Try as you might, it's pretty hard to avoid taking in hundreds, if not thousands, of calories on Super Bowl weekend. Between the beer, pizza and pigs in a blanket, there's junk food for every taste gathered round the television.
But in an attempt to stave off the gluttonous effects of Super Bowl Sunday, the Huffington Post Canada Living spoke to personal trainer and nutrition coach Darren Stehle. Stehle, who works at Toronto's Adelaide Club, snapped us out of our food coma delusions and pushed us in the right direction for post-game recovery.
HPC: Is it ever okay to just do nothing -- to eat a ton, and then not worry about working it off?
DS: No. If you eat a ton and do nothing, you are going to get fat. Period. Energy balance is very simple.
Huffington Post Canada: Without looking like a total nut, is there any way to burn calories while watching the game?
Darren Stehle: Since you will most likely be sitting in front of your TV, you can forget about moving enough to get a cardiovascular burn. Drinking lots of water may help to reduce your alcohol and Super Bowl foods intake. While it's not exercise, this is at least a trick to help your body deal with unhealthy foods.
The best suggestion I can make is to drink 1-2 glasses of water per hour while you are watching the game, eating and drinking alcohol. Water makes so much happen in your body. It has a cleansing effect: it helps dissolve vitamins, minerals, amino acids and glucose (sugar) for the body to use; it helps with digestion; it regulates body temperature; helps to burn body fat as fuel; flushes toxins from the body and it lubricates your joints and organs.
LOOK: Over at DietDetective.com, Charles Platkin, PhD, MPH, has done some research on which football-based activities will burn off calories consumed during the game. Interview continues below:
HPC: What do you do to get motivated to work out after a big day of indulgence, and/or a hangover?
DS: The last thing you want to do is to blame yourself for the night before. Accept that you chose to overeat and/or overdrink. Decide the day before what you plan to do on Monday morning and for the rest of the week to repair and recover. For example, commit to getting up on Monday morning at your regular time or even 30 minutes earlier to take the dog for a longer walk, to go out for a run, power walk, etc. Make the commitment with a friend to do it together. It's easy to decide to skip your workout the day after because you feel like crap, but it’s easier to actually go when you have made plans with a buddy in advance.
HPC: Is it a good idea to work out if you're still feeling full?
DS: This would probably only apply on the day of the game. Monday morning you might feel bloated and uncomfortable. You will just have to get over that and get active. You probably won't be 100% and that’s fine. A 70% effort is better than none at all, so don't fall to the excuse that you 'still feel full', unless you feel sick during activity.
HPC: What kind of meals/specific foods do you suggest eating the day after this kind of overindulgence?
DS: You want to cleanse the body, hydrate and eat clean and healthy balanced meals. Drink purified or filtered water throughout the day, 10-15 glasses (at least 2 litres) and/or green tea for the antioxidant properties. Start your day with a bowl of slow-cooked oatmeal to replenish energy and for healthy fibre. Take 4 to 6 500mg doses of Vitamin C throughout the day and a B-complex vitamin with breakfast.
For food, opt for lean protein sources only: skinless chicken breast, pork tenderloin, fish. Eat 2-3 servings of vegetables per meal (one cup raw or leafy, like raw spinach or half a cup cooked). Eat fruit like bananas and berries, but not on their own. Eat five to six smaller and balanced meals. Eliminate pasta, rice and breads for the day and no deep fried foods.
And you want to avoid your usual Starbucks. The last think you need is a grande full-fat latte or mochachino. Stick to water, black coffee/espresso or green tea. And of course, don't drink any alcohol.