When it comes to advice about not overindulging at special events and holidays, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. I am guessing that many of you have “heard it before,” especially with some big holiday gatherings immediately behind us.
Still, there are benefits to reinforcing positive messages and actions. In this instance, it’s about ways to not mindlessly eat while having a terrific time with friends and family during one big upcoming food-driven event. Yes, I am talking about a well-known professional football game (with its million-dollar-per-30-second commercials) that screams out for food, snacks and drinks. It shall remain nameless for the purpose of this blog but I think you know what I am talking about.
According the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “we eat more on Big Game Sunday than on any day of the year besides Thanksgiving.” The Calorie Control Council, a food industry group, says a typical game day feast could easily surpass 2,400 calories.
If you think that number seems high, I say it seems low! Several handfuls of nuts or chips here, a plate load of wings, nachos or meatballs there. A few sweet margaritas and beers throughout the day. Guacamole and sour cream dips, everywhere. Yikes. Calories from your oversized SUPER BOWL(s) add up fast!
So, in an effort to try not to reinvent the advice that has been given about overeating, I have rounded up some tips from various sources that bear repeating. Hopefully they will help you plan for healthy game-day snacks.
Healthy Snacking Tips to Defend Against the Big Game Snack Attack
The Calorie Control Council (CCC) recommends pre-planning a menu to include lower calorie appetizers and beverages, including low-sugar snacks. Some tips recommended by CCC dietitians include:
- Volunteer to bring low-calorie dishes and calorie-free beverages instead of the full calorie options.
- Brush your teeth right before you go to the party. Meatballs don’t taste as good when consumed by a minty mouth.
- Alternate your drink choices between those that contain calories and those that do not. So after having a beverage with calories, choose water or another option without calories!
- Hit the veggie tray first and fill up on veggies before considering the other offerings.
- Don’t hang out in the same room with the food.
Other tips that I have personally found useful include:
- Eat some healthy and filling foods (e.g., an apple, carrot sticks, a low-fat yogurt smoothie) before going to a party. You may not be as tempted to nosh on the high calorie, high fat, sugar-laden offerings that might be served.
- Wear clothes that fit snugly. You very well may be less tempted to overindulge.
- Avoid high calorie beverages, with alcohol or not. This includes skipping beverages that are high in added sugar.
- Chew sugar-free gum instead of eating. Be sure to bring extra to share.
- Just say no (thanks!) if someone tempts you to consume something you don’t want.
Other suggestions made here at Splendaliving.com over the past few years include:
- Avoid mindless eating by plating everything you’re going to eat before putting it in your mouth. Don’t allow yourself to go back for seconds.
- When noshing on the veggie tray, skip the high calorie dips.
- If you are hosting the party, stock up on a variety of healthy food and beverage options that contain less added sugar and are lower in calories.
Here are two recipe ideas that use SPLENDA® Sweeteners. Both the mojito and the margarita can be made with or without alcohol. Both made with less calories and added sugar than the usual recipes.
Let us know what tips have helped you from overeating during food-oriented events!
I have been compensated for my time by Heartland Food Products Group, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog with Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.
To learn more recipe tips for cooking and baking with SPLENDA® Sweeteners, visit the Cooking & Baking section of this blog.
Sue Taylor is a consulting nutritionist with more than 35 years of experience. She is passionate about sharing her nutrition knowledge and fondness for good, healthy food. Sue will put relevant information in consumer terms and provide valuable perspective to clear up misinformation and confusion about nutrition and food safety.