Trim Down Your Tailgate

Autumn marks the return of football season—and with it comes a seemingly endless parade of tasty temptations threatening to throw your healthy eating off track. Is it possible to cheer on your favorite team, without losing sight of your own personal victories? Absolutely! Just follow these simple tips to trim down your tailgate party.

Cheers for better beverages

Calorie-free beverages are your best bet for healthier tailgating. Using calorie-free mixers such as water or club soda will make delicious drinks that everyone will celebrate. This Spirited Spritzer recipe is sure to be a new crowd favorite: Combine 4 cut limes, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 liter club soda, 1 cup berry-flavored vodka and 2 cups of your favorite berries in a pitcher. Enjoy over ice.

Look for lighter alternatives

Looking for lower-calorie alternatives to traditional tailgating favorites is a great way to cut a few calories. Think beyond burgers and brats for alternatives that will help add variety and excitement to your next tailgating celebration.

Consider chicken brats, ground turkey or vegetarian burgers for something new and nutritional.

Use low-calorie condiments like ketchup and mustard for flavor.

Make it a wholesome meal with whole grain buns. Higher fiber content will help you feel full longer.

Explore the healthier side

Get creative and think outside the box with nutritious and delicious tailgating sides. Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables in a variety of team colors for food fun. Consider simple substitutions in your favorite recipes for big nutritional benefits that everyone will be a fan of.

Try substituting low-fat mayonnaise or sour cream in traditional recipes.

Non-fat Greek yogurt will add protein-packed goodness to potato or macaroni salad when used in place of mayonnaise.

Fruits and vegetables are high-fiber fillers that will add flavor without fat to your favorite sides. Add more fruits and vegetables whenever possible.

Step away from the buffet

Hovering and socializing near the party platter keeps temptation right in your line of sight. Grab a small plate of the items you were excited to eat and then walk away from the spread. This will help keep you from eating out of convenience and temptation and keep your favorite football season jeans fitting perfectly!

Make a game plan

If you know what’s going to be at the tailgate party, plan ahead and decide what foods you want to splurge on and what foods you can stand to avoid. Not sure of the menu? As soon as you arrive, take a stroll around the food table. Scope out the selection and make a plan. Fill up on healthy snacks like veggies or proteins, and then take small portions of your splurge items.

And there you have it; a fit football season with these simple tips! Now that you have a game plan for tailgate season, enjoy yourself! Remember that the point of your get together is to celebrate your favorite team with your friends. So, go easy on yourself and remember that your diet is all about balance. If you balance out your splurge meals with a good workout and healthy meal options before and after the tailgate parties, you will be able to enjoy the game without spoiling your fitness goals!

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