Football analogies abound this time of year. But it’s true that if you don’t formulate an eating strategy for Sunday’s big game, you could be on the losing end when it comes to sticking with your health goals.
During the three hours spent watching the final matchup between two great teams, the average armchair quarterback will consume 1,200 calories. What’s more, that doesn’t take into account any other meals during the day, or beer and soda consumption.
“Take the time before this Sunday and think about your strategy,” says Tracey Grant, RDN, a wellness education specialist with Sharp Rees-Stealy’s Center for Health Management. “Make a winning game plan before you kick off your game-time eating.”
Here are her tips:
- Drink light beer, sparkling water or unsweetened ice tea. Avoid sweetened drinks like soda and juice.
- Instead of regular high-calorie dips, try a yogurt-based option or use salsa with no sugar added.
- Nuts are nutritious, but the fat and calories add up quickly. Consider serving air-popped popcorn flavored with herbs and spices instead.
- Replace fried mozzarella sticks with baked or grilled chicken skewers, seasoned with spices rather than breading.
- Serve a variety of pre-cut fruits and vegetables.
- Put your food on a plate instead of munching straight from the dish. This will help you to be more aware of how much you’re eating.
Whether you’re hosting a viewing party or watching alone, borrow a page from the Mediterranean diet playbook and try these heart-healthy snacks:
- Olives, which are low in calories and rich in healthy fats
- Nut butters with sliced apples or celery
- Lentil dip or hummus with sliced vegetables
Find more delicious recipes and nutrition tips on Sharp Health News.