As you probably heard by now, the Super Bowl is the second largest food consumption day after Thanksgiving.
The Atlanta-based Calorie Control Council looked at the food people will be eating this Sunday and shockingly just the menu for the game can total more than 2,400 calories! (See below for details on how it adds up.) Regardless of the menu, however, Americans can cut the calories on game day by eating healthier. By just cutting 494 calories for the average-sized man and 418 calories for the average-sized woman, men and women can save an hour working out at the gym, according to the Calorie Control Council.
The Big Game Party: 6 Tips to Defend Against Too Many Calories
So how does it happen? How do we really eat 2,400 calories?
To help fans avoid the penalties that can come with a 2,400-calorie football party feast, the Calorie Control Council (CCC) took a look at a sample party spread and offered pre-game tips make better nutritional decisions while celebrating.
The Big Game Party binge
Grazing and snacking on foods and beverages throughout the day on things pizza, chicken wings, potato chips, beef nachos and beer or sodas, adds up to more than 2,400 calories and 121 g of fat according to the USDA National Nutrient Database — that’s more than most of us should be eating in a single day. The Council’s list of popular items on the menu, with calories and fat gram counts, is located below. (*Foods and beverages named in a recent NPD Group survey)
ITEM + SERVING + CALORIES + FAT
Pepperoni Pizza 2 slices 596 calories, 24.3 g fat
Regular Beer 3 cans (12 oz.) 458 calories, 0 g fat
Sodas (regular, not diet) 3 cans (12 oz.) 420 calories, 0 g fat
Tortilla Chips 3 servings (11-13 chips/svg.) 418 calories, 18.3 g fat
Potato Chips 3 servings (11-13 chips/svg.) 465 calories, 31.9 g fat
Cheese Dip ¼ cup 73 calories, 5.5 g fat
Seven Layer Dip ¼ cup 76 calories, 4 g fat
Fried Hot Wings w/Bleu Cheese Dip 6 wings 570 calories, 40 g fat
Pigs in a Blanket 5 650 calories, 40 g fat
Beef Nachos 1 serving 430 calories, 25 g fat
BBQ Sandwiches 1 regular sandwich 437 calories, 16 g fat
Meatballs 4 160 calories, 12 g fat
Veggie Tray 4 celery sticks w/ranch dip 69 calories, 7 g fat
Brownies or Cake 2 brownies (4” square) 447 calories, 30 g fat
Cupcake 1 cupcake 200 calories, 9 g fat.
Defending Against Calories
The CCC recommends pre-planning your game day menu to include lower calorie appetizers and beverages. When it comes to recipes, it is possible to cut the calories without cutting the flavor. (Sylvia P. Poulos, Ph.D. and registered dietitian with the Calorie Control Council, recommends the following tips)
1. Alternate between beer/soda and water or diet drinks with zero calories to cut the calories consumed from beverages in half.
2. Hit the veggie tray first and fill up on those before considering the other offerings.
3. Minimize your mindless munching. Limit your eating while watching the game and make it your goal to chat with each person at the party.
4. Acknowledge that while there is a lot of food, you don’t have to try all of it.
5. Volunteer to bring low-calorie dishes and diet soda instead of the full calorie options.
6. Hopefully you’re getting some exercise in most days of the week, but be sure to work out on game day and the next to mitigate the party damage. Remember that even a walk counts as physical activity.
For more information, recipes, nutrition tips and a healthy weight tool kit, with online calorie and exercise calculators, visit: www.caloriecontrol.org.
About the Calorie Control Council
The Calorie Control Council, established in 1966, is an international association representing the low- and reduced-calorie food and beverage industry. Learn more at http://www.caloriecontrol.org.