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Super Bowl Food…Uh Oh

The fact that the Super Bowl is not a national holiday is somewhat of a travesty. I mean, really, we are all going to stay up too late surrounded by tempting food while hanging out with our friends and family. It sounds like a holiday party to me. Anyway, while we all still have work on the Monday after the Super Bowl (for now) we shouldn’t have to have a bunch of guilt about what we ate on Super Bowl Sunday. I’ve personally been there many years. Too many cookies, too much random junk I don’t even like, and too many regrets the next day. There’s a way to beat this, however, and it comes right from the holiday season you and I both recently left. Here’s your game plan (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun):

Go HAM on your favorites.

Like any good party, your favorite foods are going to be in attendance. At our Super Bowl party, there is always a fruit pizza which is up there with the most delicious things I eat all year. Is it the healthiest option? No, it’s not. But staying away from it all day during the game would just make me overeat everything else. So I plan and look forward to having a slice or two of this special treat.

Do this with your favorite foods, as well. If you absolutely love having a beer while you take in the game, pick your favorite brew, lean back, and relax while you sip that thing down. Maybe your party revolves around your favorite pizza – great, that’s your treat for the party and you’re going to completely enjoy your slices with zero guilt and zero regret.

But skip the so-so food you just mindlessly consume.

It’s not the fruit pizza, beer, wings, or real pizza that truly do you in at parties. It is the bowls of candy, chips, and dips that you don’t even actually enjoy which really mess up your nutrition. Seriously, I know, I’ve been there – I’m hanging out with friends and family, just enjoying my time. All of the sudden I look down and I’ve eaten half a bowl of chips! This doesn’t make me a bad person – and when you do the same thing, it doesn’t make you a bad person either – but it does mean I really jacked up my eating for the day. I never, ever feel bad about having food I truly love on special occasions. It’s the random food I can buy whenever that holds zero meaning that gets to me, and I bet you’re the same.

I made this suggestion for the holidays, as well, but it bears repeating. The random, packaged, all-year-long food that you’ll have again at every party in the world simply isn’t worth your attention. Go back to step one, enjoy yourself fully with your favorite foods, and just say no to the random junk. It adds up.

Leave the food away from the TV.

Normally it is important for you to leave distractions away from eating time – so no television, no computer, no phone. However, given that the Super Bowl is a sporting event on TV, that is pretty tough. So, instead of removing the distraction, remove the food.

That bowl of chips I mention eating above? Doesn’t happen if I’m sitting and watching the TV without a bowl present. Just leave all the food in another room, even if that is a room literally next to your TV area. The act of having to stand up and physically walk over to get another bite of food is enough to slow you down and make you reconsider. It seems like a small trick, and it is, but it can save you hundreds and hundreds of calories over the course of the game.

One last thing…throw it out.

When the game is over, get rid of that food. I know it hurts – the food is so delicious. But you’re going to thank yourself when Monday night rolls around and you aren’t back on your couch, cold pizza in hand, wondering how you’re going to work off these calories. It creates a bad relationship with food and one you want to avoid. So after the party, throw it all away. Trust me, pizza in the trash isn’t nearly as appetizing as pizza on your counter.

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