The Super Bowl is an American tradition, a day filled with football, friends, and food. For many people, the Super Bowl also means indulging in unhealthy snacks and overeating. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With some planning and preparation, it is possible to enjoy the Super Bowl and stay on track with your healthy eating goals. As a registered dietitian, I have some tips to help you enjoy the big game without overindulging.
1. Plan ahead
One of the most important things you can do to stay on track with your healthy eating goals during the Super Bowl is to plan ahead. This means thinking about what you will eat before the day of the game. Consider your options and decide how you can make healthier choices. Look for recipes that are lower in calories and higher in nutrients, and plan to prepare them ahead of time.
2. Serve healthy snacks
Instead of reaching for the chips and dip, consider serving healthy snacks at your Super Bowl party. Some ideas include vegetables with hummus, fruit with yogurt dip, or whole grain crackers with a low-fat cheese spread. You can also try making your own healthier versions of popular game day snacks, such as baked chicken wings or sweet potato fries.
3. Watch portion sizes
It’s easy to overeat when you’re at a party, especially when there are lots of tempting snack foods around. To avoid overeating, be mindful of portion sizes. Use smaller plates and bowls so that you don’t fill up on too much food, and try to eat slowly so that you can pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
4. Choose healthier beverages
Alcohol is often a big part of Super Bowl celebrations, but it’s important to remember that it can be high in calories and can also lower your inhibitions, making it more likely that you’ll overeat. To avoid this, try to choose healthier beverages like water, unsweetened tea, or low-calorie drinks. If you do decide to have alcohol, be mindful of your portions and try to alternate alcoholic drinks with water.
5. Be mindful of your surroundings
When you’re at a party, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget about your healthy eating goals. To avoid this, pay attention to your surroundings and try to stay mindful of what you’re eating and drinking. If you find yourself mindlessly snacking, take a moment to pause and check in with yourself to see if you’re actually hungry. If not, try to find something else to do to distract yourself from the food.
6. Get some exercise
Don’t forget to incorporate some physical activity into your Super Bowl plans. If the weather is nice, consider going for a walk or playing a game of touch football before the game starts. You can also try to get some exercise during halftime by doing jumping jacks, lunges, or other simple exercises. Not only will this help you burn off some extra calories, but it can also help you feel more energized and less likely to overeat.
7. Avoid mindless snacking
Mindless snacking is a common pitfall at Super Bowl parties. It’s easy to get caught up in the game and start eating without even realizing it. To avoid this, try to be mindful of what you’re eating and why you’re eating it. If you find yourself mindlessly snacking, try to find something else to do that will keep you occupied, such as playing a game or socializing with friends.
8. Don’t deprive yourself
Finally, remember that it’s okay to indulge a little bit on Super Bowl Sunday. You don’t have to deprive yourself of all the delicious food and drinks, but try to do so in moderation. If there’s a specific snack or treat that you really want, go ahead and have some, but be mindful of your portions and try to balance it with healthier options.
In conclusion, with a little bit of planning and mindfulness, it is possible to enjoy the Super Bowl and stay on track with your healthy eating goals. By serving healthy snacks, watching portion sizes, choosing healthier beverages, being mindful of your surroundings, getting some exercise, avoiding mindless snacking, and not depriving yourself, you can have a fun, enjoyable, and healthier Super Bowl party. So go ahead, enjoy the game, and have a great time with your friends and family while also taking care of your health.