Surviving the Super Bowl

NUTRITION TIP THURSDAY

The Super Bowl is second to only Thanksgiving in amount of calories consumed. Check out these tips to stay on track! Read more here.

1. Start the day with a Super Bowl of your own:  Instead of starving yourself all day to save calories, make an effort to eat nutrient-dense, satisfying meals leading up to the Super Bowl party. This will prevent you from showing up ravenous and scarfing down everything in sight. One good decision can often feed into the next. Get the positive momentum building in your favor with a hearty super bowl of oatmeal with fresh berries, nuts, and seeds.

2. Break a Sweat:  You are about to watch the most fit and agile athletes in the world make some amazing plays — use this as inspiration! You owe it to your teams to break a sweat of your own. For all you superstitious sports fans out there, think of this pre-game workout as good luck.

3. Hydrate:  Water is important for everyone, not just professional athletes – drink plenty of water during the day. While watching the game, match every beverage you consume with at least 1 glass of water. This will not only help you manage the amount of empty liquid calories you consume in the form beverages, but will also reduce mindless munching!

4. Make a Game Plan:  Healthy eating is all about having a plan. When it comes to social events, a good rule of thumb is to take matters into your own hands by bringing something of your own that’s healthy. Chili is a classic crowd pleaser and naturally boasts a satisfying trio of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats as well as nutrient dense vegetables.

5. Anticipate the Opponent:  In general, you know what to expect. There’s going to be dips, tomato pie, pizza, wings, and soft pretzels galore. Know your personal strengths and weaknesses so come up with a strategy that plays to your strengths. Head-to-head match-ups are a great way to stay ahead of the game: “For every wing I have, I am going to eat three celery sticks.” If your healthy choices outnumber your not-so-healthy choices, you can walk away feeling proud.

6. Scan the Playing Field:  Before you make a move and load your plate, assess your options. This is a great move to use in any family-style or buffet-style dining where you are overloaded with choices.

7. Visualize Success:  After scanning the playing field, imagine a healthful plate in your head, and then make it a reality. That way, instead of loading your plate with a mishmash of everything and digging yourself a hole in the first quarter, you begin with a thoughtful, composed plate that will kick you off to a good start!

8. Use your Time Outs: Use commercials, time outs, and breaks between quarters to regroup. What have you eaten? Are you comfortably satisfied or uncomfortably full? Sounds like a silly question, but eating while watching a game can make it extremely easy to mindlessly munch. Use the natural structure and pauses of the football game to set your pace and take a moment to self-reflect.

9. Take Calculated Risks: It’s the Super Bowl! Of course you are going to eat something that you don’t normally eat on a regular basis, and that’s totally fine. The key to indulging without any residual guilt or going completely overboard is to indulge mindfully. Be proactive, identify what you want to splurge on, and make it a SMART indulgence (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely). Eyeing up those wings? Great, then go for it! But before you down a dozen, slow down, be present, and focus on eating with all your senses. Eating mindfully will not only heighten the experience and increase your overall satisfaction, but will also allow you to enjoy more, of less.