If you don’t know what Sunday is by now, you are living under a rock. In just a couple of days the fantastic New England Patriots are taking on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI (46). This game is highly anticipated for many reasons. New England fans are seeking revenge on the Giants after the upsetting loss they experienced four years ago. People who love the game of football are looking forward to impressive plays and creative strategies. Those who just want to go to a good party will have plenty of options. You may be asking yourself what all this has to do with A Healthy Balance and the answer is EVERYTHING.
Trying to find the balance between enjoying yourself in any setting while still maintaining a healthy diet and finding time to exercise can be stressful, especially during holidays or times of celebrations. Days like the Super Bowl can be diet disasters if you don’t plan ahead and commit to staying on track. Sitting on a couch for hours, eating fatty appetizers and washing them down with adult beverages is the easiest way to erase all the hard work you did at the gym or boot camp this week. You may convince yourself that since you were “good” all week you deserve a cheat day, but that doesn’t mean shoving anything and everything into your mouth is acceptable. The worst part is that foods notoriously linked to football like nachos, dips, and wings flavors are going to expand your waistline faster than Welker can return a kickoff.
Of course there are ways to prevent falling off the healthy wagon and here are a few foolproof ideas:
1. Do something active the day of the game. Kick off isn’t until after the sun goes down, so what you do with the rest of your Sunday is up to you. If you’re extra ambitious, treat it like any other day and hit the gym or go for a run. If you aren’t in the mood for that, head outside with a football and get pumped up by tossing around the old pigskin. Basically, do anything other than start the eating/drinking celebrations at noon. By breaking a sweat earlier in the day you’ll set yourself up for success and be less apt to indulge later.
2. Eat like you normally would. Don’t get up on Sunday and only eat breakfast then wait until the game to eat again. By the time it starts you’ll be starving and grab whatever is in sight regardless of the calorie count. Eat a well-balanced, healthy breakfast like you would during the week and then eat lunch and even dinner depending on what time you go out. This way you can sample a few fantastic Hors d’oeuvres but you’ll have your attention focused on the most important thing…THE GAME!
3. Surround yourself with healthy snacks. If everyone else is munching and grazing, it’s going to be harder for you to keep yourself from doing the same. If you only have healthy snacks within reach you won’t feel like you’re missing out and can be free to have some celebratory snacks. If you are hosting a party you will have a better opportunity to supply these good snacks, but if you are a guest just bring some with you. An easy option is a veggie tray loaded with fresh veggies and hummus and/or ranch dip made with fat free sour cream. At the end of the game you are going to feel a lot better if you ate carrots, celery, and snap peas than if you ate half a tray of buffalo chicken dip. Plus, it will be easier to jump up and down when the Pats win!!
Here is a link to some pretty easy, healthy Super Bowl party alternatives: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/super_bowl_1
4. Go easy on the liquids….I’m not talking about water. If beer and football go together for you like #12 and touchdowns, have a few, but don’t over do it. The empty calories in the drinks alone will set you back, but coupled with lower inhibitions, that stack of ribs that you’d usually pass by may start to seem irresistible. Nothing kills willpower more than too many drinks. You’ll be thanking me the next day since most of you have to work Monday morning.
This link gives you some advice from our favorite Skinny Girl. Her cocktails are delicious and low in calories. There are also a few good snack recipes:
5. Lastly, have fun. The Super Bowl only comes once a year and it’s a great opportunity to get together with friends and family and watch some really good football. Enjoy the game, great company and some good food, but don’t overdo it.
Whether you’re a diehard football fan, a Half-Time commercial critic, or just love to watch hot guys run around in tight pants you’ll feel much better the day after if you wake up and know that you stuck to your healthy goals. Tom Brady didn’t get the body he has by laying around, eating bags of chips and drinking twelve packs, and neither did his supermodel wife for that matter. You know for sure that Gronk and Hernandez didn’t get their physiques doing anything other than sticking to their training plans even when tempted with what seemed like the more fun, easier option. If you really want to show your appreciation for the game and the guys who play it, treat your body the way an athlete would.
Oh yeah and…. Be Healthy. Be Balanced.
Leave a comment: How are you going to make your SuperBowl festivities healthy?