Seattle Seahawks or Denver Broncos? Buffalo chicken wings or several handfuls of chips? How about both? The average person consumes 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat from snacks during a Super Bowl party, according to the Calorie Control Council.
But Alegent Creighton Health Clinical Dietitian Theresa Link said you're better off if you don't focus on what you CAN'T have and focus instead on crowding out junk foods. She offered these tips on surviving snacking during the Super Bowl.
If you're the host:
- Use dessert or appetizer-size plates for your guests to help them with portion control.
- Make as many foods as you can instead of opting for pre-packaged items. Then crowd out the high calorie, high fat ingredients. For example, if you're making a spinach-artichoke dip, double the amount of vegetables to make the dip healthier.
If you're the guest:
- Ask your host if you can bring a dish of, say, cut-up fruits or raw vegetables. If you're not comfortable asking, bring your own snack, like an apple or a fiber bar to help you feel full.
- Eat something before you go. You don't want to show up famished. That could mean super-binging at the food table.
- Stay in an area where the food is NOT located. For example, if it's in the kitchen, you might want to spend your time in the living room. It's easier to avoid mindless reaching for food this way.
- Never eat carbohydrates by themselves. Add a healthy protein or a fat. For example, add peanut butter or walnuts to your banana. Or cheddar cheese cubes to fruit. This minimizes a spike in your blood glucose and keeps you more satisfied.
- Stay away from fat-free selections. It's tempting to eat more of a food if it's made with fat-free cream cheese of fat-free sour cream but you're losing the satiating power of fat. You're better off with reduced-fat or light fat selections. You want to be fat-picky, not fat-phobic.
- Stay away from sugary beverages. Regular soda and regular juices provide a lot of sugar—and empty calories.
- For every drink you have, follow it with 32 ounces of water. You'll still enjoy your favorite beverage but you'll also consume fewer calories, stay in control, prevent dehydration and feel better the next day!
9 Healthy SnacksHere are some ideas for balanced snacks that you can use long after the Super Bowl ends:
- Apple slices with cheddar cheese cubes and walnuts or pecans
- Raw veggies dipped in homemade spinach artichoke dip (extra spinach!)
- Homemade high fiber tortilla chips with homemade tuna or salmon dip, or avocado dip
- Zucchini "fries" and sliced hard boiled eggs
- Baked chicken wings with hummus
- Celery with peanut butter and raisins
- Fruits with plain Greek yogurt for dipping
- Choice of meat and cheese stuffed in a lettuce wrap
- Baked sweet potato fries drizzled with olive oil and feta cheese