The Super Bowl can either promote or wreak havoc on your whole health. From excitement to nervous tension and overindulgent temptations around, feel empowered that you’re your own quarterback to make more mindful plays that promote feeling whole in body, mind and spirit.
The Science Behind Overindulging
For most, lack of impulse control around food can be caused by negative feelings. These triggers can come from social or cultural norms, emotional stress, or your body’s instinctive tendencies to get immediate “feel-good” chemicals from high calorie foods. So, big game bashes are the perfect recipe for a healthy eating foul.
If your favorite team just missed that game-winning touchdown or the game is down to nail-biting overtime, the intensity and stress might have you diving into the snack table. But we’re here to help guide you with nine tips to fill this year’s Super Bowl with mindfulness to keep your overindulgences in check.
- Don’t Go in Hungry
If you eat a healthy meal or snack before the party, you’ll be less likely to overeat when you see the spread of game-day food. You’ll also be more inclined to make healthier choices.
- Recognize Your Emotions
If you’re feeling stressed about the game, or anything else that day, stop to take a few deep breaths, or take a quick fresh air break outside. Try not to let this stress, tension or overexcitement take you to the food table.
- Plan Your Plate
Before loading up, take a moment to look at all food options and think about the best options to choose. If you do want some nachos, pass on another indulgence and fill your plate with a few healthier options to balance your nutrition and caloric intake. Whatever you decide, try to let healthier foods outnumber the less healthy ones that you choose.
- Keep Food Out of Sight, Out of Mind
After you eat your meal, step away from the food or other snacks around. If it’s not in your line of sight, you’re less likely to overeat.
- Be Mindful of “Extras”
Dips and sauces can be loaded with extra fat, sugar and calories. Eat fresh veggies without the dip, or skip the extra mayo on your burger. These small changes can keep extra calories away. One healthier “extra” is salsa, and it’s not just for chips. Salsa counts a serving of vegetables, so load up your burger or dip veggies in salsa for a healthier way to flavor foods.
- Whip up Healthy Options
If you’re responsible for bringing a dish—or hosting the party— think about how you can contribute healthy food options. Step out of your comfort zone of what you think are traditional party foods. Think about bringing fruit kabobs with Greek yogurt dip, or baking your own tortilla chips with chipotle seasoning.
- Focus on One Thing at a Time
It’s easy to get caught up in the game and not even realize that you just ate ten cookies and drank three cans of soda. Your brain doesn’t know how to multitask very well, so if it’s focused on more than just eating—like watching the big game— you’re more likely to eat more and have less impulse control to eat healthfully.
- Make Your Own Choices
Don’t let social pressures push you to overindulge just because “everyone else is doing it.” Your health is more important, so consciously make game-day choices that promote your personal well-being.
- Put the Brakes On
If you ate a few more chips than you normally do, be mindful of that and put the brakes on eating any more. Instead of thinking, “Well, there’s always tomorrow…,” think, “What can I do right now for better health?”
While food is a big part of enjoying a big game, it doesn’t have to be an accepted day of overindulgence. Being mindful will help you prevent those triggers to overeat and enjoy the game even more, because your body, mind and spirit will be fueled up for better health and wellness in the long game.