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Question: How many Burpee’s do you have to do in order to burn off your Super Bowl calories?

Answer: That is called bulimia. Bulimia is an eating disorder where you indulge, feel guilt and then purge. (More on this cycle below.) And basically what that question is really getting at us asking is “how much exercise do I need to do to purge this “bad” food for my body?”

That is a very, very unhealthy relationship to promote with food. Very.

The idea that there is clean food or “bad” food, or super foods all lead to the same end – guilt, stress, and ironically, massive overeating that nobody really enjoys.

So, here are 4 things NOT to do at the Super Bowl Party:

1. Tell yourself that this is the last time you’ll eat chips or buffalo wings.
I’ve done this. You’ve done this. It never works and never will. This promise to yourself only puts you back into the binge and guilt cycle; and makes the food you do eat far less enjoyable.

2. Graze.
Small amounts of food (snacks) do not make us feel full or sated. We do not compensate at a meal by eating less if we’ve had a snack beforehand. Snacks and grazing just add calories. And extra calories add weight.

Meals (at least 400 calories) do make you feel full and satisfied. They do this for 4-6 hours when they have enough protein (30+g), fiber, and some fat (15-ish grams). See below for more on how at your Super Bowl Party.

3. Stare at the food.
We are visual creatures. When we look at food – especially hyper-palatable food – we are triggered to want it. Make your choices, but then sit where you’re not staring at the food. Make it easier to do the congruent thing.

4. Take home temptations.
Don’t take home the chips or cake or whatever offered if you know they sing your siren song. Life’s too hard already, don’t make it harder.

If you hosted, get rid of those foods. It’s not wasteful to throw away cake… think about it, how does your keeping the cake, then eating the cake help any of the starving children in Africa (or whatever people say in 2017), or how does eating the cake and overdoing it put any money back into your account?

Here are 5 Things to do at the Super Bowl Party!

1. Eat your protein and veggies first.
Find the closest thing to lean protein and something made mostly of veggies (not too much added fat – i.e. “Spinach” dip), and put that on half your plate.
Put the calorie worthy indulgence on the other side. Eat protein and veggies first, then enjoy your indulgence. This will help you feel full by the end of your indulgence vs. indulging before eating the things that make you feel full – protein and fiber.

2. Treat don’t cheat.
You can’t cheat your body. All calories count. However, that does NOT mean that you need to eat “perfect” either.

See above. Treat yourself to something you want. Know that eating some high calorie food doesn’t make you a bad person or negate the rest of your healthy lifestyle. Take a look at everything available so you can be picky since you’re not going to do a “this is the last time” binge and you don’t actually want to eat until you want to vomit. When you indulge without guilt you’ll find you can eat a reasonable amount.

3. Find a no calorie beverage you like.
Water. Tea. Coffee. Diet soda.

For the record: diet soda IS better for you than soda. Why? Because it has no sugar and no calories in it. Please stop getting your “scientific research” from your friend Facebook feeds when they share BS from David Wolfe, or whoever else makes their living from fear mongering.

Is does soda full of vitamins and fiber and protein and other good stuff? No, but it sure won’t make you fat because it has no calories in it. And without extra calories you can’t get fat.

Second rant: caffeine does NOT make you fat, nor is it poisonous in normal amounts. (Everything – even water is poisonous at the right dose.) Giving up caffeine because some snake oil salesman told you it will help you lose weight is a complete waste of time and energy.

Remember that weight loss is about calories. Caffeine has zero calories. Caffeine can’t make you fat. Ever. Adding fat and sugar to your caffeine of choice can definitely make you fat though.

Caffeine is the safest performance enhancing drug in the world. If you like it and it adds quality to your life, then enjoy it. (Enjoy with minimal/no calories and not too close to bed time because it can keep you from getting quality sleep if consumed too late.) Use the extra energy from caffeine to have better workouts, be more productive at work, and/or do food prep.

4. Bring gum.
When you’re done with your plate, try some mint gum. It gives you a break, cleanses your pallet and allows you the time needed to feel full (about 20 min).

5. Go outside and play or do something.
Get your kids up from the TV and go outside (or anywhere) and do something. Not to burn off your super bowl cookie, but because it’s fun and because moving makes you feel good, and is great for bonding and getting off your devices, so you look each other in the eye and laugh together!