You don’t have to eat plain salad leaves during the Super Bowl in order to stay “healthy.”

At Horizons we NEVER want weight loss and healthy living to be a temporary thing. Part of healthy living is LIVING, which includes mindful eating but also treating yourself now and then.

Thus, you don’t necessarily have to cut out any of the foods you’re planning for this weekend, but you might consider employing some methods to help your brain tell your stomach you’re full! I was surprised by this piece of research from an ABC News Super Bowl article:

Researchers threw a Super Bowl party so they could count up how many chicken wings their guests ate from a buffet. The subjects who had their leftover wing bones swept away ate, on average, seven wings – an additional 200 calories compared to those who sat at the messier, un-bussed tables. When the wings were boneless, their calorie intake increased by 35 percent.

The lack of bones created a sort of caloric blindness in the party goers, head researcher Brian Wansink speculated.

“All the evidence of what they’d eaten was removed,” he explained. “There was nothing left to remind them of how many calories they’d consumed.”

Here are three of my tips I use day-to-day, but I think they’d be perfect for Super Bowl munching!

1) Every time you fill a plate, fill one half with salad and minimal dressing. I often get a few salad leaves (I love spinach!) on my fork in addition to the other food so I don’t even notice I haven’t put on much dressing. Also, have you noticed how much longer it takes to chew salad?! It makes me feel like I’m spending double the amount of time eating so it gives my brain a chance to recognize I’m full. This also makes you work for your food – if you’re still hungry you’ll have to go back to the food table each time, making you less likely to over-consume than if you’d piled your original plate as high as possible.

2) I’m a big-time snacker!! Rather than using calorie-laden, chemical-laden microwaveable popcorn I buy kernels and pop it on my stove, topping it with a little melted butter and salt. This will save you loads of calories AND money! Sure, it takes an extra 5 minutes, but the pay off is totally worth it.

3) DRINK WATER! Drinking water absolutely helps you feel full, and it definitely helps slow down the consumption of calories from beer and soda. Try matching each drink with a full glass of water and I would be surprised if you didn’t drastically reduce your caloric consumption from beverages.

Happy eating!