As we watch the Patriots play in yet another Super Bowl this Sunday, most of us will be celebrating by watching with friends. However, along with these Super Bowl viewing parties come unhealthy dietary choices. One of these choices in particular is alcohol. Though fun and seemingly harmless in moderation, alcoholic beverages can pack a massive amount of un-needed calories.
Below are some helpful tips to follow to keep yourself in the clear while drinking.
1. Stay away from drinking games.
Though fun and a great way to get everyone at the party involved, drinking games are an easy way to drink way too much, too fast. Avoid this over-consumption by participating with water instead of alcohol, or just watching your friends play while cheering them on.
2. Choose your drink wisely.
Mixers are a very easy way to pack in hidden calories. Stimulants such as Red Bull can be dangerous to mix with alcohol because of the unhealthy neurological effects as well as the dietary. While energy drinks stimulate your body, commanding your brain to speed up, alcohol is a depressant, slowing the function of your central nervous system. This counteraction is a recipe for disaster. Not to mention, these energy drinks are loaded with sugar. Juices, sodas and syrups are also popular mixers with unwanted calories and sugar hidden inside. Stick with soda water or small amounts of liquor simply on the rocks. Another safe option is to add extra ice – or request it if you are ordering at a bar. Filling the glass with more ice than the drink is a good way to keep yourself in the safe zone.
The higher the proof of the alcohol in your drink is, the more calories it holds. Some of the healthier options include vodka sodas, gin and tonics, red and white wine, and light beer.
3. Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Drinking a water in between each alcoholic drink is helpful because it keeps your body hydrated and forces you to slow down.
4. Make a game plan.
Eat ahead of time! Consuming a large, healthy meal will not only allow the alcohol to settle better in your stomach, but if you are full, you are less likely to fill up on drinks. Set a limit for yourself on the amount of drinks you will allow yourself to consume, as well as the types of drinks. Plan your eating as well. Sometimes, we eat foods after drinking that we would not eat if we were sober. If you know you will be surrounded by unhealthy food (which will most likely be the case at a Super Bowl party), and you feel you will not be able to resist these foods after you drink, skip the alcohol!
Following these tips will leave you feeling healthier and happier without restricting you from having fun! Do not beat yourself up for ‘cheating’ here and there by indulging in the chips and dips – it is the Super Bowl after all! Most importantly, have fun. (Just make sure to plan ahead and eat healthy on Monday!)