Buffalo wings. Chili cheese dip. Chips and salsa. Burgers. Pizza. Let the gluttony begin...
That's right, folks. Football's grand finale is almost here, giving Americans another excuse to drink beer and eat lots of high-calorie foods and snacks. I don't know about the rest of you, but if I keep eating the way I have been, I might start to look like one of those beefy linemen playing on Sunday. Just kidding! Well, sorta.
I know, I know...Super Bowl is tough on calorie counters. However, there are a few ways you can cut down on the fat while rooting for your favorite team.
1. For starters, it's all about portion control - not total deprivation. That means you can still enjoy some of the traditional football fare. Have a chicken wing or two, eat a handful of chips with dip and grab a slice of pizza and a cold beer. Just don't overindulge. And, as much as liquor and football seem to go hand-in-hand, don't shoot for a liquid-only diet Sunday. Enjoy your frosty beverages, in moderation. If you're truly worried about the carbs or calories in your cocktail, drink light beer or vodka with diet soda.
2. Also, if you're either A) hosting a party or B) attending a party, whip up some healthy recipe alternatives. And I'm not just talking about busting out the veggies with low-fat ranch dip. Here are a few low-cal or sucralose-sweetened recipe options - courtesy of WeightWatchers.com and Splenda.com - that won't add to the waistline.
Sweet Red Pepper Hummus
Sweet and Spicy Marinated Shrimp
3. In addition, don't show up hungry. Try to eat a healthy, well-balanced meal - or even a light snack - before going to curb the appetite.
4. Exercise, if possible. Try to hit the gym or go for a brisk walk before the game. Even during the big event, you can stay in motion. Get up between breaks in action and stroll around - just not to the buffet table!
For all you trivia fans out there, here are some Super Bowl facts, culled from a range of organizations and sources:
* Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest day of food consumption behind Thanksgiving.
* Sports fans spend more than $50 million on food during Super Bowl weekend.
* According to research from the Calorie Control Council and the Snack Food Association, Americans will eat 30 million pounds of snacks on the big game day.
* Nearly thirteen percent of Americans order takeout/delivery food from a restaurant for a Super Bowl gathering. The most popular choices are pizza at 58 percent, chicken wings at 50 percent and subs or sandwiches at 20 percent.
* Approximately four percent of Americans watch the big game at a restaurant or a bar, over 9 million Americans.
* On Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will eat an estimated 20 million pounds of potato and tortilla chips and eight million pounds of avocados.
* Sales for antacid increase by 20% on Super Bowl weekend.
By the way, for those looking for something different come Game Day, the annual Animal Planet Puppy Bowl will be airing...and if you've never watched any of it before, please check it out. It's hi-LAR-ious! Here's a preview, featuring the game's ref.
Either way, have fun this weekend and stay safe!