Monday, January 21, 2013

Enjoy the Big Game, Minus the Big Belly

In a couple weeks, the Ravens and 49ers will be playing for the ultimate football title in this year’s Super Bowl.  Most all of us will be hosting or attending a Super Bowl party with lots of friends and food.  Most of these parties will include lots of fried foods, sugary treats, and high-calorie cocktails.  But, there are ways to enjoy the big game while avoiding the big belly.  Here is my game plan, which I share every football season, to combat the beer belly and still have fun:
·         If you order pizza, go for thin crust and order extra veggies rather than extra cheese.  If you eat a few slices of thin crust with extra veggies rather than thick crust with extra cheese, you could save hundreds of calories and lots of saturated fat!  Also, when ordering meat on your pizza, opt for Canadian bacon rather than pepperoni.  Even ground beef is a better choice than Italian sausage.  Anything that comes in a “link” will have way too many fillers and unwanted fat.  Or, make your own pizza with a bought crust (you can now find whole-wheat), fresh veggies, lean meats, and low fat cheese – you can buy 2% cheese and save a lot of fat, but it still tastes great and mozzarella is one of the lowest fat cheeses you can buy.
·         Try to avoid the hot wings.  Not only are they fatty meat, but they are deep fried, then dunked in butter and hot sauce.  An order of hot wings with bleu cheese dressing could load you up on more than a day’s worth of fat and calories.  For those of you who cook, or if a family member does, you can make your own hot wings or chicken fingers.  Simply bake them in the oven rather than deep frying them.  Marinate chicken fingers in hot sauce and buttermilk (or yogurt) for a few hours, coat chicken in whole wheat bread crumbs (or even crushed bran flakes or ground almonds), and bake on a baking sheet on high heat. 
·         Substitute ground turkey for beef in chili or nachos – with so many other flavors and ingredients, you won't even notice a difference. 
·         Go for salsa (tomatoes provide powerful antioxidants) or hummus rather than creamy sour cream or mayonnaise based dips.  Also, baked tortilla chips or whole wheat pita chip are actually heartier than fried tortilla chips and are much lower is saturated fat.  Whole wheat pita chips even offer you a serving of whole grains.  Also, use celery, carrots, or any other crunchy veggie as a dipper. 
·         If you do prefer the creamy dips, substitute low fat yogurt or sour cream for the full fat mayonnaise or sour cream.  It’s a very simple substitution and one that you will never notice. 
·         Opt for light beer rather than red label, MGD, or other high calorie beers.  And make sure you drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you down.  A recent report found that men who drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day have lower levels of testosterone than those who drink two or less.  C’mon…are a few beers every day worth losing your manly testosterone…seriously…think about it. 
·         If you are looking for simple munchies that you can reach for during the game, light popcorn is an excellent choice.  You can add flavor to the light popcorn by sprinkling on some chili powder, cumin, or even cinnamon.  Also, unsalted roasted almonds and walnuts are great for snacking.  Just limit yourself to about a handful each day.  Make sure you stay away from packaged cookies and fattening sweets – have fresh fruit and bite-size dark chocolates to nibble on.

Savor your Super Bowl party, but also remember to cheer for yourself and your future health.  Use my tips for your party.  Or, if you are hosting a party and need help menu planning or want me to take care of the catering, I am here for you!  From chili to wings to signature cocktails and desserts, I’ve got you covered!  And go to to see all the ways I can help you and those you love every day of the year.  Obesity is 100% preventable and that is a goal we can all score!  

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