UNC Health Talk

8 Ways to Stay Fit at the Fair

Ashley HoneycuttAshley Honeycutt, RD, LDN is the Manager of Corporate and Community Services for Rex Wellness Centers. She blogs about nutrition, wellness & healthy living.

Forget the smell of fireplaces and crisp autumn air. For a few more days, it’s all about the deep fried smells of the North Carolina State Fair.

As you plan your trip to the fairgrounds, be wary of the fattening fair fare. Did you know that a giant turkey leg has close to 1200 calories? That’s a day’s worth of calories for most people! And those deep-fried treats can range anywhere from 400-800 calories a piece.

NC State Fair
NC State Fair

These two weeks are full of temptation, so make sure you plan your eating strategy before you hit the fairgrounds.

  • Treat yourself to two or three items
  • Share your food with a friend
  • Attend the fair early in the morning when the food may be less enticing
  • Choose water over all other calorie-filled beverages
  • Don’t arrive hungry
  • Eyeing some cakes at the NC State Fair? Choose wisely!
    Eyeing some cakes at the NC State Fair? Choose wisely!

    Wear a pedometer and track your steps. The average person burns 500 calories by taking 10,000 steps.

  • Pack your own picnic lunch and spend your time enjoying the rides and exhibits
  • Choose some of the lower-calorie options such as: caramel apple (298 calories), cotton candy (171 calories), a regular sized corn dog (250 calories), grilled corn on the cob without butter (201 calories).

Have you caught yourself saying ‘I only get to eat the fair food once a year’? Don’t forget that the same reasoning applies to Halloween treats, Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas parties. The state fair is just the beginning of the holiday eating season, so enjoy these foods in moderation and stay active! Your waistline will thank you.