Healthy game-day snacks start with planning ahead
Set yourself up for success by thoughtfully planning out which foods you will serve on game-day. Strive for a balance of lean proteins, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats. At least one week before the big game, map out your menu, make a grocery list, and decide what can be prepped ahead of time.
Meet your weight-loss goals by swapping out traditional high-calorie snacks such as wings, chips, and heavy dips, for lower-calorie alternatives. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Save some calories and fat grams with these baked chicken nuggets in place of traditional chicken wings.
- Looking for an interesting veggie recipe? High on flavor, this buffalo cauliflower is tasty and goes well with low-fat ranch dressing.
- While packed with heart-healthy fats, avocados also contain a lot of calories. Try this lower-calorie guacamole recipe and opt for pea crisps or raw veggies for dipping.
- Looking for a gluten-free, easy-to-prepare appetizer that is visually appealing and low in calories? MyNetDiary’s cucumber boats are a crowd-pleaser.
- Need an alternative to hummus? This rosemary-garlic dip is low in calories and packs a protein punch using low-fat cottage cheese as its base. Serve with whole-grain crackers or veggies.
- Trying to eat more plant-based? Check out these grilled mushroom skewers or roasted chickpeas.
Use MyNetDiary’s recipe import feature to enter your game-day recipes into the app for accurate tracking.
What to drink during the game
Many people associate game-day with adult beverages or alcoholic drinks. Did you know a typical 12-ounce beer contains 150 calories? While one beer won’t cause you to pack on the pounds, mindlessly eating and drinking while watching the game can undo all of the hard work you’ve put in the rest of the week.
Consider these tips when building your football game drink list:
- Pay attention to the type of beer you are drinking. For example, IPAs have a higher alcohol content than lagers. A higher-alcohol content also means more calories per ounce.
- Consider lite beer instead of regular, especially if you intend to have more than one. Learn more about how beer fits into your weight-loss plan.
- Water is the best choice if you are watching calories, though sometimes this doesn’t cut it. MyNetDiary’s in-house dietitian shares some awesome tips for healthy drinks besides water.
Win big by bringing these healthy habits with you on game day
- Don’t show up to the game on an empty stomach. When you are overly hungry or “hangry,” it is more difficult to make healthy food choices and control portions.
- Pace yourself. If you are craving a beer, allow yourself 1 beer during each half of the game. Sip on plain iced tea or water the rest of the time.
- Portion out your snacks and practice mindful eating techniques. Instead of mindlessly snacking on chips and nuts straight from the serving bowl, dish up snacks onto a small plate. Then sit down and eat slowly. To learn more about mindful eating, check out these tips.
- Watch the game, then eat during the commercials. This way, you are focusing on the field and not on the snacks.
- Track what you’ll be eating ahead of time, so there are no surprises. Go for a walk at halftime AND after the game ends. Moving around helps you digest and re-energize.
- Plus, if your team doesn’t win, a walk after the game lets you blow off steam and shift perspective.
You don’t have to resign yourself to gaining weight just because it is football season. Make a point to choose healthy game-day snacks, eat and drink mindfully, and enjoy the tradition of watching American football!