The Super Bowl has become much more than a football game. It’s now considered the second-biggest day for food consumption in the U.S. after Thanksgiving.
With all the tasty dishes available, it’s pretty easy to fumble on your food choices, especially if you are trying to eat healthier.
So to help you establish a game plan before you head off to that Super Bowl party, Charles Platkin, editor of DietDetective.com and a professor at the City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College, offers exercise equivalents for some of your favorite football snacks.
Platkin also provides alternatives that won’t cause a flag on the play.
The big play: Handful of pita chips, each with artichoke dip. (Each chip is 13 calories, plus just 1 tablespoon of dip, which is about a chip’s worth, is 80 calories.)
The tackle: Calories equal to running 141 football fields.
The score: Make your own whole-wheat pita chips and use salsa, which is about 15 calories per tablespoon, instead of artichoke dip.
The big play: Two slices of Domino’s Bacon Cheeseburger Feast hand-tossed specialty pizza (16 inches). (Each slice is 490 calories.)
The tackle: Calories equal to about 3 1/2 hours of performing in a marching band.
The score: Try thin-crust pizza with fewer toppings.
The big play: One sloppy Joe. (Sloppy Joes have more than 500 calories with the bun.)
The tackle: Calories equal 59 minutes of climbing the stadium stairs.
The score: Use lean ground beef and try a low-calorie sauce without sugar. Also, add veggies to the meat.
The big play: Three Pepsis. (Each 12-ounce can is 100 calories.)
The tackle: Calories equal 57 minutes of dancing to Beyoncé during the Super Bowl halftime performance.
The score: Try a no-calorie drink such as water, flavored seltzer or unsweetened ice tea.
The big play: One handful of trail mix. (Nuts and chocolate have about 160 calories per ounce.)
The tackle: Calories equal 49 touchdown dances in the end zone.
The score: Try having only nuts. But remember, while nuts are healthy, they are high in calories, so don’t keep a huge bowl nearby.
The big play: Six traditional Hand-Spun Buffalo Wild Wings dipped in ranch dressing. (Six wings have 990 calories; add about two servings of ranch dressing at 170 calories each for 340 calories.)
The tackle: Calories equal doing the wave 6,480 times.
The score: Make your own chicken wings; go skinless and bake them instead of deep frying.
The big play: Two handfuls of Cheetos Jumbo Puffs. (That’s 320 calories for about 2 ounces.)
The tackle: Calories equal 30 minutes of playing professional football. (However, keep in mind that there are only about 11 minutes of actual ball-playing in a football game, so you would need to play almost three games to burn off these calories.)
The score: How about making your own popcorn? You could sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese and spray it with low-calorie butter spray.