With both professional and collegiate football seasons in full swing, we’re all sucked in again to that wonderful cycle of armchair quarterbacking, fantasy football lineup shifting, ESPN dissecting, and perhaps most importantly, tailgating.
At Notre Dame, football season is an absolute madhouse, and tailgating before games is pretty much required. However, tailgating can be treacherous, since navigating the world of Buffalo wings, cheeseburgers, and Coors Lite can definitely take a toll on your body. Therefore, here are some tips on staying healthy (or at least not straying too far into unhealthy territory) this football season.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to keep in mind. Before you go out to the festivities, eat something healthy and fill up on that. This way, you won’t be too tempted to take on a high-calorie hot dog or hamburger. It’s fine to snack on things at the tailgate- it is a party after all- but you don’t really want your main set of nutrients to come from your buddy’s wife’s bean dip. However, if you have to eat…
I’ll admit that the first tip wasn’t that fun. Since you’re probably going to want to eat there anyways, the best case scenario is to eat lean. Get a burger with a low fat content, skip out on the cheese, or if you’re feeling bold, go for it without the bun. Any way to keep it from seeming like you’re eating a fully-loaded hamburger is probably better.
Although light beer is advertised as being the less calorie-laden alternative to regular beer, it’s best to stray away from the beer and go with another choice. Red wine is probably the best alternative, as it has lots of antioxidants in it and the French have heralded its benefits for decades. However, despite the France’s seal of approval, drinking wine at a tailgate seems decidedly un-American, so you may be looking for something else. A serving of hard liquor also has a lower number of calories in it compared to a serving of beer, so if that’s your thing, go for it (in moderation of course).
These are some low-key tips to making sure you stay healthy(ish) throughout football season. Just because you’re trying to stay healthy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some fun-- like watching the Irish win the BCS championship. See you at the top.