Football Season: It's Not an Excuse
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Football season shouldn't be an excuse to eat and drink in excess. Try these healthy substitutions instead and be your own star.
The NFL season kicks off on Thursday September 5, and with that comes millions of pounds of snacks consumed and millions of ounces of beer poured. With classics like chicken wings, nachos, burgers, and a hodge-podge of fried foods, football season also marks the beginning of the dreaded "winter weight gain." But it doesn't have to.
Just keep this in mind. Football games, and championships, come and go, but that big game binge can stick around (your waistline) for a long time. Don't worry, there are alternative snacks that contribute to a good time but won't break the calorie budget. Here are a few ideas.
Snack Mix - Don't source your snack mix from bags in the potato chip aisle. Make your own instead with air-popped popcorn, unsalted nuts and seeds, then top with fun seasonings like taco seasoning or a light ranch seasoning pack.
Pizza - Yes, you can have pizza, but the key is to make it at home using fresh ingredients, go heavy on the veggies, and use high-quality, whole wheat crust (from scratch if possible). You can choose how much cheese you really need. And for an extra kick, make it Nacho-style and combine two popular snacks in one!
Hot Tenders - Instead of fried chicken wings with fat-heavy sauces, go with boneless, skinless chicken tenders baked in the oven and LIGHTLY coated with your favorite wing sauce. If you need dip, go easy and light.
Spinach Dip - You can make a tasty light spinach dip with reduced-fat cream cheese, non-fat yogurt, and low-fat cottage cheese in place of cheese, mayo and sour cream, which are commonly used in these recipes. This simple substation saves just under 90 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving! Just go easy on the chips too (or try pita chips).
Baked Sweet Potato Fries - Easy to make, easier to eat. Don't fry your fries; just whip up a simple sweet potato recipe instead. There are many recipes out there to try, but most are salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Potato Salad - This filling snack can be made with low-fat cheese, no-fat yogurt, red potatoes, and a few hard-boiled eggs to add protein. Get creative!
Mushroom Burger - Like that juicy burger taste but want to cut calories and fat? Add chopped Portobello mushrooms in with your ground beef for volume and flavor. Then choose rye bread instead of buns. You can easily get this burger down under 300 calories!
Have any other favorite healthy snacks for game time? Share them below or on our Facebook page!Holidays / Parties->Football