Burgers, beers, and football- woohoo! But all of this celebrating and socializing during football season can mean boo-hoo for your waistline. With simple recipe and snack swaps and fool proof ways to move around during game time, we’ve got you and your waistline covered when it comes to staying fit throughout tailgate season.

Follow these seven fit tips for football season and cheer on your favorite team without paying for it after the season.

  1. Eat before the game.

    Having a healthy, fiber and protein rich snack before heading to the tailgate will help you make better decisions once you see the food spread. With a full stomach, you won’t be tempted to grab foods out of a simple craving, but rather you will be able to decide if you’re truly hungry. A perfect pre-party snack would be something like an apple with almond butter, oatmeal, or a fruit and protein smoothie.

  2. Step away from the buffet!

    Hovering and socializing near the party platter keeps temptation right in your line of sight. Grab a small plate of the items you were excited to eat and then walk away from the spread. This will help keep you from eating out of convenience and temptation and keep your favorite football season jeans fitting perfectly!

  3. Sweat it out before kickoff.

    Getting a sweaty, total body workout in before heading to the tailgate party will spike your metabolism and help you make healthier decisions throughout the day. Studies show that starting your day off with a butt-kicking workout encourages you to make better food decisions for the rest of your fun-filled day. Try a high intensity tabata workout, an interval run, or a body weight strength workout to get the most calorie burn for your time before kick off.

  4. BYOLB.

    Bring your own light beverage to the tailgate! Switch your preferred beverage to the lighter version to slash calories in a quick, easy way. Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep yourself full and hydrated. Flavored waters are a simple yet tasty way to cut calories without cutting flavor.

  5. Keep it moving.

    Walk and talk during the tailgate to burn a few extra calories. Watching a game at home? Make yourself a game time workout! Start kick off off the right way with 25 squats. Then, every time someone scores, do 10 burpees. Interception? 25 jumping jacks. Each down, drop and do 5 push-ups. Have a favorite player? Every time the camera pans to him, drop to the ground and do 30 bicycle crunches. You’ll tone your entire body while cheering on your favorite team!

  6. Make a game plan.

    If you know what’s going to be at the tailgate party, plan ahead and decide what foods you want to splurge on and what foods you can stand to avoid. Not sure of the menu? As soon as you arrive, take a stroll around the food table. Scope out the selection and make a plan. Fill up on healthy snacks like veggies and dip or proteins, and then take small portions of your splurge items. You can taste almost all of the foods; just don’t pig out on them!

  7. Pack for success.

    Tailgate spreads are usually filled with fried, greasy, and fatty foods. Contribute to the chip and wing filled food spread and fight temptation by bringing your own, light version of your favorite tailgate foods. Try a healthy version of dips, pizzas, or baked wings. There are plenty of trimmed down recipes around to give a try, so you can be snacking well all football season long!

And there you have it; a fit football season with these simple tips! Now that you have a game plan for tailgate season, enjoy yourself! Remember that the point of your get together is to celebrate your favorite team with your friends. So, go easy on yourself and remember that your diet is all about balance. If you balance out your splurge meals with a good workout and healthy meal options before and after the tailgate parties, you will be able to enjoy the game without spoiling your fitness goals!

Eat up and have fun!

Manon McGovern

Manon McGovern, creator of The Traveling Trainer, is a fitness and weight management specialist who loves sharing her passion for a healthy lifestyle. She studied Exercise Science at The Ohio State University and started personal training and teaching group exercise classes to introduce herself into the fitness world. She enjoys personal training and teaching Yoga, Spinning, KickBoxing, and strength classes. Now working... Read More

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