Sports: Healthy Tailgating

The return of fall sports means the return of gameday get-togethers and snacks, which aren’t always healthy options. It’s perfectly fine to splurge and eat your favorite foods on special occasions, but there are a few steps we can take to not completely wreck our diets and our waistlines throughout the season. For starters, eat regular meals before the party. By starving ourselves all day, we are more likely to overeat and overindulge when it comes time for the game.

It’s okay to indulge in foods you like on occasion, but if you get together with your friends every week to watch a game you probably want to look for some healthy alternatives to snack on. If you’ll be preparing the food or bringing a dish, consider bringing one of the following:

  • Chili
  • Bean dip or salsa
  • Veggies with guacamole or hummus
  • Popcorn
  • Oven baked foods instead of fried

As you’re picking out food, try to avoid loading your plate up with everything just because it is there. If you don’t like a food, you don’t have to eat it!

Be mindful of your portions and don’t forget alcohol has calories too!

It can also help to be aware of where you place food during the game. You are more likely to keep eating when you’re not hungry if all the snacks are left out in front of you while you watch. Try to set up the food either in the kitchen or in another area to avoid snacking just because it’s there. If you do overeat, don’t feel guilty and don’t give up on eating healthy at your next meal or snack. Think of every day as a fresh start to making healthy choices.

Cone Health understands the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle to increase and ensure overall well-being and has an exceptional team of dietitians, physicians, nurses and other related healthcare providers dedicated to educating our community on proper nutrition and other beneficial lifestyle choices.

Spokesperson Background:

Liz Schonthal is a registered dietitian at Cone Health Nutrition & Diabetes Education Services at Greensboro. Schonthal received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Penn State University in 2000. She received a Master of Science in nutrition from The University of North Carolina Greensboro in 2014.