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Celebrate the big game in a healthier way

By Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN Food City Registered Dietitian • Jan 30, 2019 at 12:00 AM

One of the biggest sports events of the year is happening this Sunday. Even people who aren’t particularly fond or knowledgeable of this year’s teams or the sport itself are excited to hang out with friends and, most importantly, chow down on some food. 

The big game does not come at the most opportune time for those of us with healthy eating New Year’s resolutions. Most football snacks are fried, coated in cheese or a combination of both — not the healthiest options. This year, follow these tips to avoid being tackled by calorie-heavy foods while watching the big game.

Include lighter options: 

Balance out the heavier items by picking up lighter party appetizers from the grocery store such as a fruit or veggie tray, sandwich or wrap tray, or even a cheese and fruit tray with whole grain crackers. If you don’t trust yourself to go shopping and stick to lighter options, order your groceries online and pick up curbside or have it delivered through home delivery! This will help you stick to your list and your budget.

Get creative with healthier alternatives to your party favorites: 

Use easy substitutions in your recipes like switching from full-fat to low-fat dairy products or adding herbs and spices instead of salt. Utilize lean meats when possible like chicken or turkey without the skin, lean ground meats, or fish and seafood. Even show your support of your favorite teams through your food! Choose fruits and vegetables that highlight your team’s colors or use cookie cutters to cut your food into festive shapes, making healthy options more fun.

Get active: 

The average person will consume more than 6,000 calories by the end of a big game party. On days when you know you will probably overdo it on calories, try to include some sort of activity to help balance those calories out. Go for a walk, play an active game outside, or hit the gym earlier in the day. Activity helps to boost metabolism and energy by forming more muscle mass, which will help you burn more calories throughout the day.

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