Thursday, February 03, 2011

Super Tips for Game Day

Typically, I adore Super Bowl Sunday. I grew up in a family of football fanatics, so I’m usually glued to the tube each Sunday (and Saturday, during college football season) through February. This weekend, though? Meh. I mean, yes, I will definitely wind up going to a party...but for the first time in a long time, I have absolutely no investment in the outcome. I’m tired of the Steelers. And as a Chicago Bears fan, I’m not thrilled to see the Pack in the Big Game. Had my beloved Bears been in it, I would definitely be singing a different tune. But since they’re not, I’m having a tough time drumming up any interest. Oh well. Is the world's smallest violin playing in my direction yet? Yeah, yeah...I’ll live – and will likely still gather with friends to drink beer and eat high-calorie foods and snacks while watching the big event. Moving on...
Did you know that Americans will eat 30 Million pounds of snacks and enough fat to equal the weight of 13,000 NFL offensive linemen on Sunday? That little tidbit comes from the Calorie Control Council and Snack Food Association, who determined that the average armchair quarterback will consume 1200 calories and 50 grams of fat from snacking, EXCLUDING THE MEALS! Yowza, that’s a lot of buffalo wings, chips and salsa, burgers and pizza. 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.

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.

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 covered in awesome sauce.

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