Whether you’re a diehard football fan or are just tuning in for the commercials, there’s one thing every Super Bowl party has in common: food – and lots of it!
A typical tailgate spread is loaded with fat, salt, sugar and alcohol. Unfortunately, this can easily block anyone’s goals to eat more healthily. In fact, the average football fan consumes 2,400 calories over the course of the game – more than most people need in an entire day! But just because you’re watching what you eat, there’s no need to sit on the sidelines.
Here are 5 tips for a foolproof game plan that will keep your healthy eating plan on track and have your guests cheering for more.
1. GET GAME READY
Don’t forget to warm up. People often try to “save” calories on game day by avoiding food until the feasting begins. But skipping meals will only make you overeat. Instead, beat the blitz by eating nutrient-rich meals filled with fibre to keep your energy as high as your hopes for your team.
2. RUN THE RIGHT PLAY
To avoid a game-day blunder, make sure you prepare some nutritious foods that everyone will enjoy. With a few simple swaps, you can keep your favourites on the menu without sacrificing flavour. For example, try these simple substitutions:
- Make a pot of vegetarian chili loaded with veggies and beans rather than beef
- Instead of chicken wings, serve up oven-baked chicken fingers
- Replace the sour cream and mayo in your dips with fat-free Greek yogurt
- Lighten up your guacamole by mashing green peas in with your avocado
- Replace chips with roasted cauliflower in your nachos
- Skip the deli meats and serve pita wedges and veggies with hummus
3. STAY HYDRATED
You wouldn’t draw out a great running play and then throw a Hail Mary, so why would you watch what you eat, only to drink it all away? Not only is alcohol full of empty calories, it can also lead to overindulging. If you do drink, choose lighter varieties such as low-calorie beer or spirits mixed with soda water instead of pop or juice. Make sure to alternate with water to cut calories and stay hydrated!
4. TAKE A TIME OUT FOR ACTIVITY
There is a good chance you will take in extra calories regardless of how solid your offense is. Schedule a break from the buffet and get moving with these pro-tips from kinesiologist, Jenna Carducci:
- If you’re watching with a friend cheering for the opposite team, make exercise bets! (If we score, you do 5 burpees/push-ups/squats/lunges)
- If you need to change the channel and volume or turn the TV on or off, stand up and walk to the set instead of using the remote
- Every time there is a touchdown, do 10 jumping jacks and 10 squats
- Every time a play’s under review, plank while they are reviewing the call
- Every time there’s a penalty flag, do 5 push-ups and 20 seconds of fast feet (or wall push-ups)
5. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE
Life is about moderation, and one day isn’t going to undo all your hard work. While it’s okay to indulge in comfort foods from time to time, defense really is the best offense when it comes to maintaining healthy habits. Avoid a false start by making sure healthy choices are available and being mindful about how much you’re eating and drinking throughout the day.
There you have it: a pre-game plan for a Super Bowl party that won’t sabotage all your hard work. You can do a touchdown dance knowing your healthy eating plan wasn’t sacked by a day of overindulgence while still enjoying the party.
For more tips on incorporating healthy eating strategies to your diet, speak to a Medisys registered dietitian.