With the recent start of football season, it’s a good time to create a game plan for maintaining your health during the next 17 weeks. Since you’ll likely be sitting on a couch every Sunday surrounded by copious amounts of beer and junk food, your health is bound to suffer—unless you come prepared.
Be wary of big bags. Studies show eating out of large containers causes people to eat larger portions—even if it’s a food they don’t like. Always take a single portion from the bag and eat it from a smaller dish. Otherwise you might plow through an entire bag of tortilla chips before half time.
Try avoiding the chips altogether. Raw veggies make a great substitute for crunchy chips, and that way you don’t have to sacrifice having your favorite dips. Red peppers dipped in salsa is a great low-calorie option. Another healthy favorite is jicama dipped in guacamole.
Make healthier versions of typical game day fare. The internet is full of creative and easy recipe ideas. We love these healthy loaded sweet potato fries.
If you’re grilling, go for lean chicken breast instead of wings. You can achieve the same flavor with much less calories and fat.
At the stadium and tailgating…
Eat a hearty, healthy meal before heading to the game. Odds are you’ll be drinking alcohol, so it’s a good idea to have something in your stomach. Not to mention, you’ll save money (and your waistline) by avoiding the concession stands.
If you find yourself hungry at the stadium, at least try to go for healthier options. Our easiest no-fail tip: if you get a hot dog or hamburger, just don’t eat the bun. If salads are on the menu, great! Limit yourself to using ⅓ or less of the dressing packet, though. You can also check out this article that compares the nutritional values of common stadium concessions to help you determine which menu item is the lesser evil.
Whatever you decide to order, share it with your friends. The portions are almost always too big for one person, and you don’t need to keep all those calories to yourself. Watch out for mindless snacking, too. When you’re focused on the game, you can eat a thousand calories without even realizing (or enjoying) it.
Bring some of your own healthy snacks: things like mixed nuts, an apple or banana, zucchini chips, or some air-popped popcorn.
We all know beer isn’t the healthiest or lowest-calorie choice in terms of alcohol, but we aren’t going to tell you what to drink on game day. However, it might help to know how different beers compare nutritionally.
Check out this list of the highest- and lowest-calorie beers so you know what to sip on, and also what to avoid.
There are plenty of low-calorie options like Amstel Light (95 calories), but what many people don’t know is that stout beers are also a relatively diet-friendly option. Surprisingly, Guinness is about 25-30 calories less than a regular beer, has less carbs, and is also high in antioxidants. As we’ve explained in previous blogs, taking your EnduraQ with other antioxidants will increase it’s effectiveness, so don’t forget to take it while enjoying game day.
If you’re tailgating before the game, walk around and talk to the other fans, or start playing catch in the parking lot.
If you’re watching from home, play a friendly game of football with your friends when the game is over or before it starts.
Don’t pay a premium price for a closer parking spot, and don’t drive around all day looking for one either. Park slightly further away to avoid the hassle and burn some extra calories on your way into the stadium.
You can always find ways to stay healthy, even when there are temptations around. We hope you #DoTheQ and follow our tips. Try EnduraQ today!