing on the pounds:
1. DO: Animal Style, Protein Turkey Burger (ala “In n’ Out”) no cheese (recipe)
Lean Turkey, grilled onions, ketchup, wrapped in lettuce (not bun). Be aware though that many brands of Turkey burgers are LOADED with as much fat as burgers. Try Jennie-O 95/5 quarter pounder turkey burgers.
Bite with Benefits: Onions are detoxifiers and boosted with the flavonoid quercetin- an antioxidant believed to help block cancer cells.
DON’T: Burger w/cheese
2. DO: Animal Style Turkey Dog
White Meat FF Turkey Dog topped with grilled onions, sauerkraut, ketchup, wrapped in lettuce (not bun)
Bite with Benefits: Sauerkraut, made with cabbage, is a known cancer fighter, filled with vitamin C, fiber, manganese, vitamin B6 and folate. The fermentation process creates good bacteria called probiotics, which produce beneficial enzymes that aid digestion and promote healthy flora in the digestive tract.
DON’T: Bratwurst slathered with mayo
WHY: Fat, Fat, Fat, plus Carbs from the bun.
3. DO: Spiked Potato Salad
Use FF Greek yogurt instead of mayo to minimize fat and calories and spike it with Horseradish
Bite with Benefits: Horseradish heats up the body, upping your metabolism. Plus it contains significant amounts of glucosinolates- shown to help the liver detox carcinogens and tumors, while helping to aid digestion and fight against pathogens in food (like E. coli).
DON’T: Potato Salad
WHY: The mayo makes this “salad” super fatty.
4. DO: No Bones About It Boneless Chicken Strips (recipe)
Grilled or baked chicken tenderloin or breast strips with Sriracha chili sauce
Bite with Benefits: Sriracha is a natural metabolism booster, heating up your body and burning more calories. Find it at most grocery stores
DON’T: Buffalo Wings
5. DO: Cobb Salad
Instead of full fat blue cheese, cut the fat in half with ½ blue cheese ½ Greek Yogurt
Bite with Benefits: Greek Yogurt is a natural belly fat burner plus it’s filled with colon cleansing active cultures.
DON’T: Cobb Salad w/Blue Cheese
…and for dessert:
DO: Guinness Float (recipe)
3 scoops low fat vanilla frozen yogurt topped with Guinness (only 135 calories per can). Yes there are calories, but you will fill up and feel like you are splurging!
Bite with Benefits: Frozen yogurt has active cultures that help cleanse the colon
DON’T: Baked Goods
Why: Fat, carbs, sugar… lots of it in each little bite.