Super bowl Sunday is the second-largest day for U.S. food consumption after Thanksgiving Day, according to Wikipedia. Chicken wings, ribs, nachos, burgers, etc. can add up to a lot of calories and fat grams. So let me help you develop a “food game plan” by thinking like a football player on the playing field. Only, instead of an opposing team, your field is filled with food and refreshments. Here are eight winning strategies:
1. Have a game plan.
Plan your successful defense against food that is excessive in fat and calories.
Equip yourself – include some lower-calorie drinks and munchies.
Position yourself away from heaping platters.
Go in knowing what you will eat. Choose three choices of the high calorie and fat options you will enjoy the most, just take a smaller than usual portion. Remember you don’t have to eat some of everything just because it’s there!
2. Size up the opponent.
Look at the stats on different foods. Check for a Nutrition Label for important info, such as calories, and calories from fat.
Eat food from a plate vs. directly from a bag or box so you’re not blindsided by the amount you are actually consuming.
3. Get in condition.
Lift a weight – other than your own! Preferably at least twice a week.
Take walks to whittle your waistline. Physical activity and added muscle boost your metabolism and burn calories.
4. Watch what you eat before the game.
Resist overloading on calories before the game. Keep a few calories in reserve so you can enjoy goodies later without guilt.
5. Avoid penalties.
Avoid later weight penalties from too many calories by choosing smaller portions. Fill up on fruits and veggies!
Don’t let anyone get a penalty for drinking-and-driving. Remind your guests to have a designated driver and offer alcohol-free low-calorie beverages.
6. Keep yourself in the game.
Don’t get taken out of the game because of food poisoning:
Follow the “two-hour rule”. Leaving perishable food at room temperature more than two hours is a big mistake.
When food sits out for more than two hours, bacteria can easily multiply and cause foodborne illness. Bacteria love protein type foods! Set out small amounts of perishable foods and replace those with clean plates of food within two hours.
Keep hot foods hot (140°F or hotter) by using chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays.
Cold foods should be held at 40°F or colder. Keep cold foods cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice or party trays filled with ice.
7. Keep advancing toward the goal line.
Pace yourself by alternating between higher and lower calorie foods.
Make a successful passing play by bypassing seconds at the buffet table – or take half as much the second time around!
Take an occasional time-out to put a halt to your eating.
Plan an effective running (or walking) conditioning strategy – by-“pass” excessive food intake and avoid penalties which keep you from moving toward the goal line – and you’ll score a successful Super Bowl “Game Plan for Healthy Eating”.
I hope you and your team are big winners this Super Bowl Sunday!
To help you out, here are some quick and simple veggie dip ideas:
– Dip raw veggies into a low-fat salad dressing of choice, or make your own, try thinning peanut butter with a little milk for an Asian inspired dip.
– Dip fresh fruit, strawberries, apple slices, pear slices, etc. into your favorite yogurt. To make it more exciting after dipping into yogurt, you could do a double dip into chopped nuts, shredded toasted coconut, or crushed cereal! Or instead of using yogurt as the dip try using a nut butter first, and then do the double dip!
– Dip tortilla chips into bean dip or salsa.
– Dip animal crackers or graham crackers into low-fat pudding.
– Dip pita chips or bread sticks into your favorite store bought hummus.