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Your Healthy Eating Super Bowl Game Plan


This Sunday is the big game, which means a party for most of us. Whether you’re actually there for the game or just for the socialization and food, you should not end the night feeling guilty of the food and beverage choices you made.

My mantra is usually that the Super Bowl only happens once a year, so don’t worry about, simply eat and drink whatever you want—just make sure to get back on track the following day. Unfortunately I have found that for a lot of my patients there are too many of these “happens only once a year” events and it is about time they learned how to better maneuver them.

When it comes to the Super Bowl, the main message is that even though you are surrounded by guys, you don’t need to eat like them. Let them eat and drink till they are stuffed and can hardly move off the couch—while you follow this smart, no-deprivation game plan.

Today is not the day to skimp on your workout. Think like the quarterbacks you will later see on TV, and get yourself running to the gym—or just plain running! Then, before you go to the party or guests come over, grab a healthy snack. Think mini meal, such as low-fat yogurt with berries, whole-grain crackers with natural peanut butter, or an individual serving of cheese with a piece of fruit.

RELATED: Yes, you do have time to exercise on the weekends. Do our killer 5-minute abs workout (heck, repeat it two or three times!) on Super Bowl Sunday, and you’ll be ready for your party.

As with any buffet, your first step is to peruse the options that are available before you dig in.

Offensive Strategy
1. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a beer or two—preferably light—but leave the six-pack to the guys.
2. If pizza or sliders are served, go for it. Choose one (or two sliders if they are really small) and make it your meal. The protein and fat will help fill you up so you will be less likely to graze on the chips.
3. It’s okay to have some guacamole, salsa, and chips, but no double-dipping or eating more than you remember.
4. Dive into veggies, just be careful of creamy dip unless the host has informed you it is low-fat. 

Defensive Strategy
1. Wings really offer you nothing nutritious. Pass.
2. Skip the nachos too—with your offensive plan, you won’t even want them.
3. As much as I am for the men waiting on the women, in this scenario don’t let them. The more you get up and get your own food and beverage, the more moving you are doing. I would say to even offer to serve the men, to get in the extra activity—as long as that doesn’t lead you to grab extra mindless nibbles at the same time.


Keri Gans, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., is a registered dietitian, media personality, spokesperson, and author of The Small Change Diet. Gans's expert nutrition advice has been featured in Glamour, Fitness, Health, Self, and SHAPE, and on national television and radio, including The Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, ABC News, Primetime, and Sirius/XM Dr. Radio. Follow her on Twitter @kerigans or on Facebook.


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