Food and Football without the Pounds

Heather Reese Health Guide
  • Don’t be fooled by all the hype … for most people super bowl Sunday is not about football – it is all about the food. In fact, it is ranked as the number two “food consumption event” of the year, second only to Thanksgiving!

    Food and football seem to go together from tailgate parties to concession stands. So it makes sense that the biggest football day of the year would yield some of the biggest eating of the year. But while you watch these high performance athletes gain yardage and points – you don’t have to gain pounds.

    If you are hosting a super bowl party than you have home field advantage. And there are plenty of ways to keep your super bowl party festive while making it a little healthier. When you think of typical super bowl party fare, you think wings, pizza, dips, chips, subs and beer. All of these foods have healthy alternatives with all the flavor of the originals.
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    Instead of fatty chicken wings, serve chicken bites made with white meat chicken breast. And instead of blue cheese dressing, serve your chicken bites with low-fat honey mustard and ranch dressings. Use low-fat yogurt to mix your dips instead of sour cream and serve them with baked potato chips, pretzels and veggies.

    Instead of ordering a submarine sandwich from your grocery store or local deli, put out a tray with low-fat deli meats and cheese, whole grain breads, low-fat mayo and mustard and let your guests build their own sandwiches. If you’re ordering pizza, ask for no cheese or less cheese and order lots of veggies on top instead of high fat, high sodium meat toppings. You can also serve your guests light beer, diet soda and bottled waters.

    It can be more difficult if you’re going out to a super bowl party, but with a little planning ahead you don’t have to foul up your diet. Don’t go to the party hungry. Try to eat normally throughout the day and have a small snack before leaving your house. This way you won’t dive into the food as soon as you get to the party because you’re starving.

    Take a quick survey of what they are serving and pick and choose which items you will eat. Fill up your plate with healthy things and only one or two of the less-healthy foods and don’t go back for seconds. If you are concerned that your host won’t have healthy options, offer to bring something and put together a veggie and fruit tray.

    Finally, try to actually watching the game. Focus on socializing away from the food. If you aren’t in arms reach of the buffet, you are less likely to eat mindlessly.
Published On: February 05, 2007