The Superbowl is just around the corner (Go Eagles!) and with it comes friends, family, parties and snacks - lots and lots of snacks. Which can feel overwhelming before you even walk in the door - especially if you worry that you won't be able to control yourself around all the food, or that the entire night is going to "throw you off track".
You're definitely not alone, but I promise you can have a good time and leave without any of the guilt you've felt in the past.
In this post, I'm going to walk you through five super simple tips to help you feel in control so you can enjoy your night. I'm also going to share with you some of my favorite recipes to bring new flavors and balance to your game day eats - and fill your belly without the guilt.
Tip 1: Don't "save-up" for the Big Game
It's so common to want to "save" your calories when you know you have something - like a Superbowl party - coming up, but the best thing you can do is eat normally throughout the day. Eating consistent, balanced meals throughout the day will help to regulate your hunger levels and will give you MORE control when it comes to the big party. Focus on mindful eating throughout the day and don't enter the party starving! I promise you; you'll feel more in control, and you'll leave the party feeling healthier and more confident.
Tip 2: Decide how you want to feel after the party BEFORE you even go
Deciding how you want to FEEL when the party is over is one of the best guiderails you can have for your night. Knowing ahead of time that you want to feel in control, or connected, or guilt-free will help you make choices throughout the night that will lead you to this feeling. Remind yourself to pause at every commercial break and check-in (or at least a few times throughout the night). Do you feel in control? Do you feel connected - are you focused more on the conversations than the food? What, if anything, is making you feel guilty? If anything feels off, adjust. What will move you closer to this feeling? If you lean into the feeling you are after - you will absolutely walk away with it.
Tip 3: Plate your food
One of the easiest ways to feel in control of what you are eating is to be MINDFUL of what you are eating - but mindful eating is often left at the door when it comes to parties. Just think about it - how many times do you stand around chatting with your friends while reaching back into the chip bowl for more chips? Or how many times do you reach for an appetizer as you walk by it? Slowing down enough to put food on a plate is a game-changer. The simple act of plating your food increases mindfulness.
Tip 4: Hydrate!
It may be football's big day - but water is always queen. Make it a priority to drink a glass of water in between anything else you may be drinking. Hydration is key for your body to function properly - and for you to feel your best in the morning.
Tip 5: Don't aim for perfect
The most common reason we feel guilty is because we had expectations that differ from our reality. Tips 1 - 4 will absolutely help you to feel your best while having the best time but remember things don't always go as planned and that's OK. It's one night. It's not going to "ruin" you or any of your progress. And the most important thing is that you have a good time. Put your phone away, have a conversation with the people you are with, laugh, have FUN - this will fuel your health WAY MORE than beating yourself up if things aren't "perfect".
Now let's not forget the snacks!
Here are some of my favorite recipes for hosting (or bringing to!) a party - of any kind.
In honor of the Eagles playing in the Super Bowl this year, this easy Chicken Cheesesteak skillet is a MUST. Perfect as is, for making wraps or sandwiches, or dice the chicken and peppers even smaller and make it a dip! (You can also swap chicken for steak for a proper ode to Philly or for more veggies for a vegetarian dish!)
Pro Tip: bring this to any party to which you want an invite back. This recipe from Diane Morrisey is a crowd pleaser. It's super easy to make, minimal ingredients - and it's beyond delicious.
These Buffalo Turkey Meatballs from Kalefornia Kravings are a great alternative to game day wings. Pair with some carrots and celery for the perfect buffalo match-up
I don't believe that pizza should ever make you feel guilty, and this Naan Pizza with Butternut Squash from Eating Bird Food agrees. A great vegetarian appetizer for Game Day and a must try!
I love you, buffalo chicken dip - but it's time for this Chicken Enchilada Bean Dip from Ambitious Kitchen to have its day. Enjoy as is - or leave out the chicken and make it a vegetarian dip.
Whether you are a fan of the Eagles, the Chiefs, football or a good time, I hope these tips and recipes help you to enjoy the Big Game without any guilt or any regret. And remember, food is just food until you make it mean something else - and the more you connect with and enjoy the things that are OFF of your plate, the less you'll obsess over what's ON your plate.