Most game-day spreads aren’t overflowing with healthy options, and experts say it’s best to indulge in moderation. But if you’ve been extra dedicated lately to stay on a healthy track, you might be interested in how much you’d need to exercise to burn off that second serving of chicken wings and one too many beers.
Dr. Charles Platkin, editor of DietDetective.com and professor at CUNY School of Public Health at HUNTER College, offered these estimates and tips.
A handful of pita chips, each with artichoke dip
Calories: Each chip has 13, and 1 tablespoon of dip has 80.
Exercise: Run the length of 141 football fields.
Tip:Make your own whole-wheat pita chips, and use salsa — 15 calories per serving.
Four Domino’s Stuffed Cheesy Bacon & Jalapeno Breadsticks
Calories: 640 calories, or 160 calories per piece
Exercise: Do 193 touchdown dances.
Tip: Toast 100 percent whole-wheat pita bread with butter spray and Parmesan cheese.
Two slices of Domino’s Bacon Cheeseburger Feast Hand-tossed Specialty Pizza (16 inches)
Exercise: Perform in a marching band for 209 minutes
Tip: Try thin-crust pizza, and if you really want to be super healthy, how about getting pizza without the cheese just add your own Parmesan.
Three Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale
Calories: 990 (330 per 12-ounce bottle)
Exercise: Coach football for 211 minutes.
Tip: There are some high-calorie beers out there, and this is one of the highest. Unless you love Sierra Nevada, go for regular beer or even better, micro-light brews. For example, Beck’s Premier Light has only 64 calories per 12-ounce bottle and MGD Light has 64 calories. Michelob Ultra and Natural Light have 95, or you can go very low with Budweiser Select for 55. Sample a few light beers before the game to see which ones you prefer.
One sloppy joe
Exercise: Climb stadium stairs for 59 minutes.
Tip: Use lean ground beef, and try a low-calorie sauce without sugar. Add chopped veggies — onions, peppers, broccoli — to the meat to lower overall calories and increase health benefits.
Six Traditional Hand-spun Buffalo Wild Wings dipped in ranch
Calories: 1,330 (990 in wings, 340 in two servings ranch)
Exercise: Do the wave 6,480 times.
Tip: Make your own chicken wings. Use skinless chicken and bake instead of fry.
Two handfuls of Cheetos Jumbo Puffs
Calories: 320 for 2 ounces
Exercise: Play professional football for 30 minutes.
Tip: The only problem is that, according to The Wall Street Journal, there are only about 11 minutes of actual ball playing in a football game. That means you need to play almost three games of professional football to burn off two handfuls of Cheetos. Make your own popcorn. Season it with Parmesan cheese and butter spray.
Outback Steakhouse Baby Back Ribs, full order
Exercise: 123 minutes of team practice and conditioning
Tip: Make them yourself, and trim all visible fat before and after cooking. Also, instead of coating your ribs with an excessive amount of sauce beforehand, partially cook them loaded with seasonings, brush them lightly with the sauce, and then finish cooking.
Four bacon-wrapped smokies
Calories: 640 (160 each)
Exercise: Dress as a mascot and jump around for 156 minutes.
Tip: If you can’t resist the craving for a bacon-wrapped hors doeuvres, go with Applegate Farms Organic Hickory Smoked Uncured Turkey Bacon. It’s only 35 calories per slice. Hebrew National Beef Franks in a Blanket are 60 calories each.
Calories: 300 (100 per 12-ounc can)
Exercise: Dance for 57 minutes. Start during Beyonce’s halftime performance.
Tip: Drink water, flavored seltzer or unsweetened iced tea.
No Sweat blogger Rebecca Allen shares her game plan for avoiding over indulging on Sunday.
Need to lighten up your Super Bowl spread?
For a breaded, crispy and cheesy appetizer, try baked zucchini chips. Instead of deep-fried chicken wings, try this healthier recipe for buffalo chicken tenders.
Buffalo Chicken Tenders
Start to finish: 2 hours 30 minutes (15 minutes active)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot sauce (my favorite for this recipe is Tabasco Chipotle), divided
2 cups plus 6 tablespoons buttermilk, divided
1 pound chicken tenders (or chicken breasts cut into 3-by-1-inch strips, 1/2-inch thick)
3/4 cup whole-wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, salt, 2 tablespoons of the hot sauce and 2 cups of the buttermilk. Whisk until the salt is dissolved. Add the chicken tenders and stir to coat well with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 10 hours.
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with olive oil cooking spray.
In a shallow bowl combine the whole-wheat and panko breadcrumbs. In another small bowl, whisk together the remaining 6 tablespoons of buttermilk, the mayonnaise, blue cheese and lemon juice. Transfer to a ramekin for dipping. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of hot sauce into a second ramekin for dipping.
Use a colander to drain the chicken, but do not pat it dry. Dip each chicken piece in the breadcrumb mixture, making sure it is coated well on both sides. Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, then spritz the tops with olive oil cooking spray.
Bake on the oven’s middle shelf for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until they are just cooked through. Let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a platter. Serve with both dipping sauces.
Nutrition information per serving: 300 calories; 80 calories from fat (27 percent of total calories); 9 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 80 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 33 g protein; 1,120 mg sodium.
— Sara Moulton, Associated Press