SUNDAY, Feb. 3, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Super Bowl party hosts and guests are ready for some football. But they also need to get ready to fight the temptation to eat and drink too much while watching the game, an expert warns.
For football fans planning to attend a party, eating a small healthy meal ahead of time can help ensure they don't overindulge on junk food, according to Loyola University Health System dietitian Gina Neill.
She added it's also a good idea to exercise before heading off to a Super Bowl party, and limit drinking or simply skip alcohol consumption entirely to avoid extra calories.
And the hosts of the gathering can also take steps to help their guests stick to a healthier diet, Neill pointed out. She offered the following tips for anyone planning a Super Bowl party:
- Replace cheeses with fruit trays, and serve pretzels or microwave popcorn instead of potato chips.
- Allow guests to snack on vegetables, such as celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower and broccoli.
- Serve salsa, or substitute low-fat sour cream or low-fat cheese for high-fat ingredients in dips.
- Skip the extra cheese or meat when ordering pizza, and opt for vegetable toppings instead.
- Try vegetarian chili or make it using lean or extra-lean ground beef or turkey.
"It's OK to occasionally treat yourself on a special occasion like Super Bowl Sunday," Neill noted in a Loyola news release. "But avoid overeating all the leftovers, which could set you up for getting off track long term. If you choose wisely, you can maintain your diet."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about healthy eating.