Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest food fests of the year. With a platter of all the pizza, potato chips and pints of beer you can handle, it’s no surprise that the average football fan takes down a day’s worth of calories during the game.
But you don’t have to wake up on Monday feeling like you’ve been sacked by a 250-pound lineman. By anticipating the opponent and having a healthy game plan, you can get off the sidelines and into the action—without worrying about your waistline.
Be a Clutch Player
Whether you are a die-hard fan or just hopping on the bandwagon, the odds are good that you’ll be rushed by an offensive-line of buffalo wings and non-stop nachos during the game.
So huddle up with your fellow fans and find out what’s on the menu beforehand. If you see an opening for a veggie tray or some whole grain crackers, grab those healthy snacks and head for the end zone. Your friends and your stomach will thank you.
Take Calculated Risks
Want to know the key to scoring big without eating big? Remember that while there is a lot of food, you don’t have to eat all of it. Think like a QB: Take time to scan the field before you make your pass and think carefully about what foods are really worth the indulgence.
Picture your plate as a football field. Fill it up to the 50-yard line with fresh fruit and vegetables and then fill the rest with your go-to tailgate grub. That way you can enjoy more of your favourites while dodging the penalties that can come with eating like a linebacker.
Run a Trick Play
As much as I love football and the food that comes with it, it’s no team secret that it can easily encroach on your health goals. My go-to trick play: keep your favourites on the menu but run some interference with veggie-loaded alternatives like the ones below.
Vegetarian Chili is a classic crowd pleaser. It also serves up a triple threat of protein, fibre and vegetables, making it easy to hand-off the greasy finger foods. Load up as many veggies as you want and serve with a whole grain bun for a meal that’s hearty enough for your heaviest hitters.
Serving heart-healthy guacamole will help intercept some of the gooey cheese dips. By adding diced veggies you can add even more fibre and cut down on the calories. Want to take your healthy guac game to the next level? See if your guests can read your play serving Edamame Guacamole for an extra hit of nutrition.
Nacho Average Nachos
When it comes to football, Healthy Loaded Nachos are a call any good coach is bound to make. And it’s easy to call an audible to make regular nachos healthier without sacrificing the flavour. Just choose salt-free baked tortilla chips, load up on the veggies, use a black bean mixture instead of beef, and go easy on the shredded cheese. Voila! A super-bowl of nachos featuring all four food groups.
Poppin’ Pepper Pizzas
I get it: Pizza is sacred. But why not use tasty bell peppers as a conduit for all those delicious toppings? Bell Pepper Pizzas have all the flavour you want from a finger food with a bonus serving of nutrient-packed peppers.
Cauliflower Buffalo Bites
Looking for a healthier alternative to chicken wings? Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings are as spicy and satisfying as regular wings, but with a fraction of the calories and fat. Swapping the blue cheese sauce for a low-fat yogurt dip will make them even healthier. But don’t worry: They’re still just as finger-lickin’ good.
Keep your Head in the Game
Just like on the field, one missed play won’t cost you the game. Even the most diligent game watchers end up eating more than they would on a regular Sunday. And that’s ok. It’s Super Bowl Sunday after all, and it only happens once a year.
Eating well isn’t about being perfect; it’s about being consistent. So if you overdo it, just get right back into your healthy habits on Monday and remember that it’s how you eat the rest of the season that matters most.
Happy Super Bowl Everyone!