We love football season and everything that goes along with it—kicking back in our jerseys, hotties in tight outfits getting sweaty and sexy, an excuse for a Sunday Funday…. But there’s nothing fun about all the calories that come with the drinks and traditional football food. Our healthier alternatives will take you from potential linebacker to kick-a%* Cowboys cheerleader.
We scoped out typical calories from common restaurant chains, but we’re sure they’re comparable to the grub at your fave game-watching joint.
YAY: Children’s Order of Chicken Fingers (240 calories for an order of Kids Chicken Fingers without the fries at Applebee’s)
NAY: Boneless Buffalo Wings (1,170 calories for an order of Hot Boneless Buffalo Wings at Applebee’s)
Forego a full order of fatty and calorie-laden wings and take it down a notch with a kiddie-sized serving of chicken fingers. Yes, they’re still fried, but the calories go way down. If you need something to dip (not drench) those fingers in, ask for BBQ, ketchup or hot sauce (all lower in calories) in lieu of traditional ranch or bleu cheese. Another option: Share an order of wings with a friend for a smaller portion size and lower calorie count.
YAY: Mozzarella Sticks (770 calories for an order of Fried Mozzarella Sticks at T.G.I Friday’s)
NAY: Potato Skins (2,070 calories for an order Loaded Potato Skins at T.G.I. Friday’s)
Get the cheesy taste you crave without the calorie killer fillings of bacon, cheese and sour cream. Even half an order of potato skins is almost one day’s worth of calories (ew!). Yes, mozzarella sticks are still fried, but since they only stick to one filling and you can dip them in healthier marinara sauce, they’re our pick. Go splitsies on the mozz sticks and you’re pretty golden (more room for cocktails!).
YAY: Chips with Salsa (480 calories for an order of Bottomless Toastada Chips with Salsa at Chili’s)
NAY: Nachos with the Works—cheese, beef, chili, jalapenos, sour cream, guacamole… (1,800 calories an order of Classic Loaded Nachos with Beef at Chili’s)
Yet another case of more is…more calories. Nachos, loaded with cheese, beans, sour cream, protein like beef, chicken or chili, and the seemingly healthy but actually calorie-packed guacamole, are a complete belly buster. Don’t say cheese, please: You’ll still get the same crunch and salt satisfaction from a much healthier chips and salsa dish.
YAY: Lighter beers (Select 55: 55 calories per serving)
NAY: Seasonal fall ales (Sam Adams’ Octoberfest: 165 calories per serving)
Fall foliage and football are synonymous with seasonal ales like Sam Adam’s Octoberfest, but who knew a full 12-ounce serving was 165 calories? Limit yourself to one delicious seasonal ale per outing, then switch up to something lighter. At only 55 calories per serving and with a smooth, refreshing taste, Select 55 is better if you’re throwing back barley and hops from the first play till the post game recaps.
SURPRISE! Both of these drinks aren’t bad for you
Be a morning person all day long when it comes to cocktails—the good news is that two or so Bloody Marys at 125 calories per serving and mimosas with 137 calories each won’t set you back too much. The tomatoes (and celery stick garnish) in BMs and the orange juice in an a.m. mimosa are part of your complete Sunday brunch breakfast (we don’t know if mom would approve of the alcohol though).
GIRL TALK TIME: What is your fave football fare? How do you eat healthy during football season? Which of these picks is your go-to? Where do you usually watch games—at home or out?