Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Bowl Survival Tips: Game planning for a big loss (on the scale)

Just because the football season’s grand finale is upon us doesn’t mean our eating habits and clothing sizes have to match those of beefy linemen. These tips will help you enjoy your Super Bowl shindig, by taking the pig out of your pigskin party. Pregame prep Before entering your buddies' house, give yourself a mental pep talk and then "stick with your plan," advises Jay Fleming, a Weight Watchers leader who's maintained a 65-pound loss for four years.* "Ask yourself why you are at the game. Is it to eat or is it to watch the game?" New game plan You can still enjoy some football fare: a chicken wing or two, some chips and dip, a slice of pizza and a cold one. Just don't overindulge — eat and drink reasonably, keep track of what you chow down on, and save your weekly POINTS® Allowance for game day. "If you're working at getting rid of your beer belly, remember that, 'If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got,'" Fleming says. "So if you pig out at that tailgate party or during the game, you'll get that beer belly just like in the past." Know your opponent Forget the game for a sec. At the party, your foe is all that grub on the counter. It most likely isn’t low calorie or fat free, either. Keep in mind, a plain hot dog on a roll can pack 8 POINTS values. Two medium slices of thin crust pepperoni pizza have about 12 POINTS values. A serving of nacho chips and mystery cheese can be laden with around 9 POINTS values and more fat grams than points both teams will score. If you're still jonesing for football food, try minimizing the damage. Eating the dog minus the bun will save about 3 POINTS values. Have only 1 slice of pizza and you’ll cut 6 POINTS values. Walk it off Consider parking a few blocks from the party or heading outside for a walk instead of watching for the next wardrobe malfunction at halftime (that’s what DVRs are for anyway). Improve your bench Try fitting in a few exercises – push-ups or Pilates – whenever possible, Anderson suggests. Drop and do 20 push-ups or a few Pilates hundreds during commercial breaks. Or put a couple of bucks in a pot for the winner of a game-long challenge with your friends. You can also make friendly competitive wagers using crunches instead of money. Every time your team scores, fans on the opposite side have to hit the deck for 20 and vice versa. Stay in motion During breaks in the action, get off your seat – but not to visit the food table. "Try to do anything that can make you active. The activity counts just as much as eating right," Anderson says. "If you get active during a football game, you'll eat less." Try staying on your feet for an entire series, and switch between doing push-ups, stretches, crunches or squats during breaks. Do "secret squats" by pushing yourself out of a low-rider chair over and over. Here's a good stretch for your back and legs: sit up straight against a couch, extend your legs and hold as long as you can. You could even practice different TD celebration dances. This, of course, is best done alone – unless you have no shame or don't embarrass easily. If you follow these tips, your new fleet-footed celebration moves might be used to commemorate a losing season on the scale. Good substitutions "Make better food choices," says Neil Anderson, a master personal trainer. To make that easier, prepare healthier items such as: grilled chicken sandwiches fruit cups a veggie tray shrimp with cocktail sauce, baked chips light beer fat-free pretzels turkey brats bags of low-fat microwavable popcorn. Not all to be eaten at the same time, of course. Article courtesy of Weight Watchers

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