Just a suggestion: If you're into counting calories, then perhaps your local state fair isn't the best place to hit your FitBit goal for the day. After all, it's all a little overwhelming — at state fairs there are so many yummy and fried "foods" to choose from, and pretty much all of them are covered in some degree of powdered sugar. It smells amazing, and before you know it, you're knee-deep in a vat of cotton candy, trying to figure out how many different foods on a stick you can hold at one time. Let's deep fry all of the things!
But don't feel like you have to throw away your hard work at the gym for the sake of having fun riding a rickety ferris wheel that may or may not have been put together by that 13-year-old operating the skee ball booth. Because when it comes to state fair foods there some options that are ... better than others. Like, maybe if we're going for the larger than life ice cream cone, we can skip the sprinkles and chocolate syrup. Sure, you'd be way better off eating basically anywhere else, but you can have your funnel cake and eat it too. Besides, the fair only comes around once a year, right? #YOLO.
Corn on the Cob
hot dogs or corn dogs
As tempting as those greasy cheeseburgers sandwiched between two donuts look, they will most likely cost you about two years off your life. Instead, opt for another backyard BBQ fave: Corn dogs. At 460 calories, you could do worse. Are you an over achiever? Go for a plain hot dog without the bun (151 calories), and know that you are a far better woman than I will ever be.
If it's something sweet you're craving, cotton candy is a way better alternative to a lot of the other fair offerings. Yeah, it's like, literally made out of sugar and air, but in moderation, it's not a terrible thing. Besides, chances are, you'll get sick of it before you finish the whole bag. One serving size is 220 calories.
This one is extra boring, because it's something you can eat anytime you go to the mall. But if you're hungry and don't want to give in to that giant turkey leg (do those things even come from a turkey?), a soft pretzel — with salt if you want some — will fill you up, comes in at just under 400 calories, and give you fuel to beat those dumb kids at popping balloons with darts.
Except, maybe not popcorn totally doused in butter. Popcorn is only 31 calories per cup pre-butter and salt, so add some toppings if you want!
And if you absolutely must have something fried: Go with bacon
Yes, bacon. Because deep fried butter is just crazy, and fried bacon on a stick — with maple! — will only cost you about 229 calories. And by the time you're done eating it, you'll be off fried foods for the next sixth months. Progress!
Images: Giphy, Keith McDuphee/Flickr, IntangibleArts/Flickr, Thomas Tivoli/Flickr, GordonRamsaySubmissions/Flickr, Mercury Jane/Flickr, Ruocaled/Flickr, Joelle Nebbe-Mornod/Flickr, CookBookMan17/Flickr, Stacey Spensley/Flickr, Lara604/Flickr