On Your Health

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Surviving Super Bowl Snacking

Today we have a post from our guest blogger, Alix Benear, who is a registered dietitian at the INTEGRIS PACER Fitness Center. She completed the Coordinated Program of Dietetics at Texas Christian University and her Master of Science from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Hi everyone. Alix here. Whether you are cheering for the Broncos or the Panthers this Sunday, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest food binges of the year for many viewers. It's estimated that many fans eat more than a day's worth of calories during the four-hour game!  One study showed that fans ate an alarming 6,000 calories on Super Bowl Sunday, surpassing the number of calories they ate on Thanksgiving. Here is a surprising stat: Americans pack away 11 million pound of chips on game day, according to the U.S. Calorie Control Council.

And if you're rooting for the team that loses, you eat even more. Another study showed that disheartened fans of the losing team consumed about 16 percent more saturated fat the day after the game.

While I am not encouraging you to sit on the sidelines this Sunday, I do encourage you to think strategically about what you put in your mouth to up your nutritional gameHere are a few mindful tips to coach you to eat a little more wisely this Super Bowl Sunday. Remember, as I always say, moderation is key, and just making a few minor alterations and staying aware of what you're putting in your mouth can save you a lot of calories.

Dip veggies over chips

Although chips and dip are a winning combo at many watch parties, this team is often laden with saturated fat and empty calories. Reach for veggie sticks over chips for a lower calorie option that will provide vitamins, minerals and fiber. You’ll snag the extra point if you choose fresh salsa over a creamy dip.

Make your own snacks

Take a little extra time to make your own Super Bowl snacks instead of pouring them out of a jar or package. The time investment will pay off in two ways -- you will end up with less processed treats and also educate yourself on what your food contains. This might inadvertently make you more mindful of your food choices during the game.

Create a colorful spread

As you choose recipes for your Super Bowl spread, select dishes that are appealing to the eye. Think of all of the bright colors you can add to your table by making dishes with a variety of different fruits and vegetables. Steer away from recipes that are less colorful and contain calorie dense, processed ingredients like bread, potatoes and cream.

Make a plate

Set appetizer plates out with your snacks. Avoid grazing and nibbling on the spread. Instead, take the time to make yourself a plate so that you can see the portions you are consuming.  Let yourself sample everything you would like, but stick to one full plate and no more. If you are still hungry, fill your plate with seconds of fresh fruits and veggies.

Limit consumption of alcohol

Limit alcohol consumption to one or two drinks during the game. This will reduce the overall number of calories you consume and keep you attentive to the food choices you make. Make sure to drink water in between alcoholic drinks. If you are drinking wine, try making a homemade wine spritzer by filling the glass have full of wine and half full of seltzer, and squeeze in some lime. You'll cut the amount of calories from the wine, and you'll increase your water intake, too.

For a whopping 55 healthier Super Bowl snack options, check out these recipes from Popsugar.