Pre-Season Tips: 5 Ways to Lean Out Your Line

With college football starting next weekend and the NFL starting next week, it is likely that your game day party planning is in full swing! After all, you can pretty much watch and celebrate football four days a week after NCAA football kicks off. With that being said, filling up on burgers, fries, hot dogs and cookies for the next months may not be the best waistline plan!

In order to help your waistline efforts, here are 5 tips to help you lean-out your buffet line so that everyone can enjoy tasty goodies, but keep their weight intact through the long football season:

  1. Start your line-up with color: Raw or roasted and chilled veggies (think anti-pasta) are a great way to start a buffet line. They provide color and nutrients to add some life to your party spread. In addition, they give those looking to watch their calories a good option to snack on.
  2. Lean out the protein: Many football parties are loaded with high fat meat. To lean-out your line, try using grilled chicken or beef skewers with veggies or grilled chicken in bite size, whole wheat quesadillas. Burger sliders with lean beef are also a tasty, portion-controlled choice. Plus, you can even make skinless hot wings, which really reduces the fat intake.
  3. Sub your crunch: Obviously you have to have some chips or people will stop coming to your party, but try other nutrient-rich options like whole grain crackers and pita chips.  Lining your dips with raw, crunchy veggies are also a good idea as dipping agents.
  4. Quarterback Sneak on Dips: A quarterback sneak is a trick to gain a few yards and players don’t always see it coming. You can use the same technique to save some calories on traditionally high-fat dips. Most people don’t know what’s in a dish unless you tell them so sneak in some healthier options. Try making Ranch dip with Ranch powder and plain Greek Yogurt, fill your guacamole with extra veggies and use 2% cheese and yogurt for spinach and artichoke dip.
  5. Win with dessert: Yes, you can have cookies, cupcakes or whatever your party-goers like, but try adding fruit to yogurt and making a “nice cream” dessert as a lighter option.  Other tasty treats include martini glass Greek yogurt parfaits with berries and dark chocolate pieces or bite size oatmeal peanut butter squares. 

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