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Simple Recipe Swaps to Make for Your Super Bowl Party This Year

Written on January 29, 2013 at 10:33 am , by

Keep an eye out for the grilled goods–they’re always the healthier choice! (Photo courtesy of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)

While we don’t know which Harbaugh will win the Super Bowl on Sunday, we do know that come the next morning, you will win against the scale. That’s because nutrition expert Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N gave us her sneaky ingredient swaps and tips to navigate the buffet table at your Super Bowl party to enjoy yourself without the guilt. Stock up on her suggestions below to a Super Bowl Sunday that won’t leave you dreading Monday.

The Super Bowl is a notorious day of overeating for Americans. What are some tips to keep in mind to not fall face first into a plate of wings?

If you’re hosting a party yourself, look the recipe you want to make and make some substitutions. I drive my family crazy with this because it’s all I do–they always say I can’t make anything twice because I do some much swapping. If you want to make a huge plate of nachos, sub in lean ground beef instead of the fatty kind or turkey meat, or even veggie crumbles! I promise you no one will notice the difference. If you’re on dip duty, swap in fat-free Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. And for desserts, replace butter with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! spread–it will reduce saturated fat by 70 percent.

What if you’re invited to a party instead of hosting one? Which foods should you skip and which ones are OK?

For main dishes, keep an eye out for anything grilled or baked–they will always be your healthier options. Grilling let’s the fat drip off, so scoop up the kebabs and sliders that you can load with healthy toppings. Wings that are baked as well as baked potato skins are also safer bets than the fried stuff. As a general rule of thumb, eat before you go! Make sure you’re not starving when you get there so you don’t head straight for the fatty stuff. And feel free to bring a plate of something you can eat for everyone, like veggies and hummus.

Last, use a smaller plate! Research has shown that if you have a larger plate, you’ll eat more food because you’ll put more on your plate. Smaller plates eliminate all the extra space we don’t need to begin with. Also, don’t bring your plate to the couch where you can easily zone out and not pay attention to what you’re eating. Eat at the table, leave the plate and then hit the couch.

If you do go overboard, what are some easy ways to get back on track?

If you know you are going to a party or hosting, make sure you get your workout in, that’s the most important. Squeeze in a little extra cardio or yoga or whatever you love to do to make sure you can balance everything out. And if you indulged a bit, don’t skip meals! You’re just training your body to store the fat because you’re leaving yourself hungry for long extended periods of time. It’s more important to watch your portion size. We all have dessert or the greasy, fried stuff once in awhile but if you keep portions under control then you shouldn’t totally derail yourself.

Another thing to remember–watch the alcohol! Not only are most drinks packed with calories but also the more you drink, the less willpower you have. If you’re going to drink, choose a lower calorie mixer like seltzer (I love wine spritzers!) and drink slowly.

For healthy Super Bowl recipes and weeknight dinner ideas, visit itisgoodtoknow.com