I loooove food. In fact, everyone loves food. If you meet someone who claims not to, that’s really just code for, “I love food, but I’m afraid of what it can do to my body.”
And not to feed into your fear of food (well, maybe just a little bit), but a tailgate can destroy your diet for the day, make you feel sluggish the next day, and add several pounds to your hottie little body.
Tailgate grub like juicy burgers, homemade red velvet cake, bacon-seasoned beans, southern fried chicken, mayonnaise-y potato salads and cole slaws are super yummy. But over-indulge, and you’ll find yourself lying on your back sweating and not from a heart attack but from trying to fasten your pants.
Skinny jeans not so skinny anymore, huh?
But every sports fan knows it’s not officially gameday until the grill is fired, so here’s the scoop on how to get your gameday grub on – minus some of the fat and calories.
Boca not Beef
Try all you might, but there’s no substituting that delicious greasiness of an over-sized, juicy beef burger. But if you’re brave enough to face the truth, I have 2 words for you (well, a number and one word).
That’s the average number of calories in the most popular tailgate beef patties. Mind you, that’s with no cheese, no ketchup, no chipotle sauce, and no bun. Just a big ol’ plain cooked patty. Now, if your health conscious tailgate chef is preparing patties with 95% lean ground beef, more power to them. But we all know that’s not usually the case.
For a fraction of the calories and fat, opt for Boca Burger’s All-American Flamed Grilled Patties.
I ate my first Boca Burger at a Memorial Day pool party, dressed it with some melted jack cheese and mustard, and I was in soy patty heaven. Go for seconds (or thirds if you’re overzealous), and I won’t even be mad at you.
It’s true that eating a potato in its baked form is healthier than nomming on one in its fried state, but baked potatoes go wrong when they go loaded. There have been too many innocent baked potatoes transformed into heart attacks-in-waiting once butter, salt, sour cream, bacon bits, and chilli are added.
It’s hard, I know, to eat a baked potato without inviting the cholesterol-laden foods to the party. But a sweet potato needs (almost) nothing to make it yummy.
Lightly coat it with virgin olive oil. Sprinkle some cinnamon on the inside once it’s cooked, and, Voila! You’ve got a tasty, healthy carb that will satisfy your appetite and complement your Boca Burger.
No Pudge Fudge
Do not – I repeat – DO NOT skip dessert at your tailgate. All desserts aren’t all bad.
No Pudge! Brownies are an all natural, just-add-yogurt dessert that every single party person will love.
I put that on my sweet tooth.
120 calories. 28 grams of carbs. 22 grams of sugar.
Again, I didn’t say No Pudge! wasn’t bad at all; I said it wasn’t all bad. And besides, enjoying a chewy, relatively low-cal brownie over cakes and cookies that, on average, contain 200 calories a pop, makes having a cheat treat much more gratifying.
Here are some additional tailgate calorie-saving tips:
-Have a salad made of spinach leaves, romaine lettuce or kale topped with salsa and tomatoes instead of cole slaw.
-Black beans are always a healthier option than baked beans cooked in pork and sugar.
-Opt for grilled chicken breasts instead of fried chicken.
-Unless you bring your No Pudge! to the party, you’ll be hard pressed to find a healthy dessert. So limit yourself to one small serving instead of multiple.
Editor’s Note: Clearly, you’re not gonna eat super clean at every tailgate you attend all season. But if you’re a regular tailgater, you better pick and choose when to pig out and when to “keep it clean” or else…