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Calories in your favorite Super Bowl eats - and healthier options

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Have a slimmer Super Bowl

It’s almost time for the Super Bowl which, along with cheering your go-to team, usually means loading up on calorie-filled snacks. But whether you host or attend a game-day party, it’s easier than you think to avoid overindulging. We’re sharing some simple tips for giving your Super Bowl a healthy makeover.
Healthy chicken wings

Expert slim-down tips

We asked Biggest Loser chef and best-selling author Devin Alexander to share her best tips on slimming down your Super Bowl party. She has tons of tips and secrets for making unbelievably decadent foods healthy.

Calorie count: Super Bowl edition

Alexander gave us the scoop on just how many calories are hiding in some of your favorite Super Bowl (and everyday) snacks and meals.

pizza
Pizza: 300 calories
per slice!
  • Pizza: 300 calories per slice (or more, depending on what’s on them)
  • Nachos: 300 calories (or more depending on what’s on them)
  • Potato skins: 300 calories for three
  • Buffalo wings: 400 calories for six
  • Chips and dip: 230 calories for 2 tablespoons of dip and 13 chips
  • Burgers: 700 to 1,000 calories or more (Hardee's has a 1,400-calorie burger)
  • Fries: 500 calories or more
  • Stromboli: 890 calories
  • Calzones:  600 to 1,000 calories
  • Beer: 150 calories for a 12-ounce serving
  • Cake: 300 for one piece of chocolate cake

Slimmed-down recipe ideas

Worried you’ll have to trade your favorite Super Bowl treats for carrot sticks (sans dip) and rice cakes? Don’t be. Alexander shares two quick, tasty recipes for healthier versions of traditionally calorie-laden snacks.

Boneless honey barbecue "wings"

From I Can't Believe It's Not Fattening

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce (find one with no more than 9 grams of sugar and less than 1 gram of fat per tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 16 chicken tenderloins (about one pound), trimmed
  • Olive oil spray

Directions:

  1. Combine the barbecue sauce and honey in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Sprinkle the garlic powder, salt and pepper over the tenderloins and toss them to blend.
  3. Place a large nonstick skillet over high heat. When hot, lightly mist the skillet with spray and add the chicken strips side by side in a single layer, working in batches if necessary (the chicken should sizzle when it hits the pan or it’s not hot enough).
  4. Cook the strips until they are lightly browned on the outside and no longer pink inside.
  5. Turn the heat to low and return all wings to the pan, if working in batches. Pour the reserved barbecue sauce mixture over them and gently stir until they are well-coated and the sauce is warm.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat. Let the wings sit in the pan for five minutes, then toss them again (the sauce will stick better after sitting). Serve immediately.

Tiny tacos

From The Most Decadent Diet Ever

Ingredients:

  • 10 Tostitos Baked! Scoops
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 ounce (about 2-1/2 tablespoons) finely shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lower-sodium taco seasoning
  • 2 ounces lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon mild or hot red taco sauce

Directions:

  1. Arrange the Tostitos scoops side by side on a plate.
  2. Mix the lettuce, tomatoes and cheese in a medium bowl until well-blended. Divide evenly among the scoops.
  3. In a small bowl, stir 2 teaspoons of water into the taco seasoning until it has no lumps. Set aside.
  4. Preheat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and use a wooden spoon to coarsely crumble the meat as it cooks. When the beef is no longer pink, stir in the seasoning mixture. When no liquid remains, remove from heat.
  5. Divide the meat evenly among the scoops on top of the lettuce mixture.
  6. Dollop the top of each with taco sauce. Serve immediately.

How to have a slimmer Super Bowl

If you want to avoid going overboard while cheering for your favorite team, there are a few key things to remember. First of all, pay attention to what you’re putting in your mouth. “People just never seem to realize how many calories are in even tiny appetizers,” says Alexander. Those bite-size treats can add up in terms of calories, so be mindful of how many you eat. It’s also important not to show up to a party hungry. She advises starting the day with a healthy, filling breakfast of lean protein and whole grains.

The second important rule of a slimmed-down Super Bowl is to sip wisely. “Drinking too much leads to eating too much because your inhibitions are lessened, so be mindful of overdrinking,” says Alexander.

Blueberry margaritas

Bonus: Make some of these blueberry margaritas for guests from Alexander’s The Biggest Loser Dessert Cookbook.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup gold or silver tequila
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup light agave nectar
  • 24 ice cubes
  • 4 lime wedges for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Put the blueberries, tequila, lemon and lime juices, agave and ice in a blender with ice-crushing ability. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Divide the margaritas among four 12-ounce glasses and serve immediately.

Super Bowl diet dos and don’ts

Stay on track and avoid going overboard on Super Bowl eats with Alexander’s dos and don’ts for a slimmer Super Bowl

  • Don’t: Pile veggies with tons of fatty dips.
  • Do: Use center-cut or turkey bacon instead of full-fat bacon.
  • Don’t: Put bowls of chips and chocolate on the tables in front of you. It’s better to have a table with food and have to serve it on to plates, so mindless “picking” is decreased.
  • Do: Make your own food instead of ordering take-out.
  • Do: Use Greek yogurt in dips instead of sour cream.
  • Don’t: Put out all the food you have for the party all at once, people will see more food and eat more food;  instead, gradually replace your dishes as they need it.
  • Do: Stock up on baked chips instead of the fried ones.
  • Do: Use fruit as the base of your drinks.
  • Do: Use lean ground beef and pork if you’re using those meats.

More diet tips

Diet strategies for women on the go
Weight loss help from The Biggest Loser
Red-carpet results: Denise Austin's celebrity diet and fitness tips

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