While time spent in front of the tube is sometimes called "vegging out," Americans will take it to a whole new level on Super Bowl Sunday. Yes, there will be a few veggie trays to be had, but the heavy lifting will chips and dip, beer, nachos, buffalo wings and chili.
This four-hour plus football and advertising extravaganza is called the second biggest day for food consumption in the U.S. after Thanksgiving, according to a recent news release from the folks at DietDetective.com.
Charles Platkin, editor of DietDetective.com and professor at Hunter College and City University of New York School of Public Health, has gone to the trouble of equating our overindulgence with what will be necessary to counteract the calories with exercise. Will these sober equations scare you slim on that long twilight of football crowning moment? Not likely, just be entertained for a bit on these hard truths.
If you eat one giant one foot Italian sub, you must walk the Brooklyn Bridge more than 14 times (16.2 miles). Platkin suggests skip the mayo and cheese.
If you drink four "swigs" of beer, that will cost you 36 calories - about equal to "8 minutes of playing professional football."
Even more depressing: a single Ritz cracker with Cheez Whiz - 61 calories in one chomp - is the energy equivalent of 21 minutes of work in preparing, cooking, serving and cleaning up after the Super Bowl party.
To balance the calorie intake of 15 Pizza Hut bone-in wings dipped in ranch dressing, a fan would have to do "the wave" 9,461 times. Platkin suggests going skinless on the wings and baking them instead of frying.
He is not done; four Tostitos Scoops with guacamole require 133 touchdown dances in the end zone, as he computes chips are 11 calories per chip and the scoop of guac is at least 25 calories. Platkin says guacamole is high in calories but "packed with good nutrients." "Just don’t sit with a big bowl of chips and guac in front of you while you mindlessly watch the game," he advises.
In the end, Platkin tries to appeal to our higher natures.
Instead of chips, Platkin suggests pistachio nuts or roasted almonds.
Since one bowl of chili would only be balanced by 73 minutes of cheerleading, he suggests making chili vegetarian instead.
In fact, if we are serious about limiting the heavy calorie load on Super Bowl Sunday and feeling better about ourselves on Monday, "vegging out" in front of the Super Bowl may be just the ticket.