If you have been sticking to your New Year’s resolution to lose weight since January 1, pat yourself on the back! But if you have been invited to a Super Bowl party and nachos, wings and queso dip are some of your favorite unhealthy foods, you may be a little concerned about maintaining your weight loss while still enjoying the festivities. Try these game day tactics for navigating the appetizer table on Super Bowl Sunday.
Mindless eating can lead to consumption of a huge number of calories. When we eat mindlessly, we don’t register how much we have eaten, reducing satiety and causing us to eat more. So, instead of standing in front of the food spread, make yourself a plate so you can visually see what you are about to consume. This will help you feel more satisfied with what you are eating and help keep the calories under control.
Vegetables are always a low-calorie choice and they can help you cut back on eating less-than-healthy treats. Start the party by filling half your plate with veggies and the other half with foods you really love. Doing this will effortlessly cut the calories in half while still allowing you a few bites of the foods you love.
Maybe you’re worried about going to the party because your friends aren’t quite onboard with your new, healthier lifestyle. So, why not bring your own healthy dish? Be sure to coordinate with the host, who will likely be grateful, and ask what you can bring. Make a colorful veggie tray, fruit salad or lightened up nachos that everyone can enjoy while helping you stick with your resolutions. From wings to ranch dip, with a bit of research you can find a way to make almost every favorite dish a bit healthier by substituting ingredients or modifying the preparation methods.
When you’re distracted watching the big game, you are more likely to overeat. A 2014 study found that people watching highly distracting TV shows (like the Super Bowl) consumed 65% more calories than those who watched the news. The excitement and distraction made them less aware of what they were consuming. The bottom line is that if you really love football or your favorite team is in the Bowl, then consider staying away from the snack table until halftime.
Prepare your own “game plan” ahead of time to give you the fortitude to pass up high-calorie dishes. Get a workout in before the game. Eat a breakfast high in protein to prevent hunger later in the day. Drink plenty of water before you head out. Also, consider eating a small, balanced snack right before you leave home so you don’t arrive at the party hungry. The calmer and more controlled you are going into a situation where there is a lot of food, the more likely you are to succeed.
In the end, the Super Bowl is only one day. It is pretty difficult to blow all your progress in just one day. Do the best you can and if you do give in a bit, forgive yourself and move on. When you get home, drink plenty of water to flush out any additional sodium and prevent a hangover if you indulged in alcohol. The next day, schedule a workout and plan healthy meals. Just let it go and focus on what you can do to stay motivated and on track.