Let’s face it, there’s always going to be something that comes up as a potential sabotage for your healthy eating goals. My hubby is a big football fan, like HUGE. This year I actually joined a fantasy football league with the fam just so I can be part of this world that my hubby loves so much. Okay, what does football have to do with healthy eating? Well, that’s right it doesn’t!
Whether it’s a tailgate party, a bowl party or just munchies in front of the tube watching your fav team it’s all about the food. Here are just a few tips from the Beachbody Newsletter with tips on staying healthy through the football season:
Work out first
A brand new study by a team of Brazilian researchers (Public Library of Science, August 2010) concluded that exercise actually modulates feelings of fullness in the brain, causing us to reduce our intake of food. In other words, when you work out, you actually eat less. Which is good, because you don’t want to spend an hour and a half working out in the morning and then destroy it all with cravings for fried food and alcohol. Working out will help reduce your cravings and decrease your appetite. (Besides, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll feel like working out after the game.)
Don’t go hungry
Popular wisdom says you should never go grocery shopping while hungry. The same rings true for attending any kind of party. The worst thing you can do to your nutrition plan is wait until you’re starving, then descend upon an endless supply of low-quality carbs and not-so-lean meats. It’ll be 45 minutes before you realize you’re no longer hungry, and you’ve just consumed your weight in cheese curls. Eat a clean, high-quality meal before you arrive at the gathering. You’ll eat less garbage and you’ll probably be a lot more pleasant to be around as well.
Veggie it up
I know, I know, you don’t want to be that guy (or gal!), but if you’re going to bring anything to the party, your first choice should be a veggie platter. Not only can you save yourself from tomorrow’s food hangover, you might actually do your body some good. Bite-sized pieces of broccoli, carrots, celery, bell peppers, cauliflower, and snap peas are all inexpensive, low in calories, and full of vitamins. Create a low-fat dip to accompany them, and you might just trump the team’s QB as MVP. Just use any onion or ranch dip recipe, with nonfat yogurt, nonfat sour cream, or nonfat cream cheese as the base.
Also, try the 5-to-1 veggie trick: for every five bites of veggies you consume, you’re allowed one full-fat snack bite. You’ll end up having to chew so much for that one morsel of evil, it won’t really be worth it.
Another great thing to bring tailgating is a fruit platter or fruit salad. Yes, I realize fruit has a lot more sugar in it than veggies do. But fruit is a lot lower in calories than potato salad, it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and most people like it a lot. What’s more, it’s high in fiber, so you’ll stay fuller longer. Fruit skewers are a big crowd-pleaser, and counting the empty sticks will show you how much you’re actually eating. Aim for watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, apples, oranges, peaches, and nectarines.
Get your hand out of the bag
When you’re running late on game day, the path of least resistance is to run into a 7-Eleven and grab a few bags of chips and maybe some dip. Everyone loves ‘em, right? Well, your waistline doesn’t. You can easily consume a couple of meals’ worth of calories by shoving your hand into a bag a few times. So plan ahead a tiny bit and replace those greasy potato chips, corn chips, and cheese curls with baked tortilla chips and salsa, seasoned air-popped popcorn, multigrain pretzels, and mini–rice cakes. You’ll still get a ton of crunch and flavor, without consuming 13 grams of fat per handful.
If you want to add a dip, try this low-fat/high-protein guacamole recipe: Take a 16-ounce container of plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped large avocado, 4 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro, 2 teaspoons of minced jalapeño, and 1 small minced clove of garlic. Throw them into a food processor and blend until smooth. Chill before serving.
Keeping it light will be well worth it when you sit down to watch the Superbowl in 5ish months!