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Published June 06, 2012, 10:21 PM

How to enjoy RibFest without the guilt

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's every warm-blooded pork lover's favorite time of year. RibFest officially kicked off today. Surprisingly there's a way to enjoy the food of RibFest without having to tack an extra mile onto the treadmill tomorrow.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's every warm-blooded pork lover's favorite time of year. RibFest officially kicked off today. Surprisingly there's a way to enjoy the food of RibFest without having to tack an extra mile onto the treadmill tomorrow.

Some of the food is unbeatable here at RibFest, but today we walked around this BBQ-party with a dietician. She showed us some tips on how to minimize the calories, and still treat your stomach to a good time.

Dr. Sherri Stastny – Nutrition Professor at NDSU: “Well, this is an overwhelming menu board. I would find a plant-based food, and then you have to try the ribs.”

Everything looks amazing; the pulled pork, the potato salad and how you can you forget the ribs. But for NDSU Nutrition Professor Sherri Stastny, it's all about moderation.

Dr. Statstny: “I want to sample all the meat I can, and I'm not going to clear my plate. I'm going to be wasteful, or I'm going to find a buddy or two. We're here at the RibFest, we're going to choose are calories strategically, we're going for the ribs for our calorically dense foods.”

It's a philosophy many RibFest goers are adhering to.

Jarod Stradinger - Fargo: “A little bit of samples for everything, you have to get them all in sooner or later and you have all week to do it.”

Jessica Fyre Fargo: “I think we are going to try the sampler at probably four different ones.”

And of course, it's not all about the meat.

Dr. Stastny: “If you can load it up with peppers and onions that's a must. You have to go for that, not only flavor but you have your vegetables.”

Stastny recommends keeping your calorie intake under 800 calories. One way to do that is to avoid fatty sides like cheese curds and french fries.

Dr. Stastny: “The baked beans and coleslaw would be great choices.”

Then again, this is RibFest. Maybe it's okay to splurge once a year.

Shauna Erickson - Fargo: “I'm going to skip calorie counting probably for the rest of the week.”

Becky Nolte - Fargo: “Probably not. It's the summer, so who cares.”

Dr. Stastny: “Plan ahead and make your purchase strategically, but you have to try it.”

Stastny said it's okay to enjoy one or two adult beverages on top of all that meat, but in weather like we had today and are expected to have for the rest of the week you need to consume a cup of water at least every 20 minutes.

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