Most people associate Super Bowl Sunday with an infinite buffet of chili, Buffalo wings, loaded nachos, brewskis to wash it down–and lots, lots more.
Except Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest day of food consumption in the US. The average viewer grazes about 1200 calories and 50 grams of fat during the big game, according to the Calorie Control Council and Snack Food Association. You’d have to make a lot of touchdowns to burn that off.
Thankfully, there are ways to intercept empty calories and enjoy Super Bowl Sunday:
- Defend your healthy game plan by eating a balanced meal before the party. Skipping meals will backfire by making you hungrier in the face of a lot of tempting dishes.
- Offer hummus, salsa and guacamole as dips rather than the usual artery-cloggers.
- Accompany dips with baked chips, pepper strips, carrot sticks and other crudites.
- Season and bake skinless wings or strips of white meat in wing sauce.
- Make chili with lean meat, beans and chunks of peppers and onions—or go veg and skip the meat entirely. Top it with fat-free/low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Offer air-popped popcorn with shake-on flavorings.
- Soft drinks, juice and beer add empty calories and may stimulate appetite. Your best choice is water. If you drink alcohol, enjoy it in moderation.
- Take a pass on eating directly from a large communal bowl. Instead, put snacks on a plate so you can see exactly how much you are eating.
Finally, remember that Super Bowl Sunday is a social occasion, so focus on the game, the conversation and the companionship–instead of the food–to make the most of it.