How to prepare for the Super Bowl while on a diet

Whether you're planning a bash of your own or you're heading to a friend's house to watch the Super Bowl, there's one thing you can bet on. There will be plenty of food.

But for those of us watching our diets, Super Bowl parties can put us in a bit of a quandary.

Lindsay Malone, a registered dietician at Cleveland Clinic says one way around the problem is to bring healthy options to share. 

"If you're going to a party and you want to make sure that there's enough options there for you to eat healthy, one of the best things you can do is bring some vegetables. That can be things like carrot sticks, celery sticks, peppers, fresh salsa, chili with tomatoes and some beans," she suggests.

Malone says pairing vegetables with spinach and artichoke dip, or buffalo chicken dip allows you to enjoy your dipping sauce but still have some balance.

It's also a good idea to make sure you're eating enough fiber and protein, and drinking enough water leading up to the festivities so you don't arrive at your destination feeling famished. Malone says that when we're starving, we tend to make poorer food choices.

And don't forget that drink calories add up quickly, too. If you're planning on having a beer or some soda, Malone recommends sticking to one drink and alternating it with something else like seltzer water or iced tea.

If the party is at your house, you can still serve up traditional Super Bowl dishes without breaking the calorie bank if you look for alternative ways to prepare them. Malone says that food items such wings, potato skins, and French fries can be made in an air fryer.

"An air fryer cooks without a whole lot of oil, so you can do your chicken fingers or your chicken wings in the air fryer and still get your protein without the really inflammatory fats that come with frying foods," she says. 

To avoid a bad night's sleep or an upset stomach on Monday morning, don't overdo it. Malone suggests checking in with yourself around half-time on how much you've eaten. If you're feeling stuffed, plan for some water and fresh fruit for the second half.