Now that it’s *finally* fall, our weekends are filled with friends, food + football. Although gameday can be the best day of the week, it can also be the most difficult when it comes to making healthy choices. Tailgates consist of burgers, hot dogs + too many sweet treats to count. But don’t sweat it CHAARGies — we’ve got you covered when it comes to healthy tailgating tips : )
1] EAT BEFOREHAND
As tempting as leftover pizza from the night before is, we’re talking a full-on, well-balanced meal. Start your morning off with a protein-packed breakfast before a noon game, or a hearty + healthy dinner before a night game. This way, when you show up to your tailgate, you won’t be as tempted to reach for the chicken wings + pizza, ++ if you do, you’ll only have room for a little.
2] BRING OR MAKE YOUR OWN DRINKS
We get it — college tailgates can come with an unhealthy amount of alcohol. When it seems as though everyone around you has their own red solo cup, it can be tempting to grab your own as well. But instead of taking the first cup that someone gives you, try bringing your own drinks. This can mean a few light beers or something you mixed yourself. By doing so, you’re aware of your limits + exactly what you’re putting into your body. You’ll thank us when you don’t wake up with a raging hangover the next morning ; )
3] MAKE YOUR OWN DISH TO PASS
We’ve got plenty of healthy + delicious recipes to choose from : ) Whip up your own dish so that you don’t find yourself reaching for the endless amount of fried food. Sometimes, a few healthy changes can make a world of difference. Use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, salsa over cream cheese-based dips + grilled chicken over fried.A few easy changes will make you realize being healthy doesn’t always mean sacrificing flava or taste.
4] ALWAYS HAVE WATER ON HAND
No matter where you go, bring a water bottle. If you find yourself reaching for another donut, take a sip + ask yourself if you’re really hungry or not. Remember that it’s okay to #treatyoself, as long as it’s something you + your body truly need. You can even try a fruit-infused recipe to make your water less boring! By bringing a water bottle, you’ll stay hydrated + full throughout your tailgate.
5] BE MINDFUL
When you’re hanging out with friends + family, it can be hard to not get caught up in things. You’re hanging out, watching the game, + all of a sudden that bag of chips you grabbed is half empty. Practice being mindful — it’s okay to have a cookie, but if you’re not aware of what’s around you, one or two cookies can turn into five or six, leaving you feeling extra full + possibly guilty. Work to be aware of what you’re putting into your body + make every food choice a conscious decision.
6] KEEP MOVING
It can be easy to pop a squat, grab a drink + watch the game, but there are so many more things you can do at a tailgate. Play some cornhole, toss the football + take a walk around campus. If you stay moving, you’re less likely to veg out + more likely to have a fun + active day : )
Sometimes, a tailgate that consists of not-so-good-for-you foods can be oh-so-good for your soul : ) As long as you prepare beforehand + practice being mindful, you can make sure that each Saturday is a little more healthy than the last!
++ Katie Kochanny [kk_inchaarg] // Michigan State University