When it comes to clean eating, it’s all about food choices. You might be surprised how easy it is to make the good decision even when everything seems to be against you- the atmosphere, friends, even foods and drinks served.

After reading this article, you will realize tailgating is not necessarily a guilty pleasure. On the contrary! Done right, it can help you obtain and maintain the shape ofyour life!

Good ol’ tailgating

A “traditional”tailgating plate is all about fat and sugar. Although taste buds might trick you into thinking you are not eating it- buns and rolls are packed with sugar.

The choice of meat also makes a massive impact on the nutritional quality of the meal- fatty meats are a caloric bomb, and when it comes to deliciousness, they are not much tastier than low-fat meats at all! For example, ground meat often has up to twice as many calories than chicken breasts. Why is that so? Fat! Unlike lean meat, ground meat has 30-50% fat which adds up all those calories.

Foods with the high glycemic index can fill you up in no time, but the problem with those is you are going to feel hungry again in no time too. Once the insulin does its job (and high glycemic index foods are really good in skyrocketing it) and all the glucose is on it’s way to turning into fat, the hunger kicks in again and two to three hours after eating the amount of energy enough to push through the next two days, you are hungry again. What are high glycemic foods? Buns, rolls,potatoes (fries!), white bread…

Start thinking outside the box!

Ok, now it’s time to learn how not to slip into the never-ending cycle of binging and drinking too much at tailgating again. Following these simple rules for good food choices will save you all that time and hard work you’ve put into improving your health and look so far.

Meat choices

When it comes to meat, the choice is simple- lean over grounded! Grounded meat is prepared that way for two reasons- to make it a bit softer (a noble intention of manufacturers and to smuggle all that fat that would be otherwise wasted and sell it as meat (not so noble intention).

Lean meat has a lot less fat, tastes equally good and what’s the most important- you are a 100% sure what are you eating (meat, not fat!). Another advantage is protein content- raw lean meat contains roughly 20 grams of protein per 100 grams. On average it contains 160-180Kcal per 100 grams (unlike grounded meat that goes up to 330 Kcal per 100 grams!).

Carbs choices

Whole grain over white bread! Regarding caloric value, those two are pretty similar, but couldn’t be more different in all other parameters of nutritional value. Lower glycemic index, significantly lower sugar content, more fibers, vitamins, and minerals are just some of the advantages.

Veggies

Make sure there are plenty of vegetables on your plate. The fibers they contain will make digestive system stimulated to pump all that food through the intestines, keep you full for longer and (the most importantly!) prevent the insulin spike that has a power of turning your body into the nature’s most efficient fat production and storage line among living creatures in a blink of an eye.

Tailgate foods are not your enemies (if you play well)

Making a good choice in a situation you, without exception, made the worst possible decision in the past is what propels the fans of personal growth and motivation. Except for this not so well defined benefit, good food choices boost your energy level and help you improve your mental focus, mindset and athletic performance.

Tired of feeling a pinch of guilt for every bite you take at a tailgate party because it defies every single principle of health and clean eating? Then follow this simple guide, relax and have fun!   

By: Anthony Mendez