The Super Bowl is just around the corner...and if you're a huge football fan like me, this is one of the best nights of the year! Even though my beloved Bears are on the sidelines yet again, I'll joyfully be cheering on my second favorite team, the Saints. Who dat?! But regardless of whether you dig football, many view the big game as the perfect excuse to gather with friends, drink beer and eat lots of high-calorie foods and snacks. Research by the Calorie Control Council and Snack Food Association finds that Americans will 30 million pounds of snacks during the Super Bowl. That breaks down to 11.2 million pounds of potato chips, 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips, 4.3 million pounds of pretzels, 3.8 million pounds of popcorn and 2.5 million pounds of nuts. The average armchair quarterback will consume 1200 calories and 50 grams of fat from snacking and that doesn’t even count any meals! Obviously, this game is tough on calorie counters. However, there are a few ways you can cut down on the fat while rooting for your favorite team.
* Fat-free is good. Choosing fat-free potato chips for the big game could save up to 300 calories per person. When it comes to dips, try salsa or substitute reduced-fat sour cream and non-fat yogurt. Use fresh herbs and spices such as cilantro, parsley and hot peppers to add great flavor. Add fresh vegetables and low-fat dips to your party tray and you’ve got a healthy appetizer in no time.
* Exercise. Try hitting the gym before going to the big party. If that's not feasible, help burn off Super Bowl snacks by tossing the football with friends at halftime or walking to a neighbors house to get a play by play.
* Don't show up hungry. Try to eat a healthy, well-balanced meal - or even a light snack - before chowing down on higher-fat foods to help curb the appetite.
* Drink in moderation. For every beer you have, drink a glass of water since alcohol tends to dehydrate you. Also, if you're truly worried about the carbs or calories in your cocktail, drink light beer or vodka with diet soda. On average, you'll save about 35 calories per beer bottle switching to the lighter version.
To help you prepare for the game, here are two low-fat recipes courtesy of Hungry Girl.
Exploding Chicken Taquitos
Sweet Caramelized Onion Dip
And check out the Calorie Control Council's appetizer recipe section to find a list of healthy spreads and dips perfect for the Super Bowl party.
Finally, to help get you all pumped up for the big game, here are some clips from a few of my favorite football movies. Be safe and enjoy the Super Bowl!
"Look at that. He held onto the ball. Well, let's wake him up and get him some pads." Coach Gennero - Necessary Roughness
"I don't know, it's the battle, the going to war with the other guys, hanging together, having our own dorm, staying in hotels the night before the games, setting ourselves apart, being different than everybody else, having a chance to be somebody, to do something that people look up to you for, your strength, your courage, not everybody can play football... we're the lucky ones." Steve Lattimer - The Program
"I love Brian Piccolo...and tonight, I want you to love him too."
Gale Sayers - Brian's Song
"Let me tell you something: you don't let anyone come between us. Nothing tears us apart. In Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power. Well that football field out there, that's our universe. Let's rule it like titans." Coach Herman Boone - Remember the Titans
"You're 5 foot nothin', 100 and nothin' and you have barely a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in there with the best college football team in the land for two years. And you're gonna walk outta here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this life, you don't have to prove nothin' to nobody but yourself." Fortune - Rudy