It’s that time of year already: Superbowl Sunday! As game day prep kicks into high gear, many people prepare to attend one of the most celebrated sports traditions by stocking up on chips, dip, sandwiches and of course: WINGS!
“I’m just going to take the day off because it’s Superbowl Sunday and I deserve a break” becomes a staple for those who vowed on New Year’s to lose those extra pounds. Don’t get me wrong, we all deserve a break at times, but you should think twice about taking your “break” on Superbowl Sunday…
Superbowl Sunday Second Only To Thanksgiving
According to a study done by the USDA, Superbowl Sunday is America’s SECOND LARGEST caloric consumption day of the year.
“In a regular day, an American will eat about 2000 calories worth of food, but during the Super Bowl, the average American eats that amount of calories in about three hours.” (Naquin, 2015).
Shocking? Not really. We spend the whole day sitting on the couch, stuffing our faces with full fat dips and greasy potato chips, not to mention that MASSIVE sub that everyone scarfs down with a side of hot wings. Let’s be honest, how many of us are going to say “Man, that was a great game! Now, I’m going to head to the gym for 3 hours to burn 1/8th of the calories that I’ve consumed just today”? Not many.
How Do We Damage Control On Superbowl Sunday?
So, how do we damage control this seemingly uncontrollable situation? Simply put: Sunday should NOT be a “cheat day”. (DISCLAIMER: I don’t encourage “cheat days.” A “cheat MEAL” once a week is AWESOME, but an entire day of binging can easily reverse your training regimen for the week) Instead:
Sunday should be a mix of cardio and strength training
Start Sunday off right with a fasted, low impact, high endurance cardio routine. This will help to spark your metabolism for optimal fat burning throughout game day while not overtaxing your glycogen-depleted muscles. Get at least 45 minutes of heavy-weight low-rep strength training (prior to chowing down on the “goods”) in order to prime your body to use the nutrition from game day to build lean muscle.
The anabolism after strength training will elevate your metabolic rate for up to 24 hours as your muscles work hard to grow and repair themselves. Follow your intense gym session with a whey protein shake. Make sure that you get a high protein, moderate fat and low GI carb (oatmeal, whole grains, etc.) breakfast to replenish those glycogen stores while keeping you satiated.
Consume 2 small meals before Superbowl parties
Eating at least two small high protein, moderate fat meals before the game will get your body into fat burning mode like any other training day. I’d recommend 2 Tbs peanut butter with 1 ounce almonds and 1 slice of full fat cheddar cheese about an hour before the festivities. It will optimize the use of fat prior to consuming large amounts of densely packed carbohydrate rich foods and will prevent you from being overly hungry at the event.
Eat your fruit and veggies first!
You know that huge fruit and veggie tray? That should be your first stop. Fill your entire first plate with raw veggies and fruit (skip the dip) and chow down. Both fresh fruit and veggies will provide fiber, antioxidants, nutrients and some essential minerals necessary for optimal digestion. You’ll be able to eat less of the junk and prevent the dreaded indigestion that comes with consuming fatty, processed foods. Plus, it’ll ensure that you get your daily dose of fruit and vegetables without even trying!
Drink your water, PEOPLE!
I saved the best for last! DRINK LOTS OF WATER. Okay, well don’t OVER do it, but try to consumer at least 96 oz of water on game day with the majority being consumed during the game. Water will keep you satiated and help with digesting high calorie foods. Plus, you’ll be sure to stay hydrated post workout and it will keep your metabolism in high gear for the entire day. I’d recommend adding 2 tbs of lemon juice along with a pinch of cayenne pepper to keep the metabolism revved and to add a little character.
Superbowl Sunday is an American tradition, but it doesn’t have to be a diet breaking one. Have fun and enjoy some of the “goods” (in moderation) and you’ll be right on track. Avoid the post-game day bloat on Monday morning by following these simple rules. You’ll be glad you did!
Source: Naquin, Ryan. USDA: Super Bowl Sunday is America’s second largest consumption day. 29 Jan. 2015