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Calorie Bowl countdown

Published February 05. 2010 05:00PM

For many football fans, snacking is a game-time tradition and especially on Super Bowl Sunday, which is now the second biggest day for food consumption in the nation, after Thanksgiving.

Thankfully, this kind of calorie glut happens just one day a year. Of course, most gyms and fitness centers expect to be busy with many Super Bowl revelers long after the final whistle.

To put things in clearer perspective for fans, nutrition advocate Charles Stuart Platkin, Ph.D. MPH, founder of, has broken down what it will take you to burn off some of the more popular snacks offered during the game.

Here are some of his eye-opening statistics, along with some tips to counter the calorie glut:

You have to run 49 football fields to burn off just two handfuls of potato chips or do "the wave" 6,389 times to burn off six loaded potato skins. A tip is to microwave the potato, cut it in half and put it in the toaster oven with some cooking spray

• About 299 touchdown dances (one every 15 to 20 seconds) in the end zone are needed to equal that half of cheese-stuffed limited edition Digiorno pizza, loaded with bacon, sausage and pepperoni. The tip is to go with a frozen or delivery pizza choice with much fewer calories. Choosing the thin crust and avoiding meats and extra cheese can drop the calories dramatically.

• You will need to climb the stadium stairs for 109 minutes to burn off a large meatball sub (mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce on a hero roll) from Quiznos which packs in 1,020 calories. One tip is to use turkey meatballs (made with breast meat), low-fat mozzarella and a whole-grain hero.

• Playing pro football for 59 minutes (standing on the sidelines or in the huddle doesn't count) will counter those six honey barbecue wings with dipping sauce from KFC. Each wing has 90 calories, and the dipping sauce is about 50 calories. One tip is to go skinless on the wings and bake instead of deep frying them.

• Cleaning the stadium after the game for 322 minutes (5.5 hours with no breaks) will take care of the one pint (1,322 calories) of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream. Go with tasty low-calorie ice creams.

• Forty-four minutes of football training camp will equalize that large handful of Planters Mixed Nuts with two gulps of beer. Just one handful and a couple of gulps will require you to do a ton of push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and sprints. Nuts are healthy if taken in small portions but the secret is to eat lighter. As for the beer, it's best to do a taste test of the light varieties.

• Performing in a marching band for 48 minutes will burn off a few bites of that reuben sandwich which, with the high-fat pastrami, Swiss cheese, thousand island dressing and butter or margarine on rye bread, can total more than 900 calories. One tip might be to go with a turkey breast sandwich and low-fat cheese on whole wheat.

• Biking to the game from your South Beach hotel (about 18 miles) will handle the eight potato chips with dip you take in. The tip is to make homemade pita chips with margarine spray, use Pop Chips and try a low-calorie dip (use non-fat yogurt instead of sour cream to mix up the dip.)

Enjoy the game.

Jim Zbick

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