Published on January 30, 2013

Personal Foul...Excessive Snacking

About the time the clock is winding down on the Super Bowl on Sunday night and you've survived your own wardrobe malfunction -- a popped button, or a loosened belt -- you may have consumed 3,000 calories or more during the game.

Personal foul, excessive snacking.

Trailing only Thanksgiving for caloric intake, Super Bowl Sunday can be hard on your waist line and also makes your heart work harder to digest those calories.

To put the traditional Super Bowl gluttony into perspective, here are a few favorites of Super Bowl parties and their approximate calories:

10 cocktail size sausages with barbeque sauce .... 360 calories
10-12 nacho chips with beans, beef, sour cream and cheese ... 600 calories
2 loaded tacos .... 700 calories
6 spicy chicken wings .... 440 calories
2 ounces of chips with dip ... 400 calories
3 light beers .... 300 calories
1 piece of chocolate cake (3 ounces) ... 312 calories

That is how you get to 3,000 calories, or about 1,000 more than are necessary on a daily basis for an adult.

"To burn off that many calories is going to take some work,'' explained Jan
Treftz-Allen, Health Promotion Manager, Genesis Health System. ''Biking
indoors at a moderate pace burns about 400 calories per hour. Walking at a fast pace is about 350 calories per hour. Cleaning the house burns about 150 calories per hour.

"To burn off all of those 3,000 calories, you'd have to be on the stationary bike for about eight hours.''

But there are ways to limit the excesses of Super Bowl Sunday.  Here are some tips from Treftz-Allen to help you score physically and nutritionally at your Super Bowl party:

• Warm-up like the players before the game. Go for a walk, go to the gym, clean the house. Halftime festivities take 40 minutes or more. That's enough time to burn off 200 or more calories on a treadmill, a bike, or on a fast walk through the neighborhood.

• Choose some healthier snacks. Make sure you've got vegetables available.

• Portion control. Pick the smaller plate and try everything you want, but take smaller portions.

• Skip the soft drinks and beer and stick with water.

• Don't "save'' calories. Don't skip breakfast or lunch before the game.  You'll be too hungry by the time the first of about 70 beer commercials come on the television and you'll be more likely to make bad food choices.

• Adjust the recipe. Use ground turkey for the chili and tacos. Use low-fat cheese and sour cream.  Choose the low-fat dips and chips. Make a vegetable soup instead of chili.

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