The Fun & Challenge of Tailgating

The Fun & Challenge of Tailgating

With LSU’s football season starting this Saturday, A New You is rerunning Sheila Talamo’s Healthy Self post from Aug. 26, 2014, about how to survive tailgating without breaking your diet. Enjoy the fun and food and Geaux Tigers!

It’s inevitable – if you live in Baton Rouge, thoughts, talk, and plans at this time of the year turn to LSU football and tailgating.   And, it probably goes without saying, but tailgating LSU-style adds a whole other challenge to diet and weight maintenance!

tailgatingI must confess.  The Lil’ Fat Girl Inside, along with family and friends, is an avid tailgater.  We’re the Pre-Dawn Taigatin’ Tigers which means we begin our day around 5 a.m. with a full breakfast menu – omelets, cheese grits, French toast, crabmeat casserole, pastries, and fruit. We progress through the day with a wide assortment of ribs, sausages, chicken, pastas, chips, desserts, and more.  It’s a long day and night filled with great food and drink … and lots of opportunities to stray from my weight maintenance efforts.   The 2014 Football Season is sure to put my post-IP maintenance plan to the test!   Since the first home game is less than two weeks away, I need to get my game face and game plan ready!

I know from past tailgating seasons that I start strong … but slowly (and surely) yield to the temptations of the food and drink that surround me.  Initially, I try to deprive myself of food (e.g. skip the breakfast except for maybe some fruit), but then the “nibbling” begins.  I convince myself that it’s only a small bite, forgetting that lots of small bites add up quickly.  By the time of the second or third home game, I totally give in to eating pretty much anything and everything.  In thinking about it, I realize that some of the choices I made were actually triggers to the excessive eating – all the sugars in the fruit and no protein, trying not to eat for as long as I could, not planning for some good food choices. So how do I change this pattern?  Answer:  Do what I do best … plan ahead.

My six-strategy plan is pretty simple, but gives me a direction and chance for success.

  • Strategy 1:  Take time and eat breakfast.  I will plan to include vegetable additions for the omelets (mushrooms, spinach, peppers, and such).  I will take time to enjoy an omelet, along with some fruit – making sure to get both protein and carb to start the day.  No more skipping breakfast.
  • Strategy 2:  Grilled Vegetables will be a new addition to every home game tailgating menu.  It’s an easy addition that I can prepare ahead and throw on one of the grills – and it’s likely that not many others will partake!
  • Strategy 3:  Identify ahead of time 1-2 lean proteins that will be available throughout the day and plan to make those my lunch/dinner choice.
  • Strategy 4:  Drink more water.  I will try to minimize the Diet Cokes (and “Red Drinks”) and drink water throughout the day.
  • Strategy 5: Let go of the “it’s all or nothing” attitude.  I need to allow myself the pleasure of a “taste” without having to eat “the whole thing!”
  • Strategy 6:  As a back-up, I will pack an IP snack and a Greek yogurt in the ice chest for every game.

There is nothing exceptional in any of the strategies – probably common sense for most folks.  But for me, I know that I need to strategize ahead of time if I want to have a chance of keeping my focus on game day.

Of course, these strategies are untested and provide no guarantees.  I will test them out soon enough – September 6th on the LSU campus.  Let’s hope both the Tigers and the Lil Fat Girl are victorious! Go Tigers!!

Leave a Reply