How to Tailgate WITHOUT Bulking Up like a Football Player

By QuickieChick Laurel House

Five Guys bacon cheeseburgerMore than the beefy football players, the ball whizzing through the air, and the face-painted screaming fans, tailgating can be the best part of football season. You get to pre-game with your slap-happy friends, gorging on brats, wings, and dogs, and washing it all down with pitchers of full-bodied beer. Translation: Calories, Fat, Carbs… oh and lots of fun! Fun aside, football season can be torture for any diet-dedicated fan. In fact, it can even result in a 10 pound weight gain. Yes.

Thankfully, you can still have just as much fun without packing on the pounds (transforming from a tight end into a wide receiver by season's end). And you don't have to rain on the game to do it.

1. DO: Animal Style, Protein Turkey Burger (ala "In n' Out") no cheese
Lean Turkey, grilled onions, ketchup, wrapped in lettuce (not bun). Be aware though that many brands of Turkey burgers are LOADED with as much fat as burgers.
Bite with Benefits: Onions are detoxifiers and boosted with the flavonoid quercetin- an antioxidant believed to help block cancer cells.

DON'T: Burger w/cheese

2. DO: popchips and ½ Fat Guacamole
Popchips are loaded with flavor and crunch without the fat and calories of conventional chips (O'm obsessed with their new chili limon tortilla popchips, which are boosted with naturally fat-burning chili and lemon!). To cut the fat in the guacamole, substitute half of the avocado with chopped cucumber. Plus add jalapeno and a squeeze of lemon. You'll get a punchier guac with less fat that actually help burn calories for you!
Bite with Benefits: Cucumber is a natural de-puffer. Jalapeno and lemon are natural fat-burners.
Here's the recipe…

DON'T: Chips and Dip

3. DO: Spiked Potato Salad
Use FF Greek yogurt instead of mayo to minimize fat and calories and spike it with Horseradish
Bite with Benefits: Horseradish heats up the body, upping your metabolism. Plus it contains significant amounts of glucosinolates- shown to help the liver detox carcinogens and tumors, while helping to aid digestion and fight against pathogens in food (like E. coli).

DON'T: Potato Salad
WHY: The mayo makes this "salad" super fatty.

4. DO: No Bones About It Boneless Chicken Strips
Grilled or baked chicken tenderloin or breast strips with Sriracha chili sauce
Bite with Benefits: Sriracha is a natural metabolism booster, heating up your body and burning more calories. Find it at most grocery stores

DON'T: Buffalo Wings

5. DO: Animal Style Turkey Dog
White Meat FF Turkey Dog topped with grilled onions, sauerkraut, ketchup, wrapped in lettuce (not bun)
Bite with Benefits: Sauerkraut, made with cabbage, is a known cancer fighter, filled with vitamin C, fiber, manganese, vitamin B6 and folate. The fermentation process creates good bacteria called probiotics, which produce beneficial enzymes that aid digestion and promote healthy flora in the digestive tract.

DON'T: Bratwurst slathered with mayo
WHY: Fat, Fat, Fat, plus Carbs from the bun.

…and for dessert:
DO: Guinness Float
3 scoops low fat vanilla frozen yogurt topped with Guinness (only 135 calories per can). Yes there are calories, but you will fill up and feel like you are splurging!
Bite with Benefits: Frozen yogurt has active cultures that help your system stay clean and healthy
Here's the recipe…

DON'T: Baked Goods
Why: Fat, carbs, sugar… lots of it in each little bite.


Laurel HouseLaurel House is a healthy lifestyle author, personal trainer, and nationally recognized print and online magazine writer covering travel, relationships, healthy food and fitness (Women's Health, First for Women, Men's Journal, Yahoo! Shine, Elegant Bride, Fit, Spa, Fit Yoga, Playboy, Elite Traveler, etc). Beyond writing, Laurel has appeared as a expert on television morning shows including E! News, Weekend TODAY, The Daily Buzz, Better.TV, KTLA Morning News, CBS, Fox, NBC, and ABC Morning News shows both locally and nationally, and her YouTube videos have received over 9 million views. Her 4th book "QuickieChick's Cheat Sheet to Life, Love, Food, Fitness, Fashion and Finance on a Less than Fabulous Budget" (St. Martin's, May 2012).