You’ve heard the saying: Never go grocery shopping while you’re hungry.
It’s a recipe for overspending and overindulging on a list of foods your wallet and your body don’t need.
Well, the same can be said about tailgates and parties around your favorite high school, college or pro team.
If you’re heading out for a party this weekend, don’t go hungry. Drink plenty of water before the gathering begins. Eat some fresh veggies or fruit before you leave – or guests arrive. The snacking during the pregame hours, when there’s less sports action to focus on, can be dangerous to your health.
When you get hungry – whether you’re hosting your own party, or gathering at a friend or coworker’s house – there are a number of ways for you to eat healthier.
Here are six of our favorites, courtesy the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Combining several of these ideas could save you hundreds of calories and dozens of grams of fat.
- Nacho dip: Replace with a six-layer dip. Use avocado, low-fat Greek yogurt, black beans, tomatoes, lettuce and cheddar cheese for a dip that’s high in fiber and low in fat. Serve with baked pita chips to save calories.
- Baked chicken fingers: Instead of picking up a platter of fried chicken, bake your own at home. Bread chicken breast tenders in crushed cornflakes and then bake until crispy. Save calories by making your own honey-mustard using honey and spicy mustard.
- Kale chips: Kale is all the rage, as are the chips made from its leaves. And they are easy to make — tear the leaves into small pieces, rub with olive oil, sprinkle on some sea salt and spices, and toss in the oven. Not only will you save calories and fat, you’ll also get Vitamins A and C, potassium and calcium.
- Turkey chili: With just a few simple substitutions, you can cut over half of the total fat without losing any of the flavors. Replace ground beef with lean ground turkey or lean ground sirloin to lower the saturated fat. Top with reduced-fat cheese to further cut calories.
- Pizza: Instead of delivery, make your own. Use a pre-packaged thin crust or a whole wheat tortilla, top with tomato sauce and a mix of full fat and reduced fat cheese to save in both calories and fat. If you’re still craving delivery, order a thin crust and cut the slices in half.
- Light beer: Light beer saves about 40 calories per bottle. A good rule of thumb is for every alcoholic drink you consume, drink a glass of water. This will help to pace yourself — an important element, because light beer or not, calories can add up quickly.Follow just a couple of these tips, and you won’t wake up next week feeling as it you played in the big game – or needing as many aspirin or medicines to treat your indigestion.
If you’re entertaining at your place, check out these recipes for healthy options like spicy-sweet slaw, Denis Leary’s zesty baked chicken wings and chicken skewers, at Health.com. Some tasty recipes can also be found over at MyRecipes.com for chipotle burgers, orzo salad with marinated mushrooms and edamame, and KC-style potato salad.