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Many of you have asked me for some tips today so I figured I'd share them with everyone.
Super Bowl Sunday has practically become a national holiday here. Over 100 million people watch the game (or the commercials) globally, and more food is consumed today than any other day.
Want some crazy stats?
A) The pizza industry estimates 350 slices of pizza will be eaten per second during the game.
B) Approximately 8 million pounds of popcorn will be consumed.
C) 28 million pounds of potato chips are expected to be consumed.
D) The California Avocado Commission (CAC) projects that 26 million avocados will be consumed mostly in the form of guacamole.
E) During last year's Super Bowl, more than 450 million wings were consumed, according to the Washington, D.C.’s National Chicken Council and more than 49.2 million cases of beer were consumed by Americans.
Let's get to the tips, tricks and ideas to help you make healthier choices today, shall we?
I’m going to preface this as I always do: I’m not saying that eating junk isn’t fun. All I’m saying is that eating healthfully is MORE fun!
1. Finishers. We love finishing things! That’s why it’s so hard to leave things on our plate; like the last few bites we might not even want. For many of us, we're done eating only once our plate is clean.
The game plan: Instead of fighting human nature, let's use smaller plates, dishes and glasses.
2. Never Forget. There was a fascinating study by the Cornell Food and Brand Lab in which one group of people ate chicken wings and the bones were kept in front of them. In the other group, the plates were cleared every 15 minutes or so.
Who do you think ate less? The group who saw all of the bones. We can do the same with alcohol too.
The game plan: Keep all of our bones and food remains on our plate. Do not throw ‘em out. Keep all of our cans and bottles out too.
3. Stop reaching. Having endless portions in front of us is a sure fire way to overeat.
The game plan: Always pour the chips into something. And if they're already poured into a big bowl, take a few on a small plate.
4. Less is more. The first bite is always the best. This works really well if there are a lot of foods we really want to try.
The game plan: When there are a lot of worthwhile indulgences, take a few bites. We can eat a little of everything but not a lot of anything. It's always easier to eat less of something, if we take less of it on our plate.
Sounds like common sense but it's not common practice. As I like to say, it's always easier to avoid the dragon than it is to slay it.
5. Are we actually hungry? Remember: Companies spend tens of millions of dollars advertising because it works. It cues emotions and memories. In fact, it can work instantly. Many of the commercials are for food and alcohol.
The game plan: As much fun as the commercials are, maybe it’s not a good idea for us to watch them. Stand up. Stretch. Help out in the kitchen. Besides, the best commercials will be all over TV and the Internet in the coming weeks anyway.
6. Double fist. Double fisting means holding a can or bottle of beer (who says we can’t make it anything though?) in each hand. If we’re always holding something in each hand, it's harder to eat.
The game plan: Hold a can or bottle of something in each hand and voila! It'll be much harder for you to mindlessly reach for food. I know this might sound a little ridiculous but it works.
7. Eat with your non-dominant hand. It takes 20 minutes for our brain to realize the effects of food we eat. Hence, we keep eating when we are no longer even hungry.
The game plan: Make it harder to eat. Use chop sticks. Eat with your other hand (and laugh a lot!). Let's try pacing ourselves with the slowest eater. The slower we eat, the more full we'll feel because we'll be letting our stomach do its job.
8. Distractions. If we eat while we watch TV, or do anything in addition to eating, we’re going to eat more. I understand not watching the game is not an option. After all, it's the Super Bowl!
The game plan: Try to live in the moment. Actually, taste the food! Pretend you’re a food critic. Really savor it.
9. The health halo. Watch out for Subway, or any other 'healthy' eateries. Many people will eat a lot more because they think they are eating healthfully. The calories will add up and before you know it, our ‘healthy’ meal is not so healthy!
The game plan: Just because the cookies are 'natural' and 'organic' or the chips are 'baked' doesn't mean they're good for us. Skip 'em unless you really want it.
10. Groups: When we are with 1 other person we’ll eat 35% more, with a group of 4 it’s 75% more, and with 7 or more it’s 96% more!
The game plan: Put whatever it is we’re eating down after each bite. Only take another bite once we’re done chewing the previous bite. Take a sip of water in between each bite.
11. Don’t call it a comeback. Towards the end of the game, we might find ourselves eating just to eat. Are you really still hungry?
The game plan: If you’re not hungry but choose to eat anyway — say to yourself, “I’m not hungry but I’m going to eat this anyway!” This helps to wake your long term, rational mind up because many times we’re just eating to eat.
12. Make it harder! If you’re having your own party, only serve in the kitchen. Being able to roll over and grab more food is going to make it very easy to eat a lot.
The game plan: If you’re at a party, do not ask anyone to get you anything. Get up. Stand up. Enjoy your ability to get your own food!
13. Wear tight, tight pants! It’s a lot easier to stop eating when our clothes and belt starts telling us we're full.
The game plan: Wear very tight pants because then you’ll have to stop eating when you’re stuffed. We’ll just be too uncomfortable otherwise.
14. To drink or not to drink? Is alcohol a trigger? Our irrational mind tends to get a lot louder after a few drinks. Alcoholic drinks are not only loaded with calories but they are likely to lower our inhibitions and might trigger us to eat more than we really want to.
The game plan: Don’t drink tonight and the Body Tutor on your shoulder might be just a little louder than the devil on your other shoulder.
15. Focus on the special stuff. Don’t waste calories on large portions of food you can eat every day. Limit the variety you have.
The game plan: Only two items on your plate at any one time. Having a lot of different items on our plate stimulates our appetite.
16. Is it worth it? So many different foods to eat! What to do?
The game plan: Ask yourself, “Is this really and truly worth it?” before you dig in. Many times, we’re eating food simply because it’s available.
17. The easiest tip of all! Eat before the game, and make today about the people you're with, not the food. If you have a wonderful meal before the game, you’ll be a lot less tempted to eat during the game.
Sure, the food is fun, but it doesn't have to be ALL about the food.
The game plan: I just wrote it above. Stay focused. If we lose focus for one second we can lose the game! This is the Super Bowl! :)
19. Perfection doesn’t exist! (See how I skipped number 18? Can't be perfect!) Most importantly, and this is somewhat counter-intuitive, don’t sweat it if you make a dietary mistake or two or three.
Just like any other day, Super Bowl Sunday will have its ups and downs. There is no perfect day much less perfect Super Bowl Sunday.
P.S. Having a game plan is important! However, what separates us from the billion and one companies out there is that not only do we tell you what to do in order to reach your goals, but we make sure you ACTUALLY do it day in and day out. This is the key! And it's why we get the results we do.
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