Football season is upon us once again, and that means tailgating, concession stands, and football game get-togethers. Most often these activities come with high calorie, high fat foods and beverages that can sabotage healthy diets. Here are some tips on how to navigate the football season.
(Obviously for health and calorie reasons, it is best to eat before you go to a game, but realistically speaking, here are some tips if you are going to eat at the game or party!)
• If eating at a game:
Healthier options: small popcorn, pretzel with cheese.
High Calorie foods to limit: brats, sausages, fries, large nachos, nuts and high calorie alcoholic drinks
• If tailgating: You have some control over the food choices so try and pack some leaner meats such as chicken breasts, turkey or lean burgers, chili, and chicken sausages with low calorie/whole wheat buns. You can add some lower calorie side items such as baked chips or Sun chips. Healthier side items could also include fruit or side salads. Experiment with healthier dips like this avocado bean dip! Pair with pita or whole grain chips or crackers.
• If going out to a bar or restaurant: Look out for high fat fried appetizers. The lowest calorie apps tend to be grilled shrimp or brushetta. For your main meal try and order a grilled chicken wrap or turkey club sandwich (minus the mayo!) and limit your fry intake. If pizza is being served, try and order veggie or cheese and blot the top of the pizza with a napkin to save some of the fat calories.
And finally, try and limit your alcohol/soda pop intake as these beverages are high in calories and can really add up. The best advice is to drink a cup or bottle of water in between alcoholic drinks to stay hydrated.
Kelly Devine Rickert MS RDN LDN