Whether you’re cheering your for your team on Friday night or watching your fave pros toss around the pigskin on Sunday afternoon, we’ve got quick tricks to help you make smart snack decisions. We chatted with Dr. Wayne Andersen author of Dr. A’s Habits of Health and the founder of Take Shape for Life (tsfl.com) for ideas on what to eat when you’re surrounded by stadium snacks.
1. Nosh before you leave the house.
“Eat a healthy salad or whole-wheat sandwich with a skinless chicken breast before leaving home,” Dr. Andersen tells us. “A snack or meal with protein will help satisfy your appetite and keep you from getting hungry during the event.”
2. Take a snack with you.
“Another great alternative is to put a protein bar in your purse to take the edge off your hunger while you are in the nutritionally-polluted environment.” Carrot or celery sticks, an apple or almonds work too.
3. Steer clear of the sauces. “Avoid grease and foods that are smothered with cheeses or fattening sauces,” he says. That includes nachos, chicken wings and cheese fries.
4. Pick more straight-forward choices.
Dr. Andersen recommends noshing on corn on the cob, a caramel apple, a soft pretzel or even a handful gummy candy if you need something to nosh on.
5. Can’t resist? Just have a couple bites.
“Also understanding that 95 percent of our taste satisfaction comes in the first three bites can allow you to satisfy a taste craving without caving to a caloric overload,” he swears. Have a nibble or two and then be done.
6. Opt for foods that are more “normal,” not ones you can only find in a stadium. “A hot dog with traditional condiments such as mustard is around 310 calories. Although not a healthy daily choice, is about a third the calories of a large nachos with cheese,” he tells us. Whoa.
7. Avoid anything that’s been swimming in oil.
“Stay away from any deeply fried foods that are cooked in large oil vats. These foods are full of trans fats.” Sounds icky anyway, right? Onion rings, fries, chicken fingers and tons more fall under this category.
8. Warm up with some cocoa.
Instead of slurping down yet another soda, keep your hands toasty with some hot chocolate. It contains good-for-ya antioxidants.
9. Getting popcorn? Say “no” to butter and opt for a small box.
With butter, even a small box can have more than half a day’s worth of fat in it.
10. Eat healthy foods afterwards.
“A smaller meal such as a healthy salad, some fruits or vegetables will help your body recover from the unhealthy choices,” Dr. Andersen confesses. So if you’re hungry when you get home, eat something sensible and your bod will be grateful for it.