Healthy Options Tailgating

Healthy Options For Tailgating

Stay Healthy With Healthy Tailgating This Season!

Fall is upon us and with it comes the excitement of football season, fall foods and more. For many of us, the upcoming weekends will be filled with sports, barbeques and all day tailgates. These events are fun, but can come with an abundance of tempting snacks, burgers and hot dogs galore and rich desserts…not exactly the recipe for success in the healthy eating and weight loss categories.

To help you out through the football season – we have some tailgating tips so you don’t let all your hard work during the week go out the window.


Barbeque basics don’t have to be loaded up with sauce or be fat heavy; there are a lot of ways to add nutritional value:

  • Lean meat patties – 93% lean or more with options like ground turkey or grass fed beef.
  • Opt for healthy burger toppings like avocado, tomato, and lettuce.
  • Leave the cheese!
  • Try sliders instead of full-size burgers – buy mini buns or whole-wheat rolls and fill them with mini meat patties, small steaks, or barbecued chicken.
  • Grill up some chicken kabobs but include some zucchini squash, peppers, and onions on each skewer.

    You don’t have to be a great cook to whip up healthy party appetizers for tailgates or back-yard get-togethers. Here are some simple tricks to lighten up traditional party foods:

  • Use fat-free Greek yogurt in recipes that call for mayonnaise or sour cream.
  • Use low-fat milk or cheese in recipes that call for full-fat versions.
  • Bake foods like chicken wings or sweet potato fries instead of frying them.
  • Serve salsa with sliced veggies instead of a creamy dip.

The best way to make good food choices during the tailgate season is to be prepared – don’t go into any party or game super hungry. Be sure to eat a snack or meal an hour or two before the get-together to ward off initial cravings. Here are some other strategies to help you make healthy food choices:

  • Keep your hands full with water. You’ll stay hydrated, and you can limit your eating to small nibbles.
  • If you know you’re an out-of-control grazer, instead of eating constantly throughout the party, allow yourself to fill a small plate and then position yourself away from the food to reduce temptation.
  • Avoid dips and spreads that might be hiding high-fat ingredients. Go for foods you can recognize so you can estimate reasonable portion sizes.
  • Fruit and veggies are always a great choice, but other good options include small slices of protein-packed cheese, turkey or ham from a deli tray; a small bowl of chili (skip the cheese and sour cream); a couple of grilled chicken wings (go easy on any sauce) or salsa used as a veggie dip.
  • Limit alcohol to save on calories and prevent lowered inhibitions from leading to less-than-optimal food choices.

Football season doesn’t have to be the off-season for your healthy diet. There are many ways you can put a healthy spin on your tailgate or watch party.

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