The Super Bowl is, traditionally, a time when you gorge yourself silly on such healthy fare as pizza, nachos, subway sandwiches, and, of course, gallons and gallons of beer. Unlike other holiday meals that occur in earlier winter months, there is usually nothing redeeming about the food you ingest with your friends while trying to cheer around a mouthful of Cheetos. This year, however, challenge yourself to cut back on the calories, saving yourself from indigestion and your waist band from extra inches.
Remember that what you put into your body affects your health, and since junk food doesn’t really promote the kind of growth your body needs – for strong muscles, hair, skin, and that pesky immune system – you can cut it out of your diet and suffer no ill after effects. In fact, you’ll undoubtedly feel better. Also keep in mind that fat is easy to build, but far more difficult to lose.
Instead of pizza and hot wings, Oreos and cupcakes, why don’t you try a few of these options?
Healthy side dish. Onion dip may be yummy, but if you substitute baked tortilla chips with low sodium salsa, you’ll cut right through the calories and boost your metabolism. Black bean dip with red bell pepper strips is a tasty substitute for traditionally fattening dips (like spinach dip, which sounds healthy, but is mostly cream cheese) that will run you about 195 calories as opposed to, say, the 500 or so you get from two simple pieces of pizza.
Move around! Sitting on the couch and yelling, while invigorating, isn’t going to help you burn any calories as you continually ingest them. Take a break every few minutes to mingle with your guests (keeping in mind that some people actually do come to these parties to watch the game), or excuse yourself to stretch for a bit. Just don’t miss the commercials: that’s the best part.
Hydrate yourself. Beer is a requirement for any Super Bowl shindig, but you can help yourself stave off that inevitable and annoying hangover and avoid racking up the calories by alternating each beer or drink you imbibe with a glass of water. Not only will you stay hydrated, but your sobriety will improve and you’ll avoid any unpleasant DUIs once the party is over!
Watch those calories! Just because there’s a lovely spread doesn’t mean you have to partake of everything before you, or in such big quantities. If you feel like you won’t be able to keep control of yourself, mix up a shake made of whey protein before the party to stave off any cravings once the game starts … no matter how tempting those little sausage wraps may be.
Extra exercise. So you actually want to watch the game – what are you going to do about all those calories? Plan an extra workout before and after the game, which can be as simple as walking home. You’ll burn off all that nasty food you ate and feel good about yourself at the same time!
Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.