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Super Bowl Sunday for the Health Enthusiast

The Super Bowl is almost here, which means food, fun and football for most Americans. It’s a day when so many of us gather excitedly around the T.V.—and the snack buffet. Yet, the big day doesn’t have to be the undoing of all your healthy habits. Want some coaching on how to enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday without leaving your good intentions on the sidelines? Read on for your how-to guide and be sure to share your own tips for being Sunday’s health enthusiast MVP.

Pre-Game Plan

  • Before kickoff, get your 10,000 steps in. The Super Bowl is one big, glorious, spectator—and sedentary—sport. If you get your steps done for the day, you won’t feel the need to miss those entertaining commercials.
  • Workout.  A structured exercise session can be a nice reminder to make healthy choices throughout the rest of the day. If you get your sweat on or lift some steel before game time, you’ll feel better (and less guilty) parking it on the couch for the evening.
  • Eat. Yes, the party is sure to have a nice spread, but don’t make the mistake of showing up starving. Eating a few high-protein meals earlier in the day will help you make better choices and avoid overeating at the party. Be sure to bring a dish or two to share. That way you’ll know there’s something healthy you can enjoy. Some ideas include a veggie tray with guacamole, steak bites or even some homemade chili.


  • Stand up and walk around. Skip the half-time show or the sportscasters’ commentary to get up and mill around. Use the chance to socialize or even get outside for a half-time activity of your own.
  • Veg out. If you’ve already eaten but find yourself wandering back to the table, head toward the veggies. The crunchiness will help you steer clear of the chips, while the fiber will fill you up without adding a ton of extra calories.


  • Don’t snack for snack’s sake. Eating mindlessly while watching T.V. is a dangerous habit any day of the year. It’s especially easy to overdo when other people around you may be overindulging. Commit to one plateful of food and fill it with protein and vegetables.
  • Limit alcohol.  If you’re going to drink, keep it to one or two alcoholic beverages and drink water in between. Overconsumption not only impacts your weight and metabolism, it can also increase your hunger sensation and lower your inhibition. The result can be eating (much) more than you’d planned. Where did all the chips go? Speaking of which…
  • Ditch the carbs. Party food for many people means highly-processed, high-carbohydrate snacks such as pretzels, crackers and chips. These foods will throw your blood sugar and energy into that unhealthy rollercoaster cycle every time. Add to this, their interference with hunger and satiety hormones—all while you’re sprawled out in the recliner for the evening. Unnecessary fuel equals stored body fat.


  • Beware the clean-up call.  Watch out for those second-half hints like “There’s still plenty of food left!” or “Who’s going to help eat the rest of this food? No leftovers allowed!” Don’t sabotage yourself because you’re afraid to say no. You’re not a bad guest for sticking to your healthy intentions. Instead, just respond with an “I’m so full” or “I’ll gladly take some to-go.”    
  • Power down. After the game, avoid any additional screen time (e.g. television, tablets or computers) for the night. The artificial blue light disrupts our natural hormonal cycles that prepare us for a good night’s sleep. Once the game is over, let your body power down from all the day’s excitement.

Need some recipe ideas for a dish to bring?  See recipes below from past Flourish posts that will meet game-day standards.

Beef Enchilada Cabbage Rolls

Easy Beef Chili with Beans

What are your tips for enjoying Super Bowl Sunday while staying on track? Share your strategies with others, and enjoy the celebration, everyone!

Written By: Anika DeCoster, Program Manager - LifeTime WeightLoss

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