For Super bowl Sunday,  it’s the snacks that really count. Get your game plan ready in advance so you don’t weigh as much as a linebacker when the season is over. Here are some tips.

Don’t skip meals

Scrambled eggsYou can’t really save calories by skipping meals. What ends up happening at your next meal is you are so hungry you consume far more calories than you intended – or you would have if you hadn’t skipped a meal. Instead, opt for a sensible breakfast and lunch that includes protein (which promotes feeling of satiety), complex carbs and fiber. For breakfast that might mean scrambled eggs in a whole wheat flour tortilla with salsa or avocado slices. For lunch you might try lentil and quinoa salad or a turkey sandwich with hummus, red peppers and cucumber slices. You’ll come to the game buffet with stable blood sugar and you won’t be ravenous, which will make it easier to make food choices you feel good about.

Eat mindfully

Much of the conversation we hear about doing anything these days involves something called mindfulness. Proponents have found that paying attention to each moment as it unfolds leads to greater clarity and calm. Eating mindfully can increase satisfaction and decrease overeating. Slowing down to notice the taste, texture and experience of the food can help us enjoy it more. We are also more likely to notice more quickly when we are full and when we are no longer enjoying the food. Studies show that the first two or three bites are the ones we enjoy the most. Sometimes, we continue eating things long after we are full or no longer really enjoying them. Save your calories for foods you really enjoy. Don’t waste them on things you eat just because they are there.

Think balance

Party Food VerticalHealthy eating or diet does not have to mean deprivation. Think balance instead. Survey all of the offerings and then think of your plate in percentages. You can devote 25% to splurge foods so you get what your body needs without feeling like you are missing the best food treats. Remember, tomorrow is another day. Don’t splurge on things you can get anytime. Use your calories instead for rare treats. You can make room in your calorie budget for more common food items another day.

Keep a food diary

Writing down every morsel you consume can help you be more aware and accountable. Generally, people underestimate the number of calories they consume and overestimate their activity levels. Write down your fitness goals, workout accomplishments, daily meals and snacks. Accurate information helps you spot challenges and increase opportunities for success.

Step out during half time

Don’t let the players be the only one in the game. Get up and get moving during half-time.

Stay on track for Superbowl Sunday with these tips. It would also be a good idea to remind yourself of whatever motivates you to manage or achieve a heathy weight. Thinking of it that way you aren’t foregoing ultimate nachos, you are giving yourself another chance to get off of high blood pressure meds. That’s a powerful motivator.