Headed to your State Fair this summer? Who isn't?
When it comes to experiencing these fests however, let's face it, food is often a part of the experience. Since we are not going to find any low-cal health foods, what is one to do? Check out these 5 tips on how to navigate this year's State Fair grub to help minimize your calorie overload.
"Don't arrive hungry" is always the first rule when going out to eat. If you start out with an empty stomach or low blood sugar, watch out! You may want to grab everything in sight. Make sure you eat a healthy meal snack before heading to the fair. Keep it low in fat if you can and high in protein and fiber to fill you up. Examples for a smart snack for the state fair are an apple and string cheese or a 100-calorie pack of nuts.
Whether it's a state or county fair, you'll be tempted with lots of yummy treats and eats. If you can, take a look at the event's website to see what you want to sample in advance. This helps to minimize your intake so you "save up" for just a few special treats instead. Find this year's new foods at the Indiana State Fair and Illinois State Fair.
What better way to sample foods at the fair than to share them? This way you can sample a few more items without eating the whole food which can sometimes net you 1,000 calories or more. Take a look at what is offered, then everyone can pick one item and pass it around. Win Win!
What better way to offset fair food calories than hitting up the gym before you head to the fair? Exercise can help burn off those calories before or after you indulge helping to minimize any extra weight gain. Aim for 30-60 minutes of aerobic activity.
|Better for you choices:||Items to avoid if possible:|
|Grilled meats and veggies||Deep-fried meats and veggies|
|Popcorn||Extra butter, sour cream, mayo condiments (ask for them on side if possible)|
|Nuts||Sugary drinks (can add 120-300 calories to your meal alone)|
|Chocolate-covered strawberries and bananas|
By Kelly Devine Rickert, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN
Franciscan WELLCARE Registered Dietitian/Health Coach