The Superbowl for many is more about food than football; and unless you’re at a house of bodybuilders and bikini competitors 6 weeks to showtime, you’ll have to make some difficult diet decisions. So, how will you prep for game day?
1.) Bring your Tupperware with white fish that tastes like… white fish, and some mixed greens while everyone else devours slices of pizza bigger than your face.
2.) Plan on taking a diet detour and engorge yourself with more calories than you’ve eaten in the last week.
It doesn’t have to be that black and white. Using these 4 strategies below you can enjoy some football-friendly food while staying on track with your diet and training goals.
One of the biggest things we are trying to mitigate with a gluttonous meal session is the metabolic consequences of overeating. Exercise is the key to this strategy. A two-pronged approach is best. Your first exercise session should be a couple hours prior to the meal with the goal of depleting glycogen stores (40-60 minutes of moderate intensity cardio). This session serves 2 purposes
The second prong of your exercise based damage control comes after you eat. Now it is time to get active again to improve digestion. Prolonged aerobic activity that is moderate in intensity like a leisure hike can help stimulate the ‘rest and digest’ side of your nervous system. Exercising outside has also been shown to enhance this recovery side of your nervous systems as well as enhancing motivation, improving mood, and lowering blood pressure.
Alcohol can pose a problem for your diet not just because of the extra calories that you will be consuming when you drink alcohol but also because of the poor food choices that people generally make when alcohol’s effects have permeated their brains. If you want to curb the calories you are getting from alcohol opt for light beer, dry wines (less sugar), and cocktails with sugar-free mixers (e.g. diet coke and bourbon, vodka and club soda, or gin and diet tonic). When it comes to making foods choices when you may have slightly impaired judgment – put yourself in a position to be successful. Eat before you have your drinks and then remove yourself from the food area. Make a deal with yourself that after your main meal, that is it for food. Making when and what you are going to be very black and white helps prevent you from talking yourself into eating things you don’t really want to eat later on.
When you engage in your get-together’s, hit the vegetables first (green salad, bean salad, even coleslaw with minimal dressing). Research shows that the more vegetables you eat at a meal, the less calories you will eat overall. Once you get your vegetables in, then move to protein (burgers, dogs, chicken, and if you are lucky – ribs). Finally hit up the carbs like chips, potato or pasta salad, and/or fries. By eating in this order you will be eating the lower calorie, more filling foods first and saving the less satiating and easier to consume carbs for last when your body is already feeling full. This will drive lower consumption of these foods.
Even if you choose to ignore all the other tips in this article the most important thing you can do is keep the celebration to 1-2 meals and not make it a 3 day non-stop food feast. 600-1000 extra calories over 1-2 meals on a 3 day weekend isn’t going to put a blip on your long-term progress but tossing your diet out the window so you can toss back beers and burgers for 72 straight hours will definitely set you back.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.
The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.
Dr. Mike is known for transforming complex nutritional concepts into practical nutritional habits that his clients can use to ensure permanent weight loss and long lasting health. Dr. Mike holds a degree in biochemistry from Hobart College and a doctorate in nutrition from Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Mike’s academic background coupled with his broad range of experience from consulting with pharmaceutical and food companies, medical schools, top rated fitness facilities, professional athletes, and individual clients, gives him the unique ability to translate scientific findings into relevant, understandable, and actionable strategies that get results. As a scientist, his research has been published in the premiere clinical nutrition journal in the world, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Dr. Mike is a sought after continuing educator, speaking across the country to physicians, dietitians, nurses, and other health professionals on the most recent advances in the nutritional treatments for cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Mike’s unique approach to scientifically derived yet practical nutrition has made him a well-known expert contributor to both national print publications and leading online fitness outlets. In addition to being an adjunct assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University, Dr. Mike serves on the Advisory Board for both Men’s Health magazine and LIVESTRONG.com. He also writes the monthly “Ask The Nutrition Know-It-All” column for Men’s Health Magazine. In addition to authoring three books, Your Naked Nutrition Guide (2007), The 6 Pillars of Nutrition (2011), and Dr. Mike’s Ultimate Book of Smoothies (2015) he has served as the nutritionist for Men’s Health Book of Power Training (Rodale, 2007), Strength Training Cardio (Rodale, 2010), the Women’s Health Big Book of Abs (Rodale, 2012), the Men’s Health Big Book of Abs (Rodale, 2012), and Your Body Is Your Barbell (Rodale, 2014).