While the Super Bowl can be a fun and exciting event, for some it can be stressful. One way that people deal with stress is to overeat. When you combine the stress of the big game with the availability of appetizers and snacks at a typical Super Bowl party, you have a recipe for overindulging. 

“People deal with stress in a lot of different ways,” Registered Dietitian Katie Beberman, MS, RDN, LDN, of Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at HSHS Medical Group, said. “And one of those ways they commonly turn to is eating. Especially if we’re watching TV and have all these snacks nearby. We might just be having bites of food and watching the game and not even realize how much we’re eating.”

“With all the caloric foods and drinks offered at every Super Bowl party, it can be easy to consume 1000 calories within a couple of hours,” Beberman added.

Beberman offered a number of tips to help you avoid stress eating this Sunday:

  • Look to see what foods are available first and choose those that you really want. 
  • Eat a good, balanced meal prior to the game or party—something with both protein and fiber to keep you feeling full. You are less likely to binge if you’re not overly hungry.
  • Bring your own healthy snack option to a party, such as salsa with vegetables, light dip and whole-grain crackers or a large salad to share.
  • Include some exercise before the game or take advantage of the halftime break to get your body moving. A bit of physical activity can help reduce stress and burn up some calories.
  • See all those appetizers as a meal; all of those little bites can quickly add up to 600 calories!
  • To resist stress eating throughout the game, serve yourself a plate of food at the beginning or at one point in the game. Focus on your food at that time and then resist grazing after the meal. 
  • Give your body 20-30 minutes after eating to refill your plate. This is about how long it takes the stomach to secrete hormones that tell the brain you’re full. 
  • Keep portions in check by using smaller bowls and plates.
  • Place healthy options, like a mixed fruit bowl or veggies and light dip, close by. 
  • Don’t drink your calories with heavy beer, sugar-sweetened beverages or sugary cocktails. Try light beer or mixed drinks with no-calorie/no-sugar mixers.
  • Stay hydrated! Be sure to drink water throughout the game. 

For people with diabetes, Beberman said her suggestions are the same as for anyone else, “Try to build a balanced plate; be mindful of portion sizes for carbohydrate-containing foods; snack freely on veggies and choose beverages that are not sugar sweetened.”

If you’re looking for some healthy options to share at a Super Bowl party, check out these recipes from Prairie Cardiovascular:
Hummus So Many Ways 
Provençal Turkey Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce
Turkey Chili Verde 

Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at HSHS Medical Group, with locations in Springfield, Decatur, O’Fallon and Effingham, delivers world-class care close to home. With a highly specialized team of experts that includes board-certified endocrinologists, nurse practitioners, certified diabetes educators and dietitians, the Joslin Diabetes Center’s team works together to provide patients the tools they need to manage their diabetes and live their best lives. If you’re interested in learning more about what Joslin Diabetes Center has to offer, call the Springfield center at 217-787-8870. 


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Lori Harlan

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HSHS Medical Group
Office: (217) 321-9292
Cell: (217) 321-9292

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