Vegetus_logo

Super Bowl “Big Game” Calorie Costs in Exercise

Well, Super Bowl 2017 has come and gone (and what a game!!). But some of the typical Super Bowl party food is sure to make another appearance at some point on your dinner table this year. Next time you are tempted by these fattening party dishes, consider these exercise equivalents from Charles Platkin, PhD, MPH, Executive Director of the New York City Food Policy Center at HUNTER College and editor of DietDetective.com. Exercise equivalents such as these provide a frame of reference that is familiar and meaningful to most of us, and thus can help improve our perception of calories (Platkin’s study).

10 fried Buffalo chicken wings = Running the length of 149 football fields.

At 95 calories each, the wings alone are 950 calories. Add 3oz of Pizza Hut’s Wing Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce for another 460 calories and you’re at 1400 calories!

Fit Tip: Use hot sauce without the blue cheese, and make the wings yourself. Go skinless, and bake them instead of frying.

Meatball sub from Subway (footlong) = 109 minutes of climbing stadium stairs.

Meatballs, Provolone cheese, marinara sauce, and double meatballs on an Italian roll: 932 calories.

Fit Tip: How about turkey meatballs (made with breast meat), low-fat mozzarella, and a whole-grain hero? Or if sticking to Subway, try the Oven Roasted Chicken, which is 467 calories for a footlong sub.

4 Samual Adams Boston Lager beers = 68 minutes of playing professional football.

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 more than six games of professional football to burn off those 4 beers at 180 calories per 12 ounces.

Fit Tip: There are some great light beers out there. Do a taste test before the game and see if you can make the event more special with some fancy low calorie beers.

Handful of mixed nuts = 44 minutes of football camp.

Just one handful of nuts can mean loads of push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and sprints. Just so you know, 1 oz of mixed nuts has about 170 calories.

Fit Tip: Nuts are healthy if you eat them in small portions—maybe 7 to 10. More than that is a mistake.

8 potato chips with dip = 35 minutes of refereeing a football game.

Each chip is 10.5 calories, so that’s 84 calories, and a tablespoon of Frito-Lay French Onion Dip adds another 30 calories. So, say, you eat half of tablespoon of dip with each chip, you’re at 204 calories.

Fit Tip: Try a low-calorie dip or make your own with nonfat yogurt or nonfat mayo.  And use popped or baked chips.

KFC $10 Chicken Share (half a share) = 681 touchdown dances in the end zone.

If you have half the chicken share, that’s 3 pieces of Original Recipe friedchicken (achickenbreast, thigh, and drumstick), which is 740 calories.

Fit Tip: Bake skinless chicken and use whole-grain bread crumbs.

1 slice of Domino’s Buffalo chicken pizza, extra large = Doing the “wave” 2,194 times.

One slice is 450 calories.

Fit Tip: Try cheeseless pizza topped with plenty of veggies.  Also, avoid personal pan and stuffed-crust pizzas:  The thick, oily crust means added fat and  calories.

1 Tostitos restaurant style tortilla chip with 7-layer dip = 25 minutes of dancing to Lady Gaga during the halftime show.

Just one chip requires some serious rocking out. Twenty calories for each chip (yes 20!!) and 50 calories for 1 tablespoon of the seven- layer dip adds up to approximately 70 calories.

Fit Tip: The answer is salsa—it’s very low in calories. And pick baked, low-calorie chips at about 120 calories per ounce. If you’re eating the chips, have one at a time, and don’t put out huge bowls of them.

2 handfuls of Chex Mix = 30 minutes of jumping up and down after your team scores.

At 280 calories for 2 handful, the mix is still high in calories in spite of being lower in fat than chips.

Fit Tip: Don’t eat them by the handful, or skip them altogether and go for some low calorie or air- popped homemade popcorn.

5 pigs in a blanket = 70 minutes performing in a marching band.

Hot dogs wrapped in a crescent roll or biscuit dough add up: Each one of those you pop in your mouth has 66 calories.

Fit Tip: Use low-calorie franks, maybe skip the dough? Get some fancy mustard instead.

1 cup of chili = Face painting 22 wild fans.

A cup of chili packed with beef, beans, peppers, onions, and other assorted vegetables comes to about 350 calories. A blob of sour cream and some shredded cheese adds another 150 calories or more, for a grand total of 500 calories.

Fit Tip: Replace the beef with ground turkey breast, or make the chili vegetarian. Top it with low or nonfat sour cream and cheese.

1 deviled egg = 12 minutes of cheerleading.

Ever try doing one of those cheerleading routines? I didn’t think so. Deviled eggs are made with mayo, and in case you weren’t sure, mayo is very high in calories.

Fit Tip: You can use low-fat mayo, or how about just hard-boiled eggs with hot sauce or mustard?

4 pita chips with guacamole = 51 minutes of preparing, cooking, serving, and cleaning up after the Super Bowl party.

The chips are about 13 calories each, and each scoop of guacamole is at least 25 calories, for a total of 38 calories. Guacamole is high in calories, but the good news is that avocados are packed with antioxidants, vitamins B6, C and E, as well as folate and potassium (60% more potassium per ounce than bananas), and they’re a great source of monounsaturated fat, which studies have shown reduces serum cholesterol levels when used in place of saturated fats.

Fit Tip: Eat one at a time. Don’t just sit with a big bowl of chips and guacamole in front of you while you mindlessly watch the game.

Latest Recipes

Sign up for NHR’s FREE E-Newsletter!

          • Receive notifications when a new issue of NHR is available
          • Get free recipes, tips on healthy living, and the latest health news
Email(Required)

Subscribe to NHR Print for only $18 a year!

Get unlimited access to content plus receive 6 eye-appealing, information-packed print issues of NHR delivered to your mailbox.

Sign up for our free email newsletter!

It’s easy! Just fill out the information below to receive our free monthly email newsletter.