Super Bowl Sunday - Tips For Navigating Party Food
Author - Stephen Griffith C.S.C.S.
Over 100 million people will be watching the super bowl today.
Chances are you’re one of them.
Whether your routing for the Rams, The Patriots, or Maroon 5 It’s sure to be a good time.
At the center of this good time is food.
The Calorie Control Council (CCC) estimates that consumers will eat 30 million pounds of snacks total. Further, CCC research suggests that people will take in a minimum of 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat on Super Bowl Sunday... from snacking alone!
Other measurements suggest by days end many people will have consumed almost 6000 calories.
I want to go over a few ways you can safely navigate this Super bowl Sunday without ruining your health and fitness goals.
Know what your eating
Most of us have no idea how many calories are in the foods we eat. Eating without knowing the value of the foods is like trying to budget without knowing how much your spending.
The first step is to have an understanding of how many calories your body burns each day.
To find this out , you can use the calorie estimator at active.com
Next understand how many calories are in the various foods you may eat.
If you eat more calories than your body expends each day you will gain weight.
If you go over your body’s daily expenditure assuming as a rule of thumb a person burns around a 100 calories per mile running this is how much activity those snacks require to burn off.
Better not Best
We often thing of our food choices as either good or bad. The reality is that our food choices run on a spectrum.
As an example let's assume you ate out and ordered chicken and broccoli from your local Chinese restaurant.
Ideal might have been cooking it at home grilling your chicken and steaming your veggies. Worse might be ordering fried chicken and biscuits from the KFC across the street.
Sometimes the best choice isn’t available. You goal in these situations should be to make the better decision.
When you enter that super bowl party look at your options. Ask yourself what option would be the worse and what option is better.
Prioritize nutrients - salsa and guac will have more nutrients than mystery cheese sause.
Beware over doing portions - aim for foods that will satisfy you. Avoid foods that you will be likely to over do.
Avoid Calorie Bombs - Avoid those foods that are very high in calories - like potato chips
You can have your cake and eat it too. The occasional indulgence can be beneficial. It’s OK.
If you must eat the slice of pizza though, do so in moderation. Have a slice, not all of the slices.
Have a wing or two, not a bucket.
If you have a trouble food for which you know you cannot control yourself then avoid it.
Bring your own food
If your joining a party what’s served on the menu is out of your control.
However, you are not powerless. Simply bring a dish of food that is also in line with your goals. The other guest will appreciate your gesture, and you will have the piece of mind knowing that you have a healthy option.
For ideas consider the great list below from Country Living
This is an excerpt from my article
I’m a proponent of moderation and sometimes that means allowing yourself to enjoy a special occasion. None of us are perfect and binge days happen so what can we do to minimize the consequences?
The answer comes down to managing calories in vs calories out
Consume less during the rest of the day - fast or have light meals.
Drink water before your big meal and during the day - it will help you feel full and manage your appetite.
Exercise - Get a nice workout in during the day. Preferably before the meal.
Go for a walk after the meal - This will help your body make the most of these calories
Adjust for the week - Even if you can't fully mitigate the excess on one day simply apply these lessons to the days either preceding or following the big day. Nothing drastic - no starving yourself and no trying to work it off (you're likely to just hurt yourself). Just reasonable reductions in your meals and exercise as normal.
Parties can be a dangerous place to navigate. They are often full of fatty high calorie snack foods. Use the tips above to help you avoid binge eating tonight.
Do your best, enjoy yourself, and go Rams.
As a New Yorker I can’t root for the Patriots.
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