So it’s almost Super Bowl Sunday, and you’re psyched to have all your friends over to watch the Ravens take on the 49ers in what’s sure to be an epic battle. But a nagging voice in the back of your head reminds you that Super Bowl parties usually go hand-in-hand with high calorie snacks, sure to cause you to stray far, far away from your healthy lifestyle.
While its okay to indulge on occasion, that does not give you a license to overindulge, munching all day on high-calorie, high-fat foods. So how do you balance your desire to throw the perfect party, complete with delicious food, without all the unhealthy snacks? Here are some tips and recipes to help you avoid making your Super Bowl party turn into major regret when you see the numbers reflect on the scale the next morning.
It’s a common misconception that the best way to avoid overindulging at a party is to save up for all the high-calorie snacks that are sure to be there. But this thought-process is a fallacy. It is more likely that skipping meals earlier in the day will instead lead you to eat way more of those Super Bowl snacks than you would if you ate breakfast and lunch. Fill up on a lean protein, veggies and whole grain instead, and you will cut the amount of calories you consume by a pretty decent margin.
Besides the common benefits of energizing you for the day and giving your body a nice boost, getting in a morning fitness routine on Super Bowl Sunday will help your body burn extra calories. Plus, you’ll feel happier, making your ability to flit around the party socializing and enjoying the game that much better.
Most cocktails served at parties and bars are loaded with sugar and extremely high in calories. For example, a typical restaurant margarita has anywhere from 250-750 calories! Instead, drink a glass of white or red wine, which typically have from 130-200 calories. If you’d rather have a beer, consider drinking a light beer, which usually has around 120 calories. And be sure to alternate a glass of water between alcoholic drinks to fill you up and ease the impact on your body.
Being a fan can really play to your advantage. Use that spirit and excitement as an excuse to stay glued to the TV. Not only will doing this ensure you don’t miss a moment of the action (and get to laugh at all the hilarious Super Bowl commercials), but it’s also the best way to avoid being close to the snack buffet. If you’re near it, you’ll probably munch down more than you are really hungry for, adding more excess calories than you would if you stay far away.
Replacing common Super Bowl party snacks with alternate recipes is the most beneficial of all the tips, especially if you’re the one with the 72-inch HD flat screen and will be playing host to the party. There are tons of great healthy party snack recipes online, but we included a yummy list from Health Magazine to kick-start your snack substitution planning.
What party would be complete without dip? This is a great alternative to the high-calorie stuff you would buy pre-made at the store, and goes great with anything from carrot sticks to whole-wheat crackers. It takes less than an hour to make, and your friends will love it.
Many people love to serve sliders at their Super Bowl party. They make the perfect finger-food, but they are also commonly high in fat and calories. Instead, fix up these mini turkey burgers, complete with gorgonzola, to feed your guests a protein-packed snack without all the unhealthy sodium, fat and grease.
What Super Bowl party is complete without chicken wings? Everyone loves to divulge in those scrumptious finger foods, often coating them with high-calorie ranch before chowing down. Well here’s a recipe so good dip is not required. You can still have the chicken wings, without all the high-sodium buffalo sauce and fat.
Chicken fingers are a common snack at Super Bowl parties, as both adults and kids love them. But the ones you pick up at a restaurant are also usually deep-fried, loaded with sodium and fat. Instead, bake your own strips at home. You can substitute the deep-fried flavor by using breadcrumbs instead, and still create a dish that the kids will chow down on between each exciting play.
After our bellies are full with all the tasty dips, crackers and chicken wings, many of us are often hankering for something sweet. You don’t have to skimp on a tasty treat, just avoid eating the common high-sugar, high-calorie ones you find at the typical Super Bowl snack buffet. Instead, create these brownies for a savory dessert that gives you satisfaction without loosening the belt.
Author: Caitlin Hendee
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is a journalist by trade and an avid runner. She is passionate about maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle and encouraging people to engage in common-sense eating. Caitlin believes a well-rounded life is all about balancing fitness with nutrition that incorporates all aspects of food and proper portion-sizes.
Follow Caitlin on Twitter @CaitlinHendee.