How to Lose Weight Without Giving up Tailgating
Nutrition Tips by Lindsey Rykard and Illa Garcia MD, RD
1. Consume protein earlier in the day with your meals
In the meals leading up to the tailgate, consume protein in your meals to help keep you full longer. If you have more protein earlier in the day, you are less likely to overindulge in those empty calorie snacks that are readily available at tailgates. Protein is a very filling macronutrient, so you’ll have less cravings when you’re around the high-calorie tailgating foods if you adequately nourish with protein. An example could be to include eggs or yogurt to your breakfast that morning.
2. Utilize MyPlate as a guide for your tailgate plate
Tailgates will consist of numerous finger foods that are high in carbohydrates and fat with minimal if any protein. Make sure to go in with a plan! Using the USDA's MyPlate Model can provide structure without being too restricted. This means that half of your meal will be vegetables, one quarter of your meal is protein and one quarter of your plate is grains. Following this structure ensures that you’re filling up on low calorie produce while including adequate amounts of carbs and protein to keep you full throughout the day. An example could be a burger or a hot dog with the bun, and 2 cups of veggies with dip.
3. Eat normally leading up to the tailgate
Depriving your body of needed calories earlier in the day preceding the tailgate will backfire. The last thing you want is to show up to the tailgate ravenous and eating all the empty calories in sight. Your tailgating meal should be thought of as any other meal, but enjoyed with you fellow football-loving friends! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to “save up calories.” It’ll backfire and you’ll end up eating more than you would if you ate normally the day of and before. Make sure not to skip meals before the event and you won’t regret it!
4. Don’t Over-Consume Calories from Alcohol
Unfortunately, calories from alcohol don’t fill us up as much as calories from food. Your body doesn’t have to work as hard to digest it so it spends less time in your gastrointestinal system which is why you may feel hungry even after consuming 1000 calories worth of alcohol! Have a plan for what you’re going to drink. You could plan to have 1-2 of your favorite higher calorie drinks and fill in the rest with lower calorie drinks like Volley! With no added sugar and minimal ingredients, Volley is a great choice for mindful alcohol consumption. You can still consume alcohol while trying to maintain a healthy weight, just be aware of the calories, have a plan, and aim for the lower calorie options.
Illa Garcia has a BS and MS in nutrition science and she is the CEO of The Millennial Nutritionist. Her clinical nutrition experience empowers millennials to lose weight without giving up their favorite foods. The Millennial Nutritionist will help you reset your lifestyle.
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