The big game is approaching. To many, this day brings together family and friends to watch one of the greatest sports events of the year. But also, sitting around the living room with an abundance of food brings us one of the largest calorie-consuming feasts of the year. Research by the Calorie Control Council (CCC) and Snack Food Association estimates that Americans will eat 30 million pounds of snacks on game day – 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! On average, one may consume 2400 calories from snacking, not even counting calories from meals!
Take a look at some of these tips from FEED to ensure a Sunday FUN-day, without the going out of bounds!
Down-play the Dips – It wouldn’t feel like a party without good-old chips and dip. However, dips are also one of the easiest ways to pad additional calories to the day. Chips, whether it be traditional potato, pita, or multigrain, are all about 150 calories per 1 oz portion (~10-15 chips) and can range between 5-10+ grams of fat. Check out how quickly some of these fat-filled choices add up.
- 7-layer dip – refried beans, sour cream, salsa, cheese, lettuce, onions, olives (2 TBSP) – 40 calories, 2 g fat, 0.5 g fiber, 1 g protein
- Artichoke and spinach dip (2 TBSP) – 100 calories, 9 g fat, 0 g fiber, 4 g protein
- Hummus (2 TBSP) – 70 calories, 6 g fat, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein
- Guacamole (2 TBSP) – 50 calories, 5 g fat, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein
- Blue cheese dressing (2 TBSP) – 143 calories, 15 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein
Consider bringing your own lower fat options such as this Avocado Dip made with Greek yogurt (2 TBSP) – 50 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.
Call Interference – In order to prevent an overload of calories, try to create some interference between the food and the television. The more distance there is between the couch and the food, the better for everyone’s waistline. Research from the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior has shown foods that are in closer proximity and more visible are consumed in greater quantities. Thus, keep the feast in the kitchen, and bring plates over to watch the game. This may help with portion sizes, too. Just try not to keep going back for more!
Make a Pass – Typical football fare may include chicken wings, pizza, sub sandwiches, or perhaps puff-pastry coated treats, all of which are loaded in calories, fat, and little nutrition. Pass up the fried options, and choose grilled instead. Avoid any mayo-based sauces, and go for a mustard or even use hummus as an alternative. Finally, rather than having another serving of chips, try fresh vegetables instead. Bell peppers, jicama, cucumbers, carrots, or even sugar snap peas make equally as good vehicles for the delicious dips that are served.
Have fun this Sunday, but once your Super Bowl party is over, remove the indulgent snacks from the pantry to keep them from arm’s reach.
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