Slim Down Your Super Bowl Party
Guess what really important event is coming soon? The Iowa caucuses? Groundhog’s Day? The Super Bowl? Yes, my birthday is coming. I’ll be 42, thanks for saying I look like I’m in my mid-30’s.
If you are a Christmas baby you have more complaining rights than me, but having a birthday that is regularly hijacked by the Super Bowl can be a bit of a bore after a while too. Before I had kids my husband used to take me to Vegas for “my birthday” every year but since the pit bosses get testy about leaving strollers in the casino area we enjoy “my birthday” in the comfort of our home now.
Actually, I like the Super Bowl, especially the commercials. I’m one of those people who roots for “the blue team?” with no real basis for my team selection. Oddly enough I’ve been very good about picking the winning team. This generates real birthday cash, so I’m all for football parties.
What I’m not for as both a bikini competitor and now as a personal trainer is the all day long junk food fest that accompanies the big game. Beer, nachos, chip ‘n’ dip, pizza, hoagies and, you know, birthday cake, can really pack on a lot of extra calories. If you’ve been diligent about your New Year’s resolution of weight loss, you might be feeling good, 5-10 lbs. lighter, and think, “Why not? I deserve a cheat meal, right?”
Speaking as a person who has fallen off the clean eating bandwagon more than once in her life, I’d like to encourage you to not go nuts this Super Bowl. You’ll feel bloated, possibly hung-over, and might feel pangs of regret for overeating. Also, trust me, it’s easy for that “one” cheat meal to turn into a few cheat days, and then a week, and then it’s time for Valentine’s Day chocolate. So let’s nip this in the bud. Here are…
3 Ways to Slim Down Your Super Bowl Party
- Chip and Dip. I’m a potato chip and dip gal personally because like crunchy salty snack foods. For a healthier alternative try baby carrots and garlic hummus or celery sticks with almond butter.
The veggies provide the crunch and the healthy fats will keep you full longer. If you must eat chips so you don’t feel left out, try some protein chips from Quest. And, no, I’m not getting a percentage for recommending this brand (but if you are Quest, please feel free to send me oodles and oodles of cash.)
- Drinking Games. From a diet standpoint the best alcohol to drink is no alcohol at all because your metabolism has to shift gears to get all the toxins out of your body and so has no time to focus on getting rid of your extra fat. Also, cocktails can really add on the calories if they are salted or sugar-rimmed or mixed with soda at 140 calories per serving. If you really want to drink, have one and sip it the entire length of the game. You will feel social and not cause too much damage to your waistline. Clear alcohol, like vodka, has fewer calories than something like an ale. Sparkling water is a good alternative, since it’s fizzy like soda and flavored and zero calories.
- Wings, Pizza and Chili. When wings, pizza and chili are ordered from a local restaurant, you really have no control over how much sugar, salt and fat they cook it with. If you’re coming to the party, why not cook your own dish and bring it? Chili can be made healthier if you ditch the beef for ground turkey or skip the meat altogether and make it vegetarian. For wings I use Frank’s Red Hot Wings Buffalo sauce. It’s high in sodium but has zero carbs or calories. The main thing here is portion control with your chicken. If you typically eat a 3 or 4 oz serving, stick to that serving and don’t eat double that just because it’s in front of you. There are lots of healthier pizza recipes online, but if you’re going to have a slice of pizza from the pizzeria, make it plain. All those toppings of extra cheese, sausage, and whatever else you can think of can double the calorie count.
Having fun doesn’t have to be a high calorie endeavor. Score a touchdown with these few simple switches and you can avoid sacking your clean eating efforts.
P.S. – Birthday cake has no calories.
Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two.
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