Surviving the Super Bowl

posted by Darlene DeWitt, MS, RD, LD on Tuesday, January 28, 2020

There are statistics that say more chicken wings and pizza are eaten on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year!  At this time of year, it certainly can derail your weight loss goals; but it doesn’t have to be that way.  There are some simple things that you can do to have a healthier Super Bowl party.

Plan Ahead

Since the game is on later in the afternoon, plan to get your physical activity in the morning.  That way you have burned some extra calories before the game.  Plan out lighter breakfast and lunch meals.  Notice I didn’t say not to eat! If you don’t eat until game time, you will be starving and most likely overeat.  But planning lighter meals like cottage cheese and blueberries for breakfast and a cobb salad with low-fat dressing for lunch will help lower the total calories for the day, and allow you to make sensible choices later.  And plan to bring your water bottle; that way you will save some calories on sugary beverages.

Check out your environment

Sometimes thinking of how things are set up can help.  If you are hosting, set up the food table away from the television—this makes it a little more out of mind and a little harder to reach.  If you are at someone’s house, try to sit somewhere that is not close to the food.  Better yet, stand or move around to burn a few more calories.

Bring something you will be happy to eat

You know that there won’t be any shortage of meats, cheese, chips, and dessert. Instead, bring something that will help support your health or weight loss goals.  When I say this, most people think of a veggie tray or bowl of fruit.  But there are definitely other options. By substituting ingredients in your favorite recipes, you can make them a little easier on the waistline.

  • Try a vinegar based dressing on coleslaw to have with sandwiches instead of chips.
  • If you want to make a bean dip, use vegetarian refried beans and fat-free sour cream to cut the fat.  Kick it up with some jalapenos, cumin and garlic powder and no one will notice the lower fat.
  • Use reduced fat cream cheese or mayo with olive oil to cut saturated fat in your favorite recipe.
  • Put some boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot on Low Sunday morning.  Add some BBQ sauce and shred them to serve on whole wheat slider rolls. 
  • Make a crockpot of chili with ground turkey and low-sodium canned beans.
  • Try whole grain tortilla chips with your salsa and guacamole.
  • Make a trifle dessert with angel food cake, sugar-free vanilla pudding, and light cool whip. Layer in berries and walnuts to add flavor and you won’t even notice the light ingredients.
  • Make mini cupcakes or cut desserts into smaller portions.  With lots of food on the buffet, your guests might thank you for offering smaller portions they can still enjoy.

Before you go, decide what or how much you are going to allow yourself to enjoy.  Then, when you stick to your plan you can pat yourself on the back for staying strong and not feel guilty about enjoying the game…and the food!

Texas Caviar

Makes: 20 servings


  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cans no-salt added black beans, drained
  • 1 can no-salt added black eyed peas, drained
  • 1 can no-salt added corn, drained 
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste (1/2 tsp each)


Chop all vegetables and put them in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix together cilantro, garlic, lime, cumin, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over vegetables. Stir to combine.
Store in refrigerator at least an hour, but for best results, store for 24 hours for flavors to build.
Serve with whole grain tortilla chips.

Nutrition Info per serving (1/2 cup):  70 calories, 2 g fat, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 150 mg sodium

  1. nutrition
  2. wellness

About The Author

Darlene DeWitt, MS, RD, LD

Darlene DeWitt is one of Spencer Hospital’s Registered Dietitians. Darlene currently provides outpatient services in the areas of Diabetes management, heart disease, weight loss, GI issues and other various health concerns.  She received her Master of Science degree in nutrition from C ... read more