Eating and Watching Football.

Some things simply go together.

Sand and the beach
watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Christmas time
and of course
fireworks on the fourth of July

If you are a football fan (like me), snacking while watching the big game on Sunday is another natural pairing.

It’s possible to watch your favorite team while avoiding weight gain.

7 Tips for eating well while watching football:

1. Start with lots of water on hand

If you’re a sports fan like me, you might get excited during a big game. Rather than shoveling food mindlessly into your mouth, reach for a cold glass of water. Clearing we are not continuously “hungry” during all 4 quarters of the football game. Drinking water will keep you well hydrated. Water provides zero calories and can help keep your food intake in check.

2. Keep plenty of raw cut up veggies available

Snacking on high fiber, low calories vegetables is always a great idea. Crunchy vegetables are a tasty low sodium alternative to chips. Cut up red peppers, cucumbers and baby carrots. Hummus or fresh salsa make great dips.

3. Small sandwiches

Prepare sandwiches on whole wheat pita bread or flax seed wraps. Cut up the sandwiches into quarters. Prepare some homemade chicken salad with chopped apples or egg white salad with spinach for a delicious filling. Top turkey or grilled chicken sandwiches with a tangy mustard or slice of healthy avocado. Smaller portions (cut up sandwiches) can help keep calories in check.

4. Invest in an air popcorn maker

You can purchase an air popcorn maker at your local Walmart, Target or Bed Bath and Beyond store. Just place a filter into the popper along with the kernels and enjoy a low calorie delicious snack. 3 cups of air-popped popcorn is only about 95 calories. Add in a little garlic powder for additional flavor.

5. Downsize big bowls of chips

Instead of dumping entire bags of chips into deep bowls, put small servings of baked chips on small plates. Serve with a healthy bean dip or fresh salsa. Remember to drink water in between, especially if you’re consuming salty snacks.

6. Offer unsalted almonds, walnuts and pistachio nuts

Heart healthy unsalted nuts are a wonderful snack. Serve nuts on a platter with cut up fresh fruit. This delicious combination will delight football fans and provide an antioxidant rich punch at the same time.

7. Keep moving during the game

Watching football doesn’t have to be a couch potato sport. March in place or stretch during commercial breaks. Instead of going to the kitchen to check out the snack possibilities, use the breaks to get in physical activity.

Football is fun and very exciting. In order to enjoy the games without packing on the pounds, plan your food and snacks before the game begins. What are your tips or tricks to eating right while watching football? Please share your thoughts and comments.

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