5 Tips to Stay on Track During the Super Bowl

By: Addie Claire Merletti, MS, RD, CSCS

YAY Sports!
As a food enthusiast, Super Bowl weekend is second only to Thanksgiving when it comes to national make-all-the-foods days. I take the menu very seriously – maybe because I’m from a city whose team has never actually won a Super Bowl, so excellent snacks are all we’ve got!
As a Registered Dietitian, I’m tired of the excuses tied to these national eating days. Except for January, there’s a food or drink-based (lookin’ at you, March) holiday every single month. Until and unless you learn sustainable ways to approach the way you eat/drink on these days, you will be stuck on the “getting off track” roller coaster.

Gochujang Baked Chicken Wing

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, moderation is mandatory. It is also much harder to practice than unsustainable extremes. Let’s use IPAs for an example. Bob’s favorite beverage in the world is a big, hazy, boozy IPA. His friends all like to hang at beer gardens on the weekends. Bob decides that for 2020, he’s given up IPA. He has been drinking light beers instead. Every time he goes out, he wishes he could have an IPA instead, and does not enjoy drinking the light beers nearly as much. Now it’s Super Bowl weekend, and he’s been off his favorite drink for 32 days. It’s the Super Bowl though, and Bob is from Kansas City! Bob decides this day is his exception. He drinks 6 IPAs and is miserable at work on Monday and has some serious bloating going on. Bob is mad at himself and swears off it again. But then comes Saint Patrick’s Day…
What if Bob had just decided that when he goes out, he can have 1 IPA and then switch to the light stuff? Ultimately for the month, he would have had less IPAs this way and enjoyed at least his first beverage. This applies to all of the food and drink that are “best enjoyed in moderation”. You’re going to need to learn to apply moderation eventually, so why not start there instead of all these “detoxes?” Here are 5 tips for enjoying Super Bowl Sunday so you can wake up and feel good on Monday morning:

  1. If you’re hosting, make sure there are options for folks who are trying to practice moderation. Throw some cans of flavored seltzer in the cooler and pick up a veggie tray from the grocery. Yes, people will eat it.
  2. Alternate your alcoholic beverages with water. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
  3. Eat as much as you like but put everything on a plate first. This helps with mindfulness and is easy to do.
  4. If you’re headed to someone else’s house, bring something that you’ll feel good about eating. Luckily for y’all in the DMV, MightyMeals is making this crazy easy by offering all their wing flavors in 25-packs this week! They are baked vs. fried and served with yogurt dipping sauces. Add them to your order for home delivery ONLY on Super Bowl Sunday, February 2.
  5. Have fun!

Meet Addie Claire Merletti, MS, RD, CSCS:  AC is originally from Charlotte, NC and got her Bachelor’s degree in both psychology and Spanish at UNC Chapel Hill. She worked in community mental health before going back for her Master’s in Nutrition at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. AC fell in love with sports nutrition while working with the dietitians at Notre Dame University during her intern year. She feels passionately about using balanced nutrition to support a balanced life, and enjoys helping people use food as a tool to bust through plateaus and hit their goals! Addie is always down to try a new workout and absolutely loves to cook and try new foods. She can make lots of fancy dishes, but her favorite food is anything that resembles PB&J. AC is one of four VIDA Fitness Registered Dietitians.
AC’s favorite MightyMeal is the Basil Pesto Chicken & Orzo.

Basil Pesto Chicken & Orzo