Super Bowl Sunday Top Five for Keeping it Healthy

What are your plans for Sunday?

If you’re like 114.4 million Americans who made the 2015 Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks the most watched event in American TV history[1], you’ll be doing some of that very same epic viewing this Sunday, too.

But before you settle into that couch bedecked with beer, chips, dip and hot wings to enjoy the Carolina Panthers face the Denver Broncos in this year’s Super Bowl 50, may I implore you for a moment to consider what you’re going to be eating, and how you may be (not) moving?

For reference, here are some staggering stats from 2015.

  • Americans slug 325.5 million gallons of beer on Super Bowl Sunday, which equates to just over a gallon (128 ounces, or about 10 cans)…per person[2]
  • Americans eat 2,400 calories of junk food during the game with the favorite game day ‘food’ being chips and dip.
  • One billion chicken wings, 11 million pizza slices and 11 million pounds of chips were also eaten over the Super Bowl weekend [3].

Thousands of extra, empty calories which would take running a marathon to burn off, according to Sara Bleich, PhD, associate professor in health policy and management at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Time Magazine[4].

Yikes! It’s sounding even worse than a Thanksgiving food coma!

Not to worry, however, as it needn’t be a black or white situation in which you must choose between enjoying the game and all its traditional festivities, or not partake at all.

Below are my top five tips to creating a healthier Superbowl Sunday that’s full of good-tasting food that also happens to be good for you.

  1. Get Off Your Butt Before the Game Starting the day with some exercise, just like any other day, will make you more likely to choose wisely when it comes to food options later during the game. Walk, run, hike, bike…you choose your most enjoyable mode of motion.
  2. Don’t be a Slug During the Game Either Who ever said you had to stay planted on the couch all day? I recall one year when a client came in for a training session the Monday after the game, bragging about how he’d won a plank competition with his buddies over the weekend. Get up, move, stretch, and take a breather. All will keep you feeling more alert and decrease the chances of eating nonstop.
  3. Choose wisely. If you’re hosting, you’re in control of what is served so you can ensure there’s no corn syrup, red dye or gluten. If you’re not, you can bring a couple of dishes to accompany whatever else the host has planned. Easy ideas include a crudité platter with guacamole, grilled chicken with olive oil and garlic aioli, and raw, sprouted nuts dusted with your favorite seasonings.
  4. Drink wisely. If you’re planning to drink, keep yourself in check. Up the water and stick to neat, grain-free spirits or a glass of red wine. Is consuming upwards of a thousand calories in beer really going to make the game any more enjoyable?
  5. Plan splurges in advance. If game day for you is a special occasion, plan which splurge you’re going to partake in and leave it at that. Perhaps you’re going to bring a container of artisanal sorbet to enjoy and share with whomever else is inclined to try it. Avoid other sugar sources during the day and be mindful of not overdoing the starches either; even yams or root veggies can equate to too much starch if you’re less active than normal.

There’s no reason why enjoying the game has to be a gorge-fest.   Keep active, eat properly and you’ll feel fantastic when you wake up fresh for work on Monday!
Game on!

[1] “Super Bowl Ratings: How Many People Watched The New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks Game?” International Business Times. N.p., 02 Feb. 2015. Web. 05 Feb. 2016

[2] “Don’t Drink a Gallon of Beer During the Super Bowl.” Men’s Fitness. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016

[3], Ellie Zolfagharifard For. “The Super Bowl Binge: Americans Eat 2,400 Calories of Junk Food during the Game – with the Average Shopping Bill Boosted to $150.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 29 Jan. 2015. Web. 05 Feb. 2016

[4] “Here’s How Many Calories You’ll Eat During the Super Bowl.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016