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Stay Fit at Tailgating: Healthy Snacks and Tips

Football season can only mean one thing: tailgating! If fried, fatty or greasy foods are part of your Sunday game plan, it’s time to re-strategize. Fill your stomach with some healthy snacks so you can feel great about the game – regardless of the winner.

Whether you’re tailgating in the comfort of your own home, or bringing the party to the parking lot, follow these 5 tips to keep your waistline cheering all season long:

  1. Plan ahead. The best way to stay healthy while tailgating is to eat a balanced meal beforehand. Eating a breakfast full of protein and healthy fats will ensure you stay full and satisfied longer, so you’ll be less tempted to indulge later on.
  2. Prepare healthy snacks. Unfortunately, the most common tailgating foods aren’t exactly the healthiest.  Before heading out to the big game, prepare your own healthy snacks. Snacks such as fresh fruit salad, assorted vegetables with low-fat dips, whole-grain chips, and homemade salsas are not only packed with nutrition but are great crowd pleasers as well.
  3. Go back to the basics. Portion size is one of the main reasons tailgating has become such an unhealthy tradition. Switch from a large plate to a smaller plate to allow greater portion control, while still having the ability to try all of your favorite snacks.
  4. Make healthy substitutions. Healthy tailgating doesn’t have to mean simply fruits and vegetables.  Make healthy substitutions by swapping out beef hamburgers for turkey burgers or high-fiber black bean burgers.  And don’t forget about the drinks – liquid calories can add up fast. Instead of high calorie soda and beer, opt for water or low-calorie fruit drinks.   
  5. Get moving. Exercise is just as important as eating right. Try tossing a Frisbee or a football during halftime, to burn those extra calories and pass the time until the next half.

How do you stay healthy while rooting for your favorite team? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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