Now that it’s football season, you may be one of the many Americans spending your Sunday consuming salty, high calorie filled foods such as wings, pizza and beer. It can be tough to escape these unhealthy foods whether you are at a sports bar or at a football party.
Since you are probably so focused on the game, you are probably not paying attention to the amount of food you are eating, which can lead to thousands of extra calories mindlessly consumed.
Football Sunday does not have to revolve completely around eating unhealthy foods. Here are some healthy snack ideas and substitutions that will allow you to enjoy the game without the guilt the next day.
- Serve whole wheat pita with Greek yogurt and salsa. Skip the tortilla chips with sour cream to save yourself fat and calories. Greek yogurt also has twice as much protein as sour cream.
- Cook your own vegetable pizza with whole wheat crust. Don’t feel like cooking? Order pizza sans pepperoni and sausage, and be sure to add mushrooms, broccoli and spinach for added nutrients. Do not be scared to blot off the grease to save even more calories.
- Try grilled chicken on a stick instead of wings. Fried wings are filled with saturated fat and cholesterol, so substitute grilled chicken sticks with buffalo sauce and a side of celery.
- Serve vegetables instead of chips to satisfy the crunch cravings. Cut up carrots, celery, peppers with a bowl of hummus. Edamame is also a great substitute for something salty and high in protein.
- Skip the calorie-sugar filled drinks. Instead of soda, drink club soda with a splash of lime for a zero calorie, bubbly drink.
- Choose your alcohol wisely. Pick light beers over dark beers so save your alcohol calories. If you do crave a beer full of flavor, choose Guinness which contains only 125 calories in a 12 ounce glass, which is less than most ales and lagers. Instead of sugary margaritas, try a vodka and Seltzer with a splash of cranberry.
- Serve fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. Put out a bowl of fresh grapes, strawberries, and pineapple, and you may not even miss the sugary chocolate cake. Fruit is filled with vitamins, and it will not make you feel bloated and full for the rest of the day.
- Make your own trail mix. Instead of the salty trail mix found in stores, make your own. Mix up raw almonds, cashews, raisins, and dark chocolate chips for a high protein, crunchy snack.
- Serve light cheese wedges instead of queso dip. Cheese dips are filled with fat, calories and sodium. Laughing Cow cheese wedges contain only 35 calories, and 1.5 grams of fat. They are great for spreading on crackers and pita chips.
- Serve frozen bananas with dark chocolate chips and almond butter. This is an easy-to-make dessert that will be sure to impress your friends. They will thank you later when they survived football Sunday without ruining their diet.