Health & Fitness | January 30, 2020 9:04 am

Why You Should Eat Whatever You Want on Super Bowl Sunday

One day of binge-eating will have little to no impact on your bottom line

Super Bowl Food

Another eating holiday is upon us.

This Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will consume 28 millions pounds of chips, 325.5 million gallons of beer, and a frankly astonishing 1.38 billion chicken wings. If you were to dump all the guacamole we’re about to eat atop a full-length football field and spread it out, the depth would reach almost 12 feet.

The first Sunday of February is second only to Thanksgiving as our country’s biggest eating holiday. It’s a conspicuously less healthy brand of eating, too. Thanksgiving isn’t light on the stomach, of course, but its heartiness largely comes from home-cooked meals and wholesome family recipes. For the Super Bowl, a day in which Americans spend an average of $81 on food and drinks, we tend toward heavily processed snacks, salty delivery pizzas and deep-fried chicken. And then to wash it all back, we go full Homer Simpson.

It’s an utterly unnecessary, Olympian display of overconsumption, which leads to a very lackadaisical Monday (14 million Americans skip work the following morning, according to a 2018 survey).

Regardless, we are here to advise you to 100% eat whatever the hell you want this weekend.

Health sites, social-media influencers and medical journals want you to have a healthy Super Bowl. We respectfully disagree. Absentmindedly cowing out while watching a big game with friends and family is a perk of being alive. I’d compare it to ordering a large popcorn when you hit the movie theater once a month: you’re briefly engaging with a world that has nothing to do with your own. As part of that contract, you shouldn’t be stressing about empty or excessive caloric intake.

Besides, people don’t gain weight from one day of binge eating. You literally have to consume an additional 3,500 calories on top of your average daily calorie count in order to gain one pound of fat. You’ll be bloated, sure, but that’s due to water retention; high-sodium foods trigger a fluid imbalance, and your body needs more water to process all the crap.

Gaining weight comes from eating like this every time you sit down in front of the TV. As long as you can dissociate the excitement of Super Bowl excess from an everyday routine (which, honestly, we all can, and most of us do) or burn calories like 2010 Michael Phelps to keep your metabolic rate going, you’ll be completely okay.

Not to mention, “moralizing” food on a day when we all have license to let our dietary hair down is a slippery slope. “Food guilt” implies that certain foods or food groups must be restricted, and that if you slip up, you should feel upset with yourself. It’s a brand of guilt that stretches into several other facets of wellness. Think: “I didn’t get up for my workout. Therefore, I suck.” But the only folks who should be upset on Sunday are the fans of the losing team.

So go forth. Order your wings (get on that stat, in fact). Eat your Hint of Lime chips. Set up a diving board over a pool of guacamole. You deserve it, and the internet doesn’t deserve to tell you otherwise.

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