CAPSULE REPORT: Super Bowl Sunday is one day where the snack planning is as important as the guest list. Those snacks can add 1,000 calories or more to your day; and each beer is 150-170 calories per 8-ounce portion (porter and stout have higher calories). Here are some tips to save calories on favorite Super Bowl snacks. They’re provided by THE NIBBLE and health and fitness expert Dr. Eric Plasker, best-selling author of The 100 Year Lifestyle and The 100 Year Lifestyle Workout.
Turn Super Bowl Favorites Into Lower-Calorie Choices
Dr. Plasker: Pair the dips with crudités (raw vegetables) such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery and bell peppers, rather than chips. Also serve whole grain, stone ground or 100% whole wheat crackers, which contain fiber and nutritional value. You’ll get all of the flavor and less of the fat.
THE NIBBLE: (1) Look for Mary’s Gone Crackers, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week. The line is sold at Whole Foods Markets and other natural food stores. The crackers are whole grain, gluten free, organic, kosher and very, very flavorful and crunchy. (2) You can enjoy healthier potato chips via PopChips, another Top Pick Of The Week. They’re popped, not fried; and a satisfying one-ounce portion, 20 to 22 chips, has just 120 calories—and leaves no greasy fingers.
Dr. Plasker: Buy or make baked chicken wings instead of fried ones. When they’re covered in sauce, you won’t taste the difference. Just be sure to steer clear of blue cheese and ranch dressings, or buy low-fat versions.
THE NIBBLE: Or, move beyond wings to other parts of the chicken. You can buy skinless thighs or drumsticks and serve with celery sticks and a low-calorie blue cheese or yogurt dip. For white meat loyalists, season boneless breasts, grill or broil, cut into squares and serve with toothpicks and the dips.
Dr. Plasker: Sub sandwiches can be a good way to get your protein and fill up on not-so-fattening food. Limit the mayo, pack your sandwich with extra lettuce and tomato, and eat it open-faced to save on calories.
THE NIBBLE: Subs still have too much bread for us. Consider turkey, beef and veggie wrap sandwiches instead, sliced in 1" portions. You can pack them with just as much lettuce and tomato. Use mustard or low-calorie mayo or thousand island dressing.
THE NIBBLE: Some people won’t give up their favorite soda pop, but provide plenty of sugar-free versions and flavored club soda and mineral water for those who don’t want soft-drink calories. Consider lower-calorie sparkling juices and dry sodas from Top Pick Fizzy Lizzie and GuS, which have almost half the calories of regular soft drinks. Don’t offer refills of soda, beer or wine—filling of empty glasses leads to drinking more. Let guests get up and help themselves when they’re ready.
Dr. Plasker: Finger foods can be the most dangerous, as they're easy to pop into your mouth without thinking. Don't be a grazer. Load your plate with a small portion of whatever you want to try, and then step away from the dessert table. That way, you're practicing portion control.
THE NIBBLE: Bake or buy small cookies and cut brownies into small pieces—nothing supersized. Serve fruit skewers—they’re fun and low calorie.
Dr. Plasker also advises to plan ahead and get in a good workout on Friday, Saturday and Sunday before the game. You can compensate for the extra intake and net out without weight gain. If you can’t get to the gym, ride a bike or walk briskly for 30-60 minutes.
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