Kick-off the Extra Pounds during Football Season

Do you often find yourself constantly munching while tailgating or when watching football games with friends? Do you enjoy football season, but fear the unwanted pounds?

Most American’s would admit that whether they are watching the game on television, cheering from the sidelines, or socializing at tailgating events; indulgence in food and beverages often occurs. Football fans are notorious for hosting extravagant tailgates and social events paired with a buffet of endless snacks and drinks for all to enjoy; however, it is important to take a TIME OUT if you want to kick-off those extra pounds.

Fall gatherings can still be flavorful and healthy, but it does take a little planning. You do not have to know the difference between a wide receiver and the center, or what the off-sides penalty means; all of you have to do is prepare a healthy dish for the upcoming event and you will be ready to play!

Here are some healthy substitutions to common tailgating foods:

Instead of fried chicken wings, try grilled chicken tenders for an easy grab and go snack. Chicken tenders cook quickly and are perfect for those hungry guests. Remember, chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Instead of gooey cheese dip with chips, try black bean and corn salsa on a baked tortilla chip. Drain a can of black beans, add a can of corn, and spice it up how you wish with pico, tomatoes, salsa, cilantro, purple onion, etc for a flavorful and filling dish!

It’s pre-game and you are in a pinch so whip together your favorite dip by replacing the sour cream or mayonnaise with low fat plain Greek yogurt for a satisfying and protein-rich snack. Pair with raw veggies or baked whole grain chips for added crunch.

Get festive with dessert and instead of all the sugar-laden cookies, cakes, and brownies set out a variety of fruits that coordinate with your team’s colors. It’s sure to be a hit!

Don’t forget beverages count too and they can often be loaded with calories. Remember to hydrate with plenty of water and experiment making your flavored water with frozen fruit and citrus slices- what a refreshing way to celebrate a win!

Ready, Set, Go!

By Meghan Windham, MPH, RD, LD

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