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5 Healthy Eats for a Tailgating Parties

Posted on 09/30/2017 by AHMC Anaheim Regional Medical Center

Just because you want to enjoy football season with some fun tailgating parties does not mean you want to reach the end of it with 20 added pounds to your weight and a whole lot of regret. The fact is, there are healthy (and tasty) ways to go about tailgating, despite being surrounded by a never-ending outpouring of nachos, burgers, and beer.

Plan Ahead

Planning in advance, regardless if you are attending a tailgate party or hanging out at a bar, is always the most important element of staying healthy. Going into a tailgating party with a huge appetite will only derail your determination to opt for healthier choices. To soothe your hunger, eat a healthy snack or meal about an hour or two prior to the get-together. This will ensure you do not overdo it while at the party. Additional strategies you can follow to stay on track:

Make sure you have water in hand. Staying hydrated is not only healthy, but will also limit your eating.
Some have a habit of constantly grazing, which can definitely add up. Instead of grazing for hours, allow yourself a small plate and position yourself somewhere away from the food to reduce temptation.
Try to avoid dips and spreads that have high-fat ingredients.
Fruits and vegetables are great choices, but you can also snack on slices of cheese, turkey, or ham from a deli tray. A small bowl of chili or grilled chicken wings are also good, protein-packed options.
Limit your alcohol consumption. This will not only save on calories, but will stop you from having lowered inhibitions, which often lead to less optimal food choices. You do not have to eliminate it entirely or stick to light beers. Guinness Draught, for example, has 125 calories per serving.

Bring Your Own Snacks

You do not have to be a chef to provide some healthy party snacks or appetizers. Here are 5 healthy snack ideas you can provide to lighten up a traditionally heavy party:

1. Veggie snacks are healthy, but are often served with a creamy dip packed with calories. Skip the creamy dip and keep the veggies. Serve them with a delicious salsa for a fun and healthier twist on this classic snack.
2. Fruit makes for a refreshing snack, but instead of serving it in a bowl or as is, cut it into bite-size chunks and thread them through bamboo skewers. When it's easy to eat, this sweet treat is even more appealing.
3. Being healthy does not mean you have to eliminate the foods you love. If you enjoy fries and chicken wings, you can still have them! However, instead of frying them, eliminate the oil and bake them instead. Chicken is lean and an excellent source of protein, so you should not have to avoid it.
4. Does your recipe call for milk or cheese? Instead of using full-fat versions, replace them with low-fat options to reduce the calories.
5. If you still have your heart set on a creamy dip, make it yourself to control the ingredients. Many recipes call for mayonnaise or sour cream, both of which can be avoided by using fat-free Greek yogurt instead.

As you can see, there are many great ways to stay healthy throughout tailgating season while eating some delicious foods you will not have to regret once the season ends.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.
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