Yes, it is possible to enjoy the Great Minnesota Get-Together and not gain weight. Here's how you do it.
Last year when I was Cities 97.1's night host, I was broadcasting from the fair EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. During those twelve days, I actually lost weight. Now, I'm not talking about any major weight loss, but definitely a pants-are-fitting-much-looser type of fat loss.
I realize your circumstances going to the Minnesota State Fair are probably much different than mine. I was there to work, and I ended up spending all of my money on Christmas presents because there are a lot of really great local and national makers at the fair.
Here's what I did to lose weight last year: Lots of walking between the parking lot off Como and the Cities 97.1 booth up by the Grandstand, and eating a small bag of kettle corn from the West End Market every night for dinner. Pair that with daily stress because I was also working a totally different full-time job at the time, and BAM! My shorts fit looser by the end of those twelve days.
My takeaways from that experience are the following:
- Get fit. Do a lot of walking and always be on to the next thing. Definitely give yourself moments to rest if you need it, but don't rest for more than a couple minutes at a time if you can help it. Finding any sort of incline like stairs inside the Grandstand, as well as the Grandstand entrance ramp, and go up and down those a few times throughout the day.
- Occupy your time with rides. This goes along with being physical, but since a lot of rides are sitting rides, keep in mind you're not going to be snacking on crap when you're keeping busy doing other things.
- Find healthier, cleaner food alternatives. There are actually a lot of really great foods that aren't deep fried or loaded with carbohydrates, but they take some time to find. A few of my favorites are the grilled peaches from the Produce Exchange (add herbed goat cheese or Greek yogurt for protein), kabobs (I believe these are in the Food Building - they're not great, but they're protein), Turkish pizza from Blue Moon (make sure you share this with several people!), frozen cider pops and just about anything in the Ag Building, and grilled shrimp on a stick.
- No booze, just water. If you need to have a boost of caffeine, find cold press coffee or diet pop (if you're a soda drinker).
- Ditch the attitude that the Minnesota State Fair is "all about trying new foods." Actually, it's not. Go learn something from the farmers, beekeepers, energy conservationists, or whomever. Better yet, hit up the Miracle of Birth Center and catch a calf birth.
What are your tips for staying healthy at the Minnesota State Fair? I'd love to hear them!