Don’t Let the Big Game Become the "big Gain" — Healthy Recipes are Here

With Super Bowl Sunday just around the corner, odds are you are either planning or going to a party for the big game. Odds also are there will be loads of food, most of it not so healthy. Why not make a couple tweaks to some of your favorite party food recipes to make them healthier and more figure-friendly come kickoff?

The following is a comprehensive list of healthier substitutes for traditional party foods. These choices will satisfy your taste buds while saving at least hundreds if not thousands of calories in the process.Use these strategies consistently for parties and social gatherings over the course of the year, and you could prevent 5-10 lbs of fat gain…Not Bad! 

Section I- Appetizers

  • Naked Sandwiches
  • Fruit Salad (throw low carb whipped cream and dash of splenda/stevia on top as desired)
  • Super Salad Bowl (use unlimited veggies and meats, dip dressing on the side or use low calorie substitutes)
  • Tuna or Chicken Salad 
  • Nut Butter on Celery Sticks
  • Mixed Nuts (no sugar, unroasted, low in salt)
  • Cheese, Eggs, and Meat Tray
  • Raw Veggies (use dip sparingly)
  • Grilled/Sauteed Veggies (use extra virgin olive or coconut oil)
  • Figure-Friendly Nachos (see «accessories» below for ingredients: tortillas, cheese, salsa, and guac)
  • Buffalo Chicken Bites (skinless, no breading, use low calorie buffalo sauce sparingly)

Section II- Accessories

  • Natural Whole Grain Tortillas
  • Diet Lipton Green Teas (or other low calorie/carb beverages)
  • Water
  • Natural Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Salad Dressings: Vinegars of choice (apple cider, red wine, balsamic, etc.)
  • Other Low Calorie Condiments of Choice: mustard, hot sauce, horseradish, etc.

Section III- Main Courses

  • Lettuce Burgers (use extra lean sirloin or bison, preferably bun-less only using whole grain bun option if absolutely needed)
  • Rotisserie Chicken (choose «plain» and remove skin and dab off any grease as needed with paper towel)
  • Extra Lean Kosher Hot Dogs (preferably bun-less, only use whole grain bun option if absolutely needed)
  • Chili (preferably bean-less, swap extra lean turkey for the beef version to cut down fat intake)

Section IV- Desserts

  • Prograde Cravers (100% organic chocolate snacks bars)
  • Larabars
  • Protein Cookies (swap in protein powder for flour)

BONUS- Top 10 Tips to Save Thousands of Calories At Party Time

1.) Go Naked: Replace all buns or breading for sandwiches with a lettuce wrap alternative to cut calories, stabilize blood sugar, and boost fiber and micronutrient intake.

2.) Hydrate: Drink at least two to four cups of water before eating AND one to two cups every 15-30 minutes after you start eating to fill your stomach and prevent overeating that can be triggered by dehydration.

3.) No Empty Liquid Calories: Stay away from fruit juices, regular sodas, and alcohol. Opt for water, tea, or low calorie/carb beverages in moderation. Eat your calories, don’t drink them.

4.) Do not fast in preparation for a feast as it will turn your body into a famished fat-storing machine the next time you eat. The resulting low blood sugar levels that come from not eating for four hours or more make you crave junk foods high in both fat and refined sugars.

5.) White to Brown to Green: Use  whole grain alternatives for any starch you serve at your party (e.g. chips, tortillas, breads, rice, pasta). Whole grains have more vitamins and minerals and are high in fiber, which means they won’t have as negative of an impact on your blood sugar compared to its white counterparts. However, if you want to be a nutritional boy or girl scout, go one step further by replacing all brown with green in the form of green veggies (see «Go Naked» above).

6.) Focus on eating lean proteins and fruits and veggies first. Use these in unlimited amounts as needed to fill you up.  

7.) Never eat directly out of the bag or community bowl and use smaller plates to put your food on. Set a limit to how much you are going to eat ahead of time. Don’t plan to fail!

8.) Replace Gold With Green: Opt for guacamole over cheese for your salads and chips. Guacamole is not only low in saturated fat and high in heart healthy monounsaturated fats but it also has a ton of fiber that will help fill you up fast and prevent overeating. Though cheese is a true super food in moderation, it is very easy to overeat especially when mixed with refined carb sources like white chips and pizza.

9.) Replace Flour with Protein Powder: Few people know that protein powder makes a great cooking or baking substitute for flour (e.g. protein cookies). By adding protein and reducing carb intake you can boost metabolism.

10.) Chew-Chew: Eat slowly and require a certain number of chews before you swallow to allow your brain enough time to get the «I’m full» signal (e.g. 20 pre-swallow chews).

Source by Nancy Carlson

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