Besides watching the game and enjoying the commercials, snacking is a huge part of Super Bowl parties. In fact, Americans consume more calories during the Super Bowl than nearly any other day during the year—second only to Thanksgiving!
We all know the major culprits, says Rachel Berman, registered dietitian, nutritionist, and director of nutrition for CalorieCount.com, a free health and wellness site with more than 5 million members.
One serving of nachos can add up to more than 550 calories and 30 grams of fat, while a serving of chicken wings packs in 440 calories and 26 grams of fat.
So, instead of mindlessly eating your way through the Big Game, try the following tips:
Save on Saturated Fat:
1. Add more beans instead of meat to a chili recipe, look for reduced-fat cheese for nachos, and swap Greek yogurt for sour cream when making dips and spreads.
2. Make a healthier version of chicken wings by baking chicken tenders that are lightly seasoned with your favorite spices—and serve reduced-fat blue cheese.
Save on Refined Carbohydrates:
1. Serve a big crudités platter with interesting veggies like artichoke hearts, radishes, mushrooms, grilled asparagus, and jicama, and pair with hummus or salsa.
2. Make a healthier version of chips by slicing whole-wheat pitas into wedges and then lightly toasting these in the oven.
Save Excess Calories:
1. Beer, even light beer, can pack on the calories. It also can lead to mindless munching. Keep track of how much you drink and steer clear of any specialty cocktails prepared with juice or soda.
2. When it’s time for kick-off, relax and enjoy the celebration—but keep an eye on portion size and make a plate of food when hungry instead of grazing throughout the day.