Healthy Eating Tips for Super Bowl Sunday

By Alexandra Nichols, RD, CDN  |  1/25/2019

When we think of the Super Bowl, we typically think of food, beverages and football. Alexandra Nichols, a bariatric registered dietitian at Vassar Brothers Medical Center and Putnam Hospital Center, offers some helpful tips to help you enjoy the day's events without overindulging.

1). Plan ahead. It is not the occasional "indulgence" that matters. You do not need to strive for perfection, but you should be mindful and consistent of what you consume. When you indulge, it is best to plan ahead. Prepare yourself for the upcoming event, and make sure you are on track prior to and directly after the event.

2). Be the host. If you can, host your own party so you have control over the food and beverage options. Being the host will also keep you busy, keeping your mind off snacking. If you are unable to host, bring a healthy dish to the event you and everybody else can snack on guilt-free.

3). Consume a small meal or snack prior to the event. Showing up to a party hungry will lead to poor decision-making because you may be more inclined to give in to your cravings. If you have a small meal or a snack prior to the party, food may not be the first thing on your mind when you arrive.

4). Exercise prior to the event. If you plan to attend an event where you may eat more calories than normal, schedule time to exercise prior to the party and burn some calories beforehand.

5). Limit your intake of high-calorie beverages. Choose fruit-infused water, herbal teas or low-calorie mixers instead of sugary drinks to avoid unwanted calories.

6). Don't make the entire day about food. What is the Super Bowl actually about? Football and friends! Keep yourself occupied by watching the game and talking to relatives and friends.

7). Keep your portions small. Often at parties there are many dishes to choose from. Keep your portions to "sample sizes" (1-2 bites) and enjoy multiple dishes without overdoing it.

8). Practice mindful eating. In order to feel satisfied with smaller portions, get all of your senses involved in the eating experience. Remember, it takes 15-20 minutes to feel full. Relax and enjoy those around you before going up for seconds.

9). Do not sit near the food. Put the food on your plate and then walk away. If you stand near the buffet or spread, you may be tempted to grab food you otherwise would not.

10). Plan for the "food pushers." We all have those friends or relatives who encourage us to fill our plates with larger portions or for second servings. Ahead of the event, prepare a few polite reasons why you do not want to eat more to prevent you from feeling pressured. Remember, it is OK to say "no."

11). Freeze leftovers. To prevent yourself from giving into temptation on the days following the event, freeze your leftovers so they are not as easily accessible.

12). Go back to your normal routine once the event is over. You may have slightly veered from your diet on Super Bowl Sunday, but do not dwell on it. The next day, get right back to your regular routine. One day is not going to break your diet.

Alexandra Nichols, RD, CDN, is a bariatric registered dietitian for Vassar Brothers Medical Center and Putnam Hospital Center.