WEIGHTY GAME STRATEGY
Super Bowl is coming Sunday, which means the party food will start piling up, too.
Did you know it's the second biggest day for food consumption in the U.S. after Thanksgiving? Do you have any clue how many calories will be in some of that food and how much work it's going to take to trim them off?
Nutrition advocate Charles Stuart Platkin, author of "The Diet Detective’s Count Down," offers "exercise equivalents" (using football activities) to demonstrate how much you would need to do to burn off typical “Big Game” snacks. For instance, you would have to run 49 football fields to burn off just two handfuls of potato chips, or do "the wave" 3,220 times to burn off two pieces of fried chicken.
Here's a look at the foods and what it will take to get off the pounds, with exercise equivalents based on a 155-pound person. We've also included lower-calorie ways to snack on the big day.
Two slices of stuffed pizza with the works = 197 minutes cleaning the STADIUM after the game
Having two slices of Pizza Hut’s Large Stuffed Crust Pizza means you’re looking at more than 800 calories. That word “stuffed” should give you a clue.
Tip: Get thin-crust pizza with veggies and eat it for lunch, instead of a halftime snack.
A handful of Doritos = 43 touchdown dances in the end zone
Chips are pretty expensive, calorically. A handful of Cooler Ranch Doritos: 140 calories.
Tip: Eat one at a time, and don’t put out huge bowls of them – make it so you have to get up each time you want more than six chips.
Five pretzels = 15 Minutes Looking for Your Car After the Game
Yes, five regular pretzels out of a bag are about 60 calories. For some reason people think pretzels are healthful. They don’t have fat, but they also have no nutritional value.
Tip: Avoid pretzels loaded with cheese — wow, are they high in calories.
Four beers = 64 MINUTES OF CLIMBING STADIUM STAIRS
Yes, beer has calories: about 150 for 12 ounces.
Tip: There are some great light beers out there. Do a taste test before the game.
Part of a giant Italian sub = 138½ MINUTES PERFORMING IN A MARCHING BAND
A 6-inch sub with salami, pepperoni, ham, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise is about 650 calories. Tip: Go for low-fat cheese and skip the mayo.
Five Buffalo chicken wings = 102 minutes of refereeing the game
The wings are fried, and that blue cheese dressing can be caloric suicide. Just five wings with 3 tablespoons of blue cheese dressing: 599 calories.
Tip: Use hot sauce instead of the blue cheese. Make the wings yourself. Go skinless, and bake them instead of frying. With all that football action, you won't notice the difference.
Half order of baby back ribs = 73 MINUTES OF CHEERLEADING
Ribs are good, but they’re packed with calories. They’re fatty, and the sauce is sugary. And don’t kid yourself, cheerleading is serious, hard work.
Tip: Make them yourself. Trim all fat before and after cooking, and – instead of coating with an excessive amount of sauce beforehand – partially cook them loaded with seasonings, brush them lightly with sauce and then finishing cooking.
Eight Potato chips with dip = biking to the game from your South Beach hotel
It’s about 18 miles to Dolphin Stadium, which is what it would take to burn off the chips and dip. Each chip is 14-15 calories. For each dip of Ruffles French Onion Dip add another 55 to 60 calories. Grand total: 600 calories.
Tip: Try a low-calorie dip (2 tablespoons: 44 calories) or make your own with nonfat yogurt or mayo.
A few Nachos = 97 minutes BEING THE TEAM MASCOT
Each chip has about 14 calories. Now add cheese, beans and ground beef, and just six nachos are about 569 calories — not to mention the sour cream and guacamole for another 150 calories.
Tip: Make the nachos with low-fat cheese and black beans, not refried. Use salsa and baked chips and you’ll be even better off.
Two handfuls of Chex Mix = 30 MINUTES JUMPING UP AND DOWN AFTER YOUR TEAM SCORES
At 280 calories, 1 ounce of this mix is still high in calories even though it’s lower in fat than chips. Tip: Don’t eat it by the handful, or skip it and go for some low-cal microwave popcorn instead. Even better, make it air-popped and use a margarine spray.
Baked ziti = PLAYING PRO FOOTBALL FOR 39½ MINUTES
This is basically pasta with lots of cheese and sauce. It’s the cheese that makes it so high in calories: 420 calories for 6 ounces.
Tip: Have it as a meal, not just a snack. Try making it with low-fat mozzarella and lower-calorie sauce.
Two pieces of fried chicken = DOING "THE WAVE” 3,220 TIMES
One deep-fried chicken breast and one thigh are about 660 calories.
Tip: Make your own chicken with breading. Go skinless and bake it instead of frying.
A bowl of chili = RUNNING 100 FOOTBALL FIELDS
A 16-ounce bowl of chili packed with beef and beans comes to about 500 calories. A few tablespoons of sour cream and some shredded cheese add 150 calories more, for a grand total of 650 calories.
Tip: Use ground sirloin or white-meat turkey, or make it vegetarian. Skip the sour cream and cheese, or go for no- or low-fat versions.
Three tortilla chips topped with 7-layer dip = 15.5 MINUTES CLIMBING THE STADIUM STAIRS
This is a serious dip with refried beans, olives, guacamole, sour cream and cheese, and it costs about 90 to 105 calories (30 to 35 calories per tablespoon) with an additional 42 calories for three chips. The grand total: 147 calories.
Tip: If you make the dip, use low-fat cheese and sour cream and black beans, not refried. Or you could switch to salsa: 2 tablespoons have only about 15 calories. Also, go for light or baked chips instead of fried.
Two handfuls of potato chips = RUNNING 45 FOOTBALL FIELDS
Each handful is about an ounce, so two handfuls of chips have about 300 calories. Oh, and if you add just 2 tablespoons of onion dip (60 calories), you'll be running another nine football fields.
Tip: Make homemade pita chips with margarine spray, or try Low Fat Kettle Chips and save more than a few football fields. Use non-fat yogurt instead of sour cream to mix up the dip.