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Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Rooting for the home team doesn't have to mean running afoul of your diet

3. Beware of Ballpark Beverages

It's a long day when you go to a game (including driving, parking, stadium walking etc.). Over five to six hours, you'll need quite a few pints of thirst-quenching liquid -- especially on hot days. So save yourself both money and calories by bringing your own water or sparkling mineral water.

For hot games, freeze water bottles ahead of time so they'll be nice and cold at the ballpark. Be sure to check with the stadium ahead of time to find out what kind of beverage containers are allowed inside (usually plastic). You can always buy a token beverage -- like a diet soda or light beer ­ as well, if you wish.

4. Be a Sampler!

If there is a ballpark food item that just calls to you, try having just a nibble of your friend's or family member's garlic fries, red licorice rope, Polish sausage, or whatever (with their permission, of course!). It might be so satisfying that you don't feel the need to get a whole order for yourself.

The Recipes

Bring the fun of the ballpark home to your kitchen! Here are a few lower-calorie knockoffs of popular ballpark foods.

Garlic Fries

Journal as: 3/4 cup "starches with 1 teaspoon fat."

Garlic fries are popular at ballparks across the country. This is a lighter rendition using a lot less oil AND a lot less butter.


Canola cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds peeled baking potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
2 teaspoons vegetable oil (canola oil if possible)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
2 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic (or 4 garlic cloves, minced)
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian or regular parsley
1 tablespoon freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with canola cooking spray.
  • Combine the next 3 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag, tossing to coat.
  • Arrange potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning after 20 minutes.
  • Place butter and garlic in a large nonstick skillet; cook over low heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add potatoes, parsley, and Parmesan cheese to pan; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Makes 3 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 256 calories, 6 g protein, 42.3 g carbohydrate, 7.7 g fat (3.3 g saturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat), 12 mg cholesterol, 3.5 g fiber, 243 mg sodium, 55 mg calcium. Calories from fat: 27%.

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