Make A Game Day Plan: Surviving The Big Party

by Elevate Strong | February 4, 2018 | Health & Fitness Blog 

Credit: Muscle and Strength High Protein Buffalo Chicken Dip

Pardon my pun. The Superbowl is a big day full of friends, commercials, the occasional nipplegate, and…snacks. All. Day. Long. The game itself, I hear, lasts up to 16 hours. Take into account the time spent shopping and cooking for the event, and you’ve got a full 24 hour hours centered around munchies.

Personally, I’m more of a Puppy Bowl kind of girl, but I hear some of you need help with your foozeball party. I’ve got you- I’m a fake sports fan pro. First of all, cheer when anyone wearing the same color jersey as you cheers, occasionally yell “Man!” or “Heck yeah!” Any ambiguous cheer will do. If people stand, it means something important is happening- you should stand too and look anxious. Whatever you do, don’t say anything about three pointers or ask what inning it is. Keep it general.

Oh wait, you wanted food tips? Turns out the most important part of game day is that the food is on point. It just so happens that I like food too, and I’m not faking.

Scenario: you’re the host:

Credit: Healthy Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

Pretty much a layup. You’re in control of the quality of the food, so be selfish and pick healthy stuff that’s super tasty. Lots of it. (Recipes below. Make them all) Pick one “crowd pleaser” that will throw your guests off. You don’t want them accusing you of sneaking kale into the spinach dip (even though you did) For the “relax, we’re not eating healthy food” crowd favorite, pick something everyone likes except you- like brownies if you dislike chocolate or Chex mix if you’re not a salty fan. If you want to stay on track with your diet, don’t make your very favorite recipe. Today there is too much hanging around munching, and you won’t be able to eat just one serving. Maybe make a half batch, or even quarter the recipe. Set yourself up for success and keep the healthy stuff stacked high.

Scenario: you’re the guest:

You’re going to be around a lot of tempting food today, so have a game plan going in. Personally, I don’t like the idea of eating at home and filling up before I go to a party. I know myself, and I know that I’ll eat before the party and still eat when I’m at the party. You don’t want to go in starving- and don’t fast in preparation for a bingefest. That is NOT the answer. Bring a generous recipe with you- something high in protein and low in fat, and something like veggies or popcorn you can snack on. Think outside the box- no reason you can’t eat an orange during the Superbowl party.

Sigh. I know this is something people really struggle giving up. But what if I told you this is the one thing keeping you from sticking to your plan? Calories aside, one drink leads to two, then your inhibitions are down and three drinks…four…and NACHOS!!! Bring something with you to drink that isn’t alcoholic. Diet soda, low cal flavored water, sparkling water, Crystal Light…something. Be real with yourself. Who wants to drink one beer?

Credit: Food and Wine Her Marinated Chicken Skewers with Harissa

Flag on the play: Fail to plan and plan to fail.

Like any other party (this one just has people yelling at a TV) go in with a plan. Parties are challenging when you’ve got a specific nutritional goal. It’s nothing new. Vegetarians, gluten intolerant, peanut allergy- people manage special diets all the time. Get used to planning ahead and use the event as an exercise in self-discipline.

Enjoy your day and time with friends. When the game is over, you’ll be proud of your choices, and the only one not hungover on Monday at work. Oh, and whatever you do, don’t stand and yell “TOUCHDOWN!” unless you’re sure it’s your team that got the ball through the square thingy.