An important part of any Super Bowl party is the food. In fact, I provided you with the only recipes for Super Bowl party foods you’ll need just yesterday. However, if you’re concerned about what the scale will say Monday morning, you know that eating non-stop in front of the TV during the game is bad idea.
It’s hard to put it into perspective, though. It’s a party. You’re with friends. The food is plentiful and delicious. How much damage can one Dorito really do to your waistline? It will vary from person to person, but the amount of movement it would take to work off the calories from that one Dorito is about the same for each person.
Dr. Charles Platkin, professor at Hunter College in New York and editor of Diet Detective, has gotten creative with demonstrating what you would need to do to burn off the typical foods many of us will be eating this Sunday. If you’re worried about controlling your portions, perhaps Platkin's calculations and advice may give you a little motivation to resist that second handful of chips or to make a few substitutions.
Giant one-foot Italian sub (or as we call it here in N.J., a hoagie) = Walking the Brooklyn Bridge more than 14 times (or 16.2 miles)
The Brooklyn Bridge, built in 1883 is beautiful — and long at 5,988 feet (that’s 1.13409 miles). A big long Italian sub is made with provolone cheese, Genoa salami, spicy pepperoni, black forest ham, mayo and mustard.
Fit tip: Skip the mayo and cheese and go for Subway’s Fresh Fit menu version to cut half the calories.
One Doritos chip = Dancing to Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" during halftime
You would have to dance to the entire song (about 3:54 minutes) to burn off just one Doritos chip, which has 12 3/4 calories.
Fit tip: You’re better off nutritionally with a few pistachio nuts or roasted almonds.
Six Chili’s Fajita Beef Classic Nachos (Large) = Running 242.5 football fields
Yes, running 242.5 football fields; each of them is 100 yards, and you would have to run every one at an average speed of 5 mph (the average walking pace is about 3 mph). This is about half the order, so it's no wonder the dish is calorie-heavy. The nachos are topped with a three-cheese blend, black beans, jalapeños, beef and sour cream.
Fit tip: You can lower the calories by using a low-fat cheese, chicken breast and skipping the sour cream.
Four swigs of Bud Light Beer = 8 minutes of playing professional football
Taking just four swigs of Bud Light will cost you about 36 calories.
Fit tip: The best beer option would be Beck's Premier Light at only 64 calories per 12-ounce bottle or Miller 64. Michelob Ultra and Natural Light each have 95 calories, or you can go very low with Budweiser Select 55.
Single Ritz Cracker with Cheez Whiz = 21 minutes preparing, cooking, serving and cleaning up after the party
Yes, that's right, a simple Ritz cracker has 16 calories, and just a tablespoon of Kraft Cheez Whiz contains 45 calories, for a grand total of 61 calories in a single bite.
Fit tip: Avoid the cracker altogether and cut up small squares of low-fat cheese — you really won't notice the difference.
One New York City pretzel = 111 minutes being the team mascot
New York City is the home of the giant hot street pretzel, weighing in at about 455 calories. Burning that off requires wearing a silly suit and running around getting the crowd excited for almost two hours.
Fit tip: Split the pretzel with two others.
15 Pizza Hut Buffalo Burnin’ Hot Crispy Bone-in Wings dipped in ranch dressing = Doing “The Wave” 9,461 times
It’s 100 calories per wing and the ranch dressing is costly at 220 calories per 1.5 ounces.
Fit tip: You can certainly make your own chicken wings. Go skinless and bake instead of deep frying them.
Four Tostitos Scoops Chips with guacamole = 133 touchdown dances in the endzone
The chips are about 11 calories each plus the scoop of guacamole is at least 25 calories, for a total of 144 calories.
Fit tip: Guacamole is high in calories, but packed with good nutrients, just don’t sit with a big bowl of chips and guac in front of you while you mindlessly watch the game.
A 16-ounce bowl of chili packed with beef, beans and assorted vegetables comes to about 550 calories. A few tablespoons of sour cream and some shredded cheese on top add 150 calories more, for a total of 700 calories.
Fit tip: Use ground sirloin or white meat turkey, or make your chili vegetarian. Skip the sour cream and cheese or go for no- or low-fat versions.
Five pigs in a blanket = 36 minutes of selling food as a stadium vendor
The average stadium vendor walks an average of four to five miles per game, up and down stairs, carrying a 40-pound bin. Each blanket is 67.5 calories for a total of 337.5 calories for the bunch.
Fit tip: Use low-fat hotdogs (maybe turkey dogs) and reduced-fat crescent rolls
One Cheetos Crunchy piece = 2 minutes of chanting, pointing and waving a foam-hand number one
Having only one can be costly. Cheetos Crunchy Cheese Flavored Snacks are 7.14 calories per piece or 150 calories per ounce.
Fit tip: Try to limit eating when the game is on.
Three slices of Pizza Hut’s Pepperoni Lover’s Pizza Works = 322 minutes of cleaning the stadium after the game
Three slices of Pizza Hut’s pepperoni pizza means you’re looking at more than 1,320 calories (440 per slice).
Fit tip: Get thin crust pizza with veggies and eat it for lunch, not just as a half-time snack.
10 sliders with cheese = 363 minutes performing in a marching band
Sliders are small, one- or two-bite burgers. Each slider is 170 calories. That’s 1,700 calories for 10 of them.
Fit tip: Make your own with ground turkey.
I know some of this is silly. No one is actually going to work off food by waving a foam finger around. But, it does put things in perspective, doesn’t it? It can take an awful lot of movement to work off just a few mouthfuls of food, and the temptation to stuff your face nonstop during the party is great.
Enjoy your party on Sunday, but if weight loss is a goal right now, eat just a little of the foods mentioned above. Then park yourself in front of a plate of raw vegetables.
Related on MNN:
- 5 healthy Super Bowl snacks
- How many calories does this exercise burn?
- Which diet is right for you? Find a good fit
- Yes, it's okay to exercise in the cold
Photo of cheerleader: Ed Yourdon/Flickr