Fall is in full swing and so is the football season. This can only mean one thing – tailgating! Or for those of you who missed out on game tickets this year, “couch gating.”
The average sports fan will participate in five tailgates this season, says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which means many opportunities to sabotage weight loss goals. But if you plan accordingly, tailgating season won’t throw you off like a surprise flea flicker throws off the defense.
Let’s look at the main dishes
Make sure meat choices are lean (93% lean or more is best). Some good options are seafood, turkey, chicken, pork tenderloin, or beef (sirloin, t-bone, flank or filet cuts are the leanest). Adventurous foodies can also try bison, elk or even venison.
- Opt for healthy toppings like vegetables. We recommend lettuce, tomato and avocado.
- Limit the cheese; it will save you on calories and saturated fats.
- Try lettuce wraps in lieu of buns. If you cannot imagine your turkey burger without the bun, opt for whole wheat. And if you want the bun without the guilt, choose slider buns, which are smaller than normal-sized buns.
- Stay away from condiments like mayonnaise (high in fat) or ketchup (high in sugar) and instead top your sandwich off with a healthier choice like mustard or hummus.
- For those colder tailgates, make a homemade stew or chili. Be sure to pack your dish with lean protein (turkey, chicken or lean beef) or even try it vegetarian style. The more veggies the better!
Next time, we’ll talk about snack trays and liquid refreshments.