Good news: You’re not limited to the veggie platter.
Pull up any list of popular Super Bowl foods from the internet, and you’ll find carb after carb after carb: beer, pizza, sliders, loaded potatoes, and tortilla chips.
Special occasions are made for splurging a little, but if you’re watching your weight, monitoring your blood sugar, or simply trying to avoid next-day belly bloat, this carbo-load can be a doozy.
Luckily, you don’t have to skip the foods (or the party) altogether to avoid the Super Bowl carb fest. Here are five tips for enjoying the day while limiting carbs.
Limit yourself to one or two drinks. Go ahead and have a beer or glass of whiskey, but try to avoid extra-sugary sips like daiquiris or margaritas. Then, switch to water. (Here’s how to drink safely for blood sugar management.)
Fill half your plate with non-starchy veggies. No, it doesn’t have to be salad. Try roasted vegetables, which have deeper flavor and a more satisfying texture. Still not convinced? Dip them in hummus or guacamole (but stick to just a couple tablespoons). Here are non-starchy vegetables for a low-carb diet.
Eat sandwiches open-faced, in a lettuce wrap, or atop leafy salad. Bread isn’t the enemy, but if you’ve got a lot of carbs already on your plate (or your glass), skipping the bun can help you out.
Choose finger foods without the breadcrumbs or pastry dough. Corn dogs, pigs in a blanket, breaded chicken, and empanadas all add to your carb count thanks to the bready exterior.
Offer to bring a low-carb dish. This is good etiquette anyway and your host will likely appreciate the offer. Here’s a chance to bring a fun veggie dish that will blow other guests’ minds, like cauliflower wings, homemade sweet potato fries, or zucchini tots. For more ideas, here are all the game day foods you can healthify with cauliflower.
If you do end up indulging more than you planned, no worries. Here’s what to do the next day to bounce back from a diet setback.
Carbohydrate counting. Arlington, VA: American Diabetes Association, 2017. (Accessed on January 23, 2018 at http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/carbohydrate-counting.html.)
Cauliflower, raw. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Accessed on January 23, 2018 at https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2908.)
Chicken wings. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Accessed on January 23, 2018 at https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/156638.)
Healthy eating tips for tailgating or any other party! Arlington, VA: American Diabetes Association. (Accessed on January 23, 2018 at http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/tailgating-eating-tips.html.)
Non-starchy vegetables. Arlington, VA: American Diabetes Association, 2017. (Accessed on January 23, 2018 at http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/non-starchy-vegetables.html.)
Planning ahead. Arlington, VA: American Diabetes Association, 2014. (Accessed on January 23, 2018 at http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/holiday-meal-planning/planning-ahead.html.)