Today marks more than the start of the most-anticipated football game of the year. It”s also a time for calorie-laden snack attacks — the breaking point for many weight-loss resolutions, punctuated by hot wings, nachos and pizza.
“We all start our New Year”s resolutions and then, boom, the Super Bowl hits,” said Elena Dent, dietitian at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle. “This is the time when we fall off our New Year”s resolutions to eat healthier.”
Larry Brown, an insurance agent from Columbus, admits he already broke his resolution to exercise and eat healthy.
“I exercised for a week and quit,” Brown said, noting he will probably eat “a couple of slices of pizza during the game.”
Super Bowl Sunday, while often overlooked as a time to overeat, rivals overindulgent holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, Dent said.
Victoria McGee, a Mississippi University for Women student from Starkville, is determined to continue healthy habits in spite of bite-sized Super Bowl temptations.
“I exercise and I try to eat less and healthy,” said McGee.
And if she”s tempted to overindulge today, “I”ll remind myself, if I eat this, I”ll get fat, and I don”t want to get fat because spring break is coming, and Miami is calling my name.”
But there”s no need to forgo all the Super Bowl eats. Dent offered advice for keeping the calorie count down.
“Just thinking about the type of food people eat at Super Bowl parties, I think about Rotel,” Dent said.
To make a healthier Rotel dip, try using 2-percent Velveeta cheese, turkey sausage instead of pork and serving it with whole-grain tortilla chips, she suggests.
“There are some things you can do to make it a little healthier,” Dent said.
Dent also advises watching portion sizes and, if you”re attending someone else”s party, offer to bring a dish.
“That way, you can have a healthy food option,” she said, offering fruit or vegetable trays as a suggestion.
And for party hosts, it”s a good idea to keep food away from the room where the game is playing, so it”s not a constant temptation.
“Don”t take the bag of chips to the couch with you,” she said.
But most people aren”t thinking about their eating habits while enjoying Super Bowl festivities.
Ladawn Jones of Columbus, a tax specialist, will not be counting calories.
“You”re worried about football. You”re not thinking about what you”re shoving in your mouth,” Jones said.
For those still trying to adhere to weight-loss resolutions, Dent has good news: Watching what you eat doesn”t have to take the fun out of Super Bowl Sunday.
“There”s no reason that you can”t have a good time and eat the food you want,” Dent said. “It”s all about portion size and moderation.”
You can help your community
Quality, in-depth journalism is essential to a healthy community. The Dispatch brings you the most complete reporting and insightful commentary in the Golden Triangle, but we need your help to continue our efforts. Please consider subscribing to our website for only $2.30 per week to help support local journalism and our community.