So it’s football season and, for football fans, this means football, friends and a lot of food – followed by a lot of weight gain.
A Monday night at the Pfiesters looks like any other night at the Pfiesters. We don’t really watch football, except for FSU. I’m from Tallahassee and that’s where Steve went to school (plus my grandfather was a professor there for 40+ years!!). So, college ball is the only thing we semi-watch. I know, I’m an alien. lol
Since I don’t have a lot of friends or family who are into football either, I’m not pressured to meet up at the local bar and grill to watch “the game”. However, since there are over 3.5 BILLION football fans out there, there are plenty of people who need all the support they can get. So, I plan to give it to you!!
Who’s wants to survive the football season without having to go up a pants size? I’m sure many of you do, so here are 3 tips to making wiser choices this fall – and 3 yummy dips for entertaining.
4 Tips to Fight the Fat this Football Season
1. Fear Beer
If you say “football”, someone is going to say “beer”. Beer companies have been a major NFL sponsor for years, and for good reason. Beer is top on the list of beverages sold in the stands. Another major sponsor is is soda. Ironically, you may not even buy beer or soda at home, but if you go to a game, or local sports bar, you will likely be tempted to drink something other than water.
Why? Well, for one, you think of outings like this as a “treat” so you think you can afford to splurge a little. However, the whole season is ahead of you and that means a LOT of treats in your future. Two, you hate to pay for water. Most people will purchase a soft drink or alcoholic beverage over a bottle of water.
Even if you don’t commit to sticking just with water, at least put a limit on what you are going to drink. Whether it’s one or two drinks, if you limit how many calories you drink you can limit weight gain.
PFIT TIP: 1 drink can cost you a 2 1/2 mile run. The average calories in 1 typical 20 oz cup of concession beer is 250+ calories. The same size soda is 240+ calories so, either way, you would have to run 2 1/2 miles to burn just one drink off.
2. Go Meatless
Think about all the advertisements you see during the commercial breaks. You don’t see ads featuring salads and healthy foods. No way! You see ads for deep dish supreme pizza with pepperoni and sausage and cheese-filled crust, chicken wings, meatballs and chicken fingers. Even the stadium’s top seller is the typical concession stand hot dog. Skip the meat and skip the extra calories. Most meat sold at the concession stand is lower in quality and high in fat. If you are lucky enough to get chicken, it’s likely fried or pressed who-knows-what parts to make a chicken “nugget”.
While your choices may be limited at the football stadium, you can make better choices at home and at restaurants. Plant-based diets are good for people and better for the planet – and they taste amazing too! (See the infographic at the bottom for a ton of fun facts and info about plant-based foods).
Take Silk’s #MeatlessMondayNight challenge and spark real change. Adopting a more plant-based diet can start with making a change one day a week – so why not start by sidelining meat during one of the highest calorie weekly events, Monday Night Football, this season? (Click HERE to learn more about Silk’s Meatless Monday Challenge!
PFIT TIP: The average calories in one regular size chili cheese hotdog is 500 calories – without other condiments. You’d have to run 5 miles to burn that one concession stand snack off – and that’s not including french fries and ketchup!
3. Pack and Prepare
Tailgating is super popular – and super dangerous for a dieter if they aren’t prepared. Planning ahead is key to making it through this season without gaining weight. If you do the right food prep, you will not be as tempted to completely blow it once you are at the game or at a friend’s house. You can even eat before the game starts so you start the game on a happy stomach. If you fail to plan, plan to fail. We often eat a full meal before ever heading to a party so we don’t arrive hungry.
I like to pack a snack cooler with healthy foods I can graze on like nuts, grapes, low-fat Chex mix, pretzel sticks, fresh veggies (like carrots, red pepper and cucumber), veggie straws and sugar-free naturally flavored sparkling water.
PFIT TIP: Drinking a lot of water can help you stay full and prevent you from overdoing it. Invest in a fun water bottle just for football season. Dress up your water with fresh lemon or really make it special by adding sliced orange, lemons, limes, cucumber or mint.
4. Stay Active
Avoid packing on the pounds by putting fitness before football. Don’t wait until after work to workout because it’s too easy to skip it or think of something you need to do before the game. Swap your evening workout for an early am workout and get it out of the way. Add an extra cardio over the weekend to make room for a few extra calories. Just because it’s football season, it doesn’t mean you should allow your priorities to get out of whack – otherwise, you will end the season looking like a linebacker instead of a cheerleader.
PFIT TIP: While exercising through the football season will never compete with out-of-control eating, it definitely can help decrease the damage. This is a perfect time to take your training up a notch. If nothing else, you can prevent excess weight gain even if you still need to lose weight.
3 Healthy Dips
I love to snack, so here are few snack ideas to take the place of high-cal appetizers that will leave you feeling yucky (and full of guilt) the next day. Serve the guacamole and hummus with pretzel chips, low-fat tortilla chips, healthy thin crackers, grilled veggie kabobs or fresh cold veggies like red pepper, cucumber, zucchini slices, cauliflower, mushrooms, broccoli, endive, carrot chips and celery sticks.
Serve the fruit dip with apples, pear, bananas and grapes. Make fruit kabobs for easy serving and dipping.
Creamy Avocado Dip
- 1/4 cup Silk Original, Light Original or Unsweetened Soymilk, or Original or Unsweetened Almondmilk
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 lime (juice)
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- 2 avocados
- 1 chipotle chili, minced (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Whip the avocado and Silk Almondmilk to give it a light and airy texture. Then mix in all the other ingredients to make it more chunky and flavorful. Tastes great with fajita lime seasoned grilled veggie kabobs.
- 1 can chick peas
- Garlic, 4 cloves
- 1 lemon, fresh squeezed
- 1/4 cup Almond Milk Silk Pure Unsweetened all natural original
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper
- 2 teaspoons tahini
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Tastes great with fresh cold veggies or pretzel chips (or sticks).
Nutty Fruit Dip
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups almond butter
- 1/2 to 1 cup Silk Almondmilk or Silk Coconut Almondmilk
- 2-3 tbsps agave nectar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Blend together in a food processor until smooth. This yummy paleo recipe is from DIYBudgetGirl. Serve with a variety of fresh fruits. Remember, the smaller you cut the fruit, the longer it will last (and the fewer calories you will have in each bite).
Connect & Win
Visit Silk.com for recipes, to join the Meatless Monday Challenge and a chance to WIN a giveaway! Follow #MeatlessMondayNight and #SidelineMeat hashtags to discover their AMAZING recipes and party ideas! (seriously people!! I’m SO trying their Jalapeño Cauliflower Biscuits!!
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.