American football playerYou know the feeling: You walk into a friend’s house for the Sunday night football game and are greeted with nachos, dip and plenty of beer. The debate begins. Do you snack to your heart’s content, give a firm no, or just choose a few snacks here and there, trying not to refill your plate at half-time?

The good news is you don’t have to say no altogether—there are a few ways to enjoy the party, even indulge a little, without wrecking your healthy routine. Navigate the football season snack tables with confidence using these simple and easy tips.

Eat First

This is your golden rule to follow during football season: never show up to the party hungry. That’s a surefire way to overeat—I’m hungry, so I can fill my plate with everything. Try for a high-protein snack or meal, which will keep you full for the duration of the game. Have a chicken breast with roasted veggies or just a salad with beans, for example.

Bring Your Own Snacks

The best way to ensure you don’t wreck your healthy eating routine is to bring your own snacks. You can bring a whole dish to share with the group or something small just for yourself. Some healthy ideas include:

  • Hummus and veggies
  • Homemade bean dip and organic corn chips
  • Fall harvest salad (roasted squash, sweet potato, onion and cauliflower, for example)
  • Veggie cauliflower crust pizza

Small, mobile snacks just for you include:

  • Nuts or trail mix
  • Dried fruit
  • Homemade sweet potato fries or chips
  • Larabar

Stick to One Option

It’s okay to indulge every once in a while, in fact it’s the best way to stick with a healthy lifestyle. So instead of forgoing the snack table altogether, choose one thing, no matter how decadent, and have one helping of that. It’s easier to overeat if you take a little bit of everything.

Make a Balanced Plate                                                         

Hot Wings With Vegies and DipIf you just can’t resist that plate of wings, make sure you have some vegetables on your plate as well. Low in calories and high in fiber, a big salad will help fill you up, which can stop you from eating too many wings.

Workout Before

Lazy Sundays are the best, but if you want to indulge at the football party, make time for a morning workout before you head over. Not only will you feel better all day, but your body is still burning calories after a moderate-vigorous workout. If you know you’ll overindulge the extra calorie burn will help you stay on track.