Stick to the main course
Most tailgating parties include some kind of barbecue, and can be your best bet for satisfying your appetite.
Grilled chicken, steaks and even lean burgers are great protein options on game day. Try them without a bun or with a whole wheat bun.
If you reach for a hot dog, make sure it is made from turkey or tofu. And be careful of the condiments, they can be full of sugar, sodium and calories.
Work out before the game
Everyone knows exercising is good for your health, but it can especially do you a favor before heading to a party or event where there is bound to be a lot of junk food.
Studies show that if you take the time and effort to work out, you are more likely to make healthier snack choices and less likely to binge on fatty foods and un-do all the good you did earlier in the day.
And let’s face it, we are all human. So even if you do reach for the chili cheese nachos, at least you burned some extra calories and got your metabolism on the right track for the day, to minimize the diet damage.
Don't go to the party hungry
Ever heard that going grocery shopping on an empty stomach is a bad idea? Same concept holds for going to a tailgating party.
If your plan is to not eat all day and save your calories for the indulgent foods set up for the game, you are going to be starving by the time you get there and probably eat more than you planned.
Try munching on some healthy foods before you go to help you feel full with protein and fiber—like whole wheat toast with nut butter or hard-boiled eggs. This will help keep you from binging on greasy potato skins.
Load up on fruits and veggies
When you are surrounded by chicken wings, nachos and chili, it can be difficult to hang around the veggie tray. But it doesn’t mean you can only have raw fruits and vegetables.
Treat yourself to a few samplings of the not-so-healthy choices, but try your best to keep the ratio of fruits and veggies higher than the ratio of mozzarella sticks. It will keep you from having the dreaded “food hangover.”
Bringing something? Don’t feel lame showing up with the veggie tray. Others will thank you.
Keep the beers to a minimum
We know the equation, baseball + party = beer. But we also know why it’s called a “beer gut.”
If you absolutely cannot go without an adult beverage or two, there are some good options. New low-calorie beers are coming out all the time, and are a great alternative to other beers that can be 200 calories each on average.
Another way to go is to make yourself a light cocktail. Clear liquor mixed with a diet juice or seltzer can really hit the spot without making you feel like you need to unbutton your pants.
But remember, moderation is key. A Sunday night game turned into a Monday morning hangover is no way to start off the week.
Quick doesn't have to mean unhealthy
A quick stop on the way to the tailgating party can mean greasy chips, fatty dip and sugary soda—but it doesn’t have to.
Most grocery stores and gas stations have healthier versions of your favorites. Try baked tortilla chips with chunky salsa, air-popped popcorn and pretzels.
Unless you are attending a high-class event, most desserts for tailgating include a pack of Oreo cookies and a few wine coolers.
Try and put your calorie intake into perspective. Do you want to have a serving of your brother-in-law’s famous spicy chili, or do you want to have a few packs of snack cakes?
Chances are, by the time dessert rolls around you are already full from all of the other game-time goodies. So think twice before having dessert or head back over to the fruit tray if you have a sweet tooth.
With a baseball season that lasts 162 games, there is potential to really pack on the pounds if you are not careful. But with these tips, you can still enjoy the game without acquiring a spare tire