February is here which means it’s time for the other Thanksgiving…Super Bowl Sunday! Where there is football and friends there is food, and plenty of it. Pizza, wings, beer, chips, and dip, all five food groups. So how are you supposed to have fun and still maintain a shred of dietary decency when you’re surrounded by such temptations? Well, I’m not saying that it will be easy and I’m not saying that you have to eat celery sticks and drink water, but I do have 10 tips that will help you minimize your wing/beer hangover.
- Eat breakfast! Skipping breakfast to save on calories or “save room for later” is the worst thing you can do. Have a balanced breakfast to get that furnace burning and give you the energy you need to cheer on your team of choice! Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up and eat a small meal every 3 hours thereafter. (Meal meaning anything from a snack of an apple and some almonds to a sandwich). It would be great if you could incorporate some veggies and protein at each meal, but I’m not going to be too picky.
- Stay hydrated. I know you’ve heard it before, but I’m going to repeat it – dehydration can make you feel hungry and sluggish, which is the perfect recipe for a carbohydrate binge fest. Drink a glass of water in the morning and every hour thereafter for the rest of the day. You want to aim for at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water per day, and a glass (8 oz) every hour will get you close to that amount.
- Eat a light snack before the big game. Whatever you do, do NOT go to your Super Bowl party with a grumbly in your tumbly! Have an apple and some peanut butter or even a PB&J before you go to curb your voracious appetite. Remember, you’re watching the Super Bowl, not playing in it.
- Bring a veggie platter with you and partake from said veggie platter. There will be plenty of not so excellent food choices at your Super Bowl destination so grow a pair and be that person that brings something green. Deep down everyone will thank you.
- Practice portion control. I’m not asking you to just eat a salad, but I am asking that you go easy on your portion sizes. My Turkey Day strategy is to put a little sample of everything on my plate, and if somethings are absolutely delicious, I will get second helpings of those delicious dishes. I am usually full by the end of my sampler plate though, which means my strategy has been a success! Another way to control your portion is to use a smaller salad plate rather than the large entree plate. This will “trick” your mind into thinking you have more food. On the same portion control note, if you’re eating wings, keep the wing bones on your plate so you can keep track of how many wings you’ve eaten. If you don’t see the bones on your plate you are more likely to keep shoveling those wings down your gullet.
- Don’t stand next to the snacky foods. (chips, popcorn, Chex mix, etc) Our food habits are highly influenced by our environment, so put yourself in a non-binge encouraging environment by standing far, far away form the snack bowls. You don’t need the chips and dip, you don’t even want the chips and dip. The only reason you are eating the chips and dip is because it’s there. So do yourself a favor and get away from said chips and dip. If you absolutely must snack, go ahead and snack on that delicious veggie platter that you brought!
- Alternate beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages with water. Not only will alternating alcohol and water keep you hydrated keeping your hangover under control, but you’ll save some calories as well! **Fun fact: alcohol contains 7 calories per gram of alcohol.**
- Stand during commercial breaks. It might not seem like much, but standing may burn 20-50 calories more than sitting so why not burn a few extra calories by standing during the super fun and entertaining commercials?!
- If you’re not too drunk, do a jumping jack or push up for every point your team scores. I know it sounds crazy but you will burn some extra calories and it will leave you feeling much better on Monday than a drinking game will!
- Tip 10 is a doozy, but if you can handle it, you’ll burn some major calories. Are you ready? Halftime dance party!! Seriously, dance to Bruno and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. You know you want to and I’m giving you permission to, so do it.
Bottom line, have a drink or two and partake in some wings just do it in moderation! Have fun, be safe, and go team…whatever your team may be!