The magical time of year is upon us.
A time where the magical gems of society all congregate in one place. There are mullets, there are gaps in mouths where teeth should be, and of course there are “get er done” t-shirts.
What am I talking about?
The Iowa State Fair of course. Known in all the land as the greatest State Fair in the country, suck it Wisconsin.
And while I don’t personally get overly excited about this overblown event, almost everyone else in our great state does. I am sadly, the minority.
I’ll go every year and every year I leave wondering, why did I come here? But that is another story for another day.
As a fitness coach and health nut I get asked the question a lot this time of year, “How can I stay healthy at the Iowa State Fair?” Many of my clients and friends are working so hard to meet their fitness goals and they don’t want to totally go off the rails at the fair to which I said, “Go You”. They know that this T-shirt is fairly accurate and they do not wish it to be true for their life. But at a place where they actually serve fried butter on a stick, can you REALLY be healthy??
I think yes. Here’s how:
5 Tips to Stay Healthy at the Iowa State Fair
1. Plan Ahead!
You can’t walk into the Iowa State Fair blind. If you don’t have a plan you are going to walk through the main entrance and straight to the first funnel cake state and dive right in. I know this because I’ve seen me do it.
Instead, figure out what you are going to eat AHEAD of time. Did you know that there is an app for that? The Iowa State Fair App allows you to search for healthy food options, figure out the nutritional value of each food, and even calculate how much activity it will take to burn that food off! Amazing.
A few foods that I recommend are: Salad on a stick, pork chop on a stick, any type of beef/pork/chicken without bread and without being deep fat fried, or the shish-kabab.
2. Skip all the deep fat fried options
Do I really need to explain why?
Lets just say they aren’t frying that shit in coconut oil. We are talking trans fat, partially hydrogenated soy bean oil. It’s not good, just skip it.
3. Drink Water
Lots and lots of water. First off its usually hot this time of year so you are going to get dehydrated and secondly water can help curb your appetite. Don’t waste calories on things you are drinking (lemonade, sugary smoothies, or booze). You would probably be shocked to find out how much sugar and how many calories are in those drinks, just skip them all together and drink water.
4. Workout before you go
Getting a nice sweat session in before the fair is a great way to help make up for any extra calories you are going to eat. Plus if you’ve been active that day, your goals are fresh in your mind and you are less likely to completely fall off the wagon (or eat the wagon as my friend Annie says). Just try to avoid the trap of thinking that since you worked out you can now eat whatever the hell you want.
5. Listen to your body
Do you ever just eat to eat? You aren’t hungry, but you just want to. Your stomach is gurgling and you are starting to feel tired, but you must have that one last corn dog? JUST STOP THAT SHIT. Just because you are at the fair doesn’t mean you need to eat ALL THE FOOD. When your body is telling you its full, STOP EATING. It isn’t rocket since. I know its only once a year, I know, but that doesn’t mean you need to eat yourself into a food coma. So when the stomach is saying, “Yep I’m good” just listen to it.
Have I ruined all your fun yet?
Don’t worry, I’m not saying that you need to eat like a saint the whole time you are there. It IS the fair and it is only ONCE year. Have 1-2 treats and don’t beat yourself up about it. There is nothing worse than indulging all while berating yourself in your mind about it the whole time. If you do that you have just ruined your treat so stop it!
Heading to the fair this year?
I LOVE hilarious weirdos at the fair so if you see some make sure to snap a pic and tag @hotandhealthylife in it. We are on facebook and instagram and it would really make my MONTH if you would show me your favorite weirdo.
What’s your favorite fair food?
Tell me in the comments below! I haven’t picked my cheats yet and I need some ideas.