With pre-season underway and kickoff starting this week you may be wondering how you can stick to your healthy eating plan while enjoying football Sunday with friends and family. Get ready to be amazed, because I have 5 football Sunday food swaps to save you some serious calories!
Watching football with friends and family may be a Sunday night tradition. Those notoriously fattening appetizers may also be a family tradition. However, are these foods getting in the way of your weight loss goals? Many of the commonly enjoyed football Sunday game day snacks are not necessarily weight loss friendly. These snacks are often loaded with sugar, and damaged fats. Talk about a recipe for a healthy diet killer!
Don’t worry because you no longer have to fear what’s going to be served during football Sunday. I have some easy food swaps that can easily save you hundreds of calories. The best thing about these swaps is that they taste just as good as the real thing, if not better!
Homemade Guacamole for Queso Dip: You can still have your dip, but just in a healthier way. Queso dip is often loaded with artificial ingredients and damaged fats. It’s also super easy to over do it, and packs in a few hundred calories in one sitting. While this dip may be a go-to comfort food, it’s not the healthiest option especially if it’s store bought and processed. Instead, mash together a couple of avocados with some onion, and cilantro. That’s it! You now have a simple, yet delicious dip made with 100% natural ingredients. Avocados are high in fiber and healthy fat, so you will likely feel full faster. Don’t feel like making something homemade? Try some hummus instead for an equally as delicious option.
Buffalo Cauliflower for Chicken Wings: Chicken wings are commonly enjoyed while watching football games. The bad thing about chicken wings is that the sauce is often full of things like MSG, sodium, and other artificial ingredients. The sauce is what packs in the calories. Skip the wings and try making some simple buffalo cauliflower. You may be wondering how a vegetable could taste anything like chicken wings, but you may be surprised! You can alter this recipe according to your taste, and how spicy you like it. For a basic buffalo cauliflower recipe all you need is: 1 head of cauliflower cut into “steaks”, crushed garlic, hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, plain Greek yogurt, chives, and crumbled blue cheese. Grill the cauliflower steaks, and combine all of the remaining ingredients in a bowl according to your taste. Add the cauliflower steaks to the sauce to cover, and enjoy! You can even place the buffalo cauliflower on skewers to make them easier to enjoy. Give it a try, you may not even miss the chicken wings!
Chicken Skewers for Hot Dogs: Instead of a processed hot dog, try making your own chicken skewers. Take a couple of chicken breasts, and cut them into cubes. Marinate the chicken in some olive oil, and Italian seasoning. Add the chicken onto some skewers with some veggies, and grill. You now have an excellent alternative to hot dogs. Swap in some honey mustard dressing, or salsa if you wanted an alternative to the Italian style chicken. You can’t get much easier than this, and this recipe it so versatile you will never get bored of it!
Turkey Sliders for Burgers: Turkey sliders make an excellent alternative to greasy cheese burgers. Instead of making cheese burgers on game day, whip up some turkey burger sliders with some spices of your choice. If you like spicy, add some red pepper. If you like mild try adding some oregano, and Worcestershire sauce. There are plenty of options to make a delicious turkey burger slider that’s totally guilt free. As an added bonus, use a whole grain, or grain free bun, or use a lettuce leaf if you’re really looking to boost your food swap even more.! Get creative with healthy toppings, the sky is the limit so try veggies, or even fruit like pineapple to spice of your turkey burger sliders.
Veggie Nachos for Cheese Fries: Nachos don’t have to be an unhealthy food choice, in fact you can make them into a delicious game day appetizer. Instead of snacking on greasy cheese fries, try a homemade nacho recipe. Choose whole grain tortilla chips, and top them with some black beans, shredded cheddar cheese, rotisserie style chicken, cilantro, tomatoes, and some salsa. Don’t over do the cheese, but add just enough for an authentic nacho flavor. Bake until the cheese is gooey, and enjoy! This recipe is a great alternative to cheese fries. It packs in fiber from the beans, and protein from the chicken.
Snacking during football Sunday doesn’t mean you have to completely undo all of the hard work you have put in. Try out these food swaps for a guilt free way to snack during the game! Bring them to your next football party, or host one yourself. No one will ever know these are healthier options!
What’s your favorite game day snack?
Rebecca Jacobs N.C is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and owner of Holistic Balance Nutrition. Her specialties include digestive health and weight loss, where she has been helping clients reach their weight loss goals since 2015. Rebecca’s approach is different from others, because she believes in a no dieting and individualized approach to healthy living, and believes that healthy eating must be delicious. She is passionate about helping others find their balance and getting to the root cause of their weight gain, or health issues through the power of nutrition.