As a college football fanatic (and grad of The University of Alabama), the end of summer means one thing to me...FOOTBALL! But weekend after weekend of tailgates can really add up when it comes to calories and pounds. All of those dips, chicken wings, chili toppings, brownies, and cocktails pack a not-so-healthy punch on the waistline. Not to worry! From deviled eggs and potato salad to cupcakes and cookies, you can still enjoy football season with these lightened tailgate favorites.

If you're a fan of burgers, beer, pizza, and fried chicken, check out my Real Life Nutrition video on for practical tips on how to lighten these classic football favorites.

Tailgating is about having fun, celebrating your favorite team, and socializing with friends. Keep these simple tips in mind to help keep your portions in check (whether you're feasting on a lightened recipe or not).

  • Use smaller utensils-you'll take more bites and eat more slowly.
  • Eat off smaller plates.
  • Eat off a plate or out of a bowl (versus out of the bag, box, etc.)
  • Make a plate and sit down to eat. Once you're finished, you're finished. No grazing.
  • If you do eat some chips or a cookie, stick to 1 serving and eat it slowly.
  • Wait at least 15 minutes before going back for seconds--odds are you won't even be hungry.
  • Drink a bottle of water between each alcoholic beverage to keep you hydrated and feeling full.

What are your favorite tailgate recipes? Do you have tips for staying healthy at the tailgate?