By: Jodie Shield, RD
Even though my beloved Bears are not playing this Sunday, I LOVE the Super Bowl. What true football fan would dare miss the season’s grand finale? Not to mention the celebration party guaranteed to be filled with friends, fun and of course – food. My family and I will be watching the big game at my brother John’s house. It’s his 19th annual Super Bowl party and he has two rules: come thirsty and come hungry – - this is not a waist-friendly event. He and his wife, Kate, spend days cooking and preparing enough food to feed the entire NFL. Over the years, I have come up with a winning strategy to help me, and my family, tackle the ins and outs of eating at John’s Super Bowl party. I am confident that it will work for you too. So take a knee, and let me give you a pre-game eating pep talk.
Have a game plan. Set some realistic “eating” goals before you go to the party. That way you won’t find yourself scrambling for control when you get there. Some goals out of my play book you might want to try: skip the appetizers and have one dessert; eat the chili but skip the cheese and sour cream toppings; volunteer to clean up to help burn calories.
B.Y.O.B. Go on the offense and bring your own beverage. That way you will be sure to have light beer, diet soda (without caffeine) and my favorite – bottled water. Since we are speaking about hydration, keep in mind the Super Bowl game often lasts for hours. It’s a good idea to sip on a bottle of water between alcoholic beverages to help pace your drinking and trim extra calories.
Watch the pass.Take a seat on the bench as far from the food table as possible. You’ll find it much harder to maneuver around the room, and this will help discourage you from passing by the buffet line too many times.
Take a time out. If your team is losing, many fans may find themselves eating to relieve their stress. Likewise, if you don’t have any skin in the game, you may find yourself mindlessly munching in front of the TV consuming hundreds of unwanted calories. When you want to eat, get up off the couch and step away from the screen. This will help you tune in to your appetite.
Run the option. When you do hit the buffet table, scan over your choices and pick your best and healthiest options. I recommend: chili, chips and salsa, thin crust cheese pizza, veggies, popcorn, nuts, and pretzels. Another option is to split portions in half – share the sub sandwich and cheese burger with another fan. Check out my next two blogs for some of my favorite Super Bowl recipes for chili and taco dip.
No matter which team you’re cheering for this Super Bowl Sunday – Colts or Saints – just remember: like football, when it comes to eating your best defense is a good offense. How do you tackle the problem of overeating at Super Bowl parties?