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Posted February 01, 2018 by Rose Ann Chiurazzi, MA, RDN, LD, CDE

The excitement is growing for Super Bowl LII. Before we know it, it will be the kickoff for the Big Game, the must watch commercials, and of course, the anticipated halftime show. It will also be a kickoff to the Big Party with friends and family where we will root for our favorite team.   

As we celebrate, there will be an abundance of traditional game day snack foods and drinks— wings, sandwich platters, beer, you name it. All of this will be accompanied by an abundance of temptation! It is not uncommon for an avid football fan to consume more than a days’ worth of calories within the short span of a four-hour game. With a game plan of your own, you can enjoy Super Bowl Sunday and come out a winner yourself!

Pre-Game Strategy:  
  • Have a nutritious breakfast and lunch and maybe even a healthy snack before going to watch the Big Game. If you skip meals in anticipation of the game day spread, you will be extra hungry and more tempted to overindulge.  
  • Stay well hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. This will help to curb food cravings later on.
  • Be active before the game: sneak in your favorite workout or take a brisk walk.

Have a Game Plan:

  • Before leaving for the party, anticipate the types and amounts foods that may or may not fit into your meal plan. 
  • Be sure to consider alcohol, mixers and other drinks that may pile on the calories. 
  • Decide on a strategy that may help you to stay in control. For example, plan to stand up and stretch during the commercials or plan on how to best stay away from your biggest temptations.

 You are in control of the ball. 

  • If you are a guest, bring a recipe that you know is a healthier version of traditional game day food.  Greek yogurt is a good substitute for sour cream in dips. Flavor with your favorite seasonings.
  • If you are hosting, load your table with sliders made with lean meat, low fat cheeses, low fat turkey chili, hummus, baked chips and healthy nuts.  
  • This is a great time to try new recipes that will satisfy your guests and your own eating goals.

Stay in control and don’t let the opponent run with the ball.  

  • Before you load your plate, survey the playing field. Identify higher calorie and lower calorie choices and make a strategy to block the play.  
  • Choose the smallest plate available. Limit yourself to only one plate of food. 
  • Begin with healthier choices including raw veggies and protein based items to help fill the plate. This will leave less space on your plate for the higher calorie pizza and wings.   
  • If you do choose to eat chips and dips, place them on your plate instead of standing next to the bowl and eating them mindlessly.  
  • Try to finish your snacking before halftime. 
  • If you drink alcohol or soft drinks, alternate each drink with equal amounts of water. This will slow down the caloric intake and help prevent dehydration (and hangovers). 

The Fumble: If you fumble the ball and overindulge, don’t let one fumble cause you to quit the game.Re-evaluate your strategy and get right back on track.

Post Game Conference: Celebrate the winning team! Keep in mind, the Super Bowl is once a year and should be a fun time. There’s no need to feel guilty as long as the indulgences end with the game. Re-evaluate your choices and get right back on track tomorrow!


Rose Ann Chiurazzi, MA, RDN, LD, CDE


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