Avoid Eating Like a Linebacker This Super Bowl Sunday

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Every year, Americans happily gather at parties for Super Bowl Sunday to eat, drink and watch football history be made. Unfortunately, aside from taking in the big game, they’re also taking in some really big calories. As Super Bowl viewership has grown over the years, so have Super Bowl Parties.

In that spirit, the Calorie Control Council (CCC) decided to look at the typical food spread of a Super Bowl party. The results are pretty shocking, and the calorie counts much higher than previous years. Even a relatively modest consumption of Super Bowl fare, including pizza, potato chips, beef nachos and sodas adds up to more than 2,000 calories and 81 g of fat on game day — and many football fans eat much more than that!

If 111 million Americans watch the Super Bowl this year, those numbers breaks down to 20.8 million pounds of potato chips and 20.8 million pounds of tortilla chips. That totals to a nationwide consumption of about 64 million pounds of fat, or the equivalent of 214,082 National Football League (NFL) offensive linemen at 300 pounds each.

Here’s a breakdown of the average Super Bowl party menu by portions:

SuperBowlCalorieCounts Avoid Eating Like a Linebacker This Super Bowl Sunday

So what are you supposed to do if you’re trying to stick to a health eating plan? Theresa Hedrick, a dietitian with the CCC, also recommends the following tips:

  1. Don’t hang out in the same room at the food. 
  2. Make it your goal to chat with each person at the party.  It’ll distract you from eating and cut into the time you have to mindlessly munch.
  3. Hit the veggie tray first and fill up on those before considering the other offerings.
  4. Acknowledge that while there is a lot of food, you don’t have to try all of it.

Also, offer lighter versions of beverages (e.g. sodas, beer) and have low-calorie sweeteners on hand for guests to use in tea and coffee. The Super Bowl usually isn’t complete without a beer or cocktail, so stick to light beers and low-cal cocktail ideas. Check out TSOLC’s Skinny Drinks Pinterest board for ideas!

During halftime, try getting a little extra physical activity to burn off super bowl snacks by tossing the football or play some video games that involve dancing/physical movement for players. Also make sure to schedule a work out the day after to mitigate any party damage.

Finally, you don’t have worry about overindulging with the 6 low-calorie Super Bowl recipes below. Check out TSOLC’s Super Bowl Pinterest board for even more ideas!

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