Game Plan: A Healthy Approach to Football Party Food

The Super Bowl is right around the corner, which, to football fans, means hours of exciting game play. To me, it means hours of good eatin’! Like in years past, the highlight of the Super Bowl is always the spread of delicious food. I mean, who can resist dishes like Seven-Layer Taco Dip and Buffalo Wing Lasagna? Definitely not me, so I’ve learned how to tackle some of the healthy eating danger zones at my upcoming Super Bowl Sunday celebration.

I want to enjoy the delicious spread, but I don’t want to stuff myself full either.

Super Bowl Sunday is all about having a good time, so I don’t want to feel left out while my friends enjoy the spread of appetizers, so I grab a small plate and take my time to make a decision on what I want to eat. I scan the appetizers and then select a bunch to add to my plate. I fill 2/3 of it with nutritious options, like crudités with hummus or shrimp cocktail, and the final third with unhealthier options, like cheese-laden dips and bacon-wrapped goodies. Using a plate provides me with a visual aid of how much I am eating, and choosing a balance of healthy and not-so-healthy appetizers prevents me from feeling deprived.

The Taco Dip is calling my name– and I want some!

Instead of loading up my plate with huge portions of all of my favorite foods, I add a small, golf-ball-size portion of everything I want. No restrictions here! If I am drooling over the Taco Dip, I have just enough to satisfy my craving without overdoing it. I know there will still be dip leftover if I want some after half time, so I make a point not to eat until my stomach is completely stuffed. Trying a few bites of my favorite dishes allows me to enjoy my Super Bowl celebration to the fullest without feeling deprived.

I’m full, but I can’t stopping picking at the food.

It’s easy for me to lose track of small bites here and there, especially if I am lingering around a spread of delicious-looking appetizers, so I physically remove myself from the temptations. I move my seat or move the bowl of Doritos to a different table, so I’m not tempted to continue to mindlessly munch on them.

I don’t want to feel bloated and lethargic the day after the Super Bowl.

Instead of waking up bloated and lethargic the day after the Super Bowl, I sign up for a group exercise class or schedule a fitness date with a friend for early that next morning. That way, I have to show up! The thought of an early morning workout also keeps me from drinking too many beers during the game. Plus, knowing that I’ve committed to burning off those extra calories from those Super Bowl Sunday eats allows me to splurge without feeling guilty.

Tina Haupert
Carrots ‘N’ Cake
http://carrotsncake.com
Columnist, Health.com
Twitter: @carrotsncake

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