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NEWS // January 29, 2015

Super Ways to Eat Healthy on Game Day

Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest eating days of the year - right up there with Thanksgiving.

Enjoy the party without over indulging. Here's how: 

  • Pre-game warm-up: Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch or snack before you head to the party. Skipping meals to “save up” your calories for the big event backfires when you over eat because you are so hungry.                   
  • Think like a winner: Focus on the game and enjoying your friends, rather than on the food.
  • Have a game plan: Take a look at the food spread before digging in. You don't have to eat some of everything - choose 2-3 foods you really like - maybe something you seldom eat. Take small servings then fill up your plate with healthy items like fruit and veggies (but go easy on the dip - 1 tablespoon typically has at 100+ calories!).
  • Follow a winning strategy: Eat mindfully - think before you put something in your mouth. After serving your plate, move away from the buffet table where it's easy to eat lots of guacamole and chips (without even thinking about it) while you're standing there watching the game.
  • Take a break at half-time: Grab a friend or two and take a walk in the neighborhood. You'll gain energy and be ready to tackle the second half of the party.
  • Keep advancing toward the goal line: Regular soda, lemonade, beer and cocktails can add lots of extra calories. Drink light versions of your favorite beverages. If you indulge in cocktails, limit the calories by limiting yourself to 2 drinks - one each half, and drink water the rest of the time.
  • Avoid time-outs: Don't let food-borne illness ruin your game. Avoid eating perishable foods that have been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. That includes things like chicken wings, nachos with chicken or beef, barbeque sliders, dips made with sour cream, and cut fruits and vegetables (unless served on ice).
  • Score the winning touchdown! Make healthy choices and have a great time.

Article written by Patti Wooten Swanson, PHD - Nutrition, Family, and Consumer Science Advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension