Super Size the Flavor, Not the Fat

This weekend millions will pack into houses across the nation for a bevy of Super Bowl parties. But don't let the festivities blow your New Year's diet resolution by gorging at the gathering.

Women's Health magazine contributing editor Lisa Drayer offers suggestions on which treats are least likely to wreck your progress and which have more calories than you imagine, like a serving of six to eight nachos equal 592 calories and 36 grams of fat.

Winging It

There are many food offenders on Super Bowl Sunday, but one of the worst is Buffalo wings. One beer coupled with one serving of about seven Buffalo wings adds up to 908 calories. And that's before the game even begins.

You want to choose a light beer which, has about 50 fewer calories than a regular 12-ounce beer, which has around 145 calories. If you have multiple beers, you can see how that savings can really add up.

Slicing Pizza's Calories

A lot of people order delivery from fast food eateries, including pizza delivery. If you choose two large slices with the traditional hand-tossed crust, you're eating about 580 calories, 25 grams of fat with nine grams of saturated fat.

Remember, saturated fat is the harmful fat. If you simply swap out the hand-tossed crust for the thin crust, skip the pepperoni and add vegetables, you will save a third of the calories. You'll also save two grams of saturated fat.

So, you still can enjoy pizza on Super Bowl Sunday, but you'll consume one-third fewer calories by choosing thin crust with vegetables instead of a fatty topping. Two slices of crunchy, thin crust veggie pizza only has 280 calories.

Chips and Dips

First, you want to look for baked chips or fat free chips. Twenty chips of Lays Light Fat-Free potato chips are only 75 calories. If you compare that to a full-fat version, you're talking half the calories and that's not even for double the chips.

Also, when you're thinking about dips, you want to think about using low-fat or fat-free ingredients, like fat-free sour cream or even a low-fat yogurt in your dip instead of mayonnaise or full-fat sour cream.

You'll save about half the calories doing that. Also, pretzels are always a good option. Ten pretzels will cost you 100 calories and they are always very low in fat.

Air pop popcorn also is a good get. It's only 15 calories for one cup popped. If you're a volume eater — mindlessly nibbling while watching the Super Bowl — air-popped popcorn is a good option because you can eat a lot without taking in a lot of calories.

The Skins

A typical restaurant-sized portion of potato skins can be pretty caloric. Three wedges will add up to about 250 calories. If you make sweet potato fries, you can double the portion for more than 100 fewer calories.

Lisa's Grilled Sweet Potato Fries
Nonstick cooking spray
1.5 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 teaspoon olive oil
¾ cup kosher salt
¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

Preheat a nonstick grill pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray over medium heat. Cut the potatoes into thick wedges (each one should weigh about an ounce and you should have about 24) and toss in a bowl with the oil, salt, and hot red pepper. Place on the grill and cover with the lid of a pot or aluminum foil. Cook for 8-10 minutes on each side or until tender. Yield: 4 servings (about 6 potato wedges each)

Recipe courtesy of Lisa Drayer, author of "The Beauty Diet" -- McGraw-Hill 2008.

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