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Tailgating 101: Lean Up Your Tailgating Experience

If you’re anything like me, you LOVE football season and all that goes along with it…including tailgating!

Where I live in the Southeast, football RULES this time of year. That means team spirit, fall weather, loud cheers, bands playing, huge rivalries, seeing college friends at homecoming, pick ’em tournaments, and TAILGATING! Fun, fun!

Contrary to popular belief, tailgating doesn’t have to be a junk food fest. Scoot over chips, dips, fried foods, and nachos! There are ways to have a delicious tailgating experience and still eat with your physique and training goals in mind. Good news, huh? 🙂

Below I’m offering my best tips for a nutritious tailgate party whether in the comfort of your own home or out in the parking lot on your favorite college campus.

My Lean Eating Tailgating 101 Tutorial:

  • First, before gathering with your friends and family to cheer your team on to a WIN, complete a short, intense workout. The workout can be as short as 10 minutes of intense bodyweight exercises or heavy weight training if that’s all you have time for. Make sure to utilize your legs! The larger muscle groups like the legs and glutes are the ones that rev up your metabolism via testosterone and HGH production, and keep it going for up to 48 hours! Try 3 rounds of 1 minute each of squat jumps, burpees with a vertical jump, and plyometric lunges resting as needed. Finish with 1 minute of push ups. Those 10 minutes will do the trick. 🙂
  • Secondly, Be sure to have a protein-filled breakfast or snack before leaving home. This will help you avoid feeling famished and wanting everything in sight! It’s easy to over-do your eating when #1, it’s buffet style and #2, you’re starving.
  • When it’s finally time to chow down, fill up with protein and fibrous veggies FIRST. Choose meat with no bun, grilled kabobs with meat and/or veggies, or any lean protein source available. Step away from the bread/buns!
  • Take your own delicious dish to the gathering that is in line with your goals. Some easy suggestions: lean meat to throw on the grill, fresh fruit salad, a veggie tray, meat and cheese tray, or veggie kabobs.
#FitMom time management tip: I like to pick up barbecue (pulled pork or chopped chicken or turkey) with the sauce on the side. There are lots of great barbecue joints where I live! This provides a quick and easy protein source that is yummy!
  • Use portion control. Don’t pile your plate full of foods that are calorically dense. All things in moderation, but limit the “extras” like sugary slaw, mayo-filled potato salad, and other sweets/desserts to just a few bites. Be picky! Only choose your very favorite things!
  • Slow down! Eating slowly helps your body have time to digest your food which allows you to feel full before over-consuming.
  • Choose your condiments wisely – My favorites are hot sauce, mustard, Bragg’s Aminos, soy sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire, and herbs/spices.
  • Throughout the day, drink LOTS of water. This will help keep your body happy and hydrated for a long day outside. Shoot for 96 ounces each day.
  • Limit or eliminate booze. Alcohol has so many hidden calories AND halts your fat loss efforts while it’s being metabolized. If you must drink, choose clear liquor and water or diet drink combinations. Sweeten with stevia (if needed) and flavor with fresh lemons and limes. Add an extra glass or 2 of water for every serving of alcohol to help flush your system. TIP: Treat yourself to sparkling water with fresh lemon or lime to replace adult beverages. 🙂
  • Lastly, you can always bring a fat-loss friendly dessert to share! This will help keep you on track without feeling “left out”. A quick and easy choice are these low-carb peanut butter cookies. The 3 ingredient recipe is below!

Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup no-sugar-added natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 4 cup sugar substitute (like baking Truvia or Stevia in the Raw)
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg and combine with the peanut butter and sugar substitute until the mixture is well incorporated. Place 1 inch balls of cookie dough onto a greased baking sheet. Press gently with a fork. Bake 10-12 minutes until cookies are slightly brown. Makes around 10 cookies. Enjoy!

*You can play with this recipe by adding vanilla or unflavored protein powder and egg whites to give it a protein boost!

(Note: I found this recipe on Metabolic Effect’s facebook page a few years ago.)

tailgating

You can see that tailgating is not only FUN, but it can also be nutritious. It does NOT have to be disastrous to your health goals. Comment below with your favorite tailgating traditions!

Happy Tailgating!
Jill

 

p.s. Head over to the facebook post below and share your favorite tailgating traditions!


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you purchase through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

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