It's the end of January and the one-month honeymoon of New Year's resolutions is coming to an end. Thank goodness, because this weekend is Super Bowl Sunday -- one of the biggest non-national holiday excuses for gorging oneself.
No matter if you're an Arizona Cardinals fan, a Pittsburgh Steelers fan or a fan of neither, you will most likely be attending some form of Super Bowl event. As one poster to the food blog Serious Eats wrote, "I'm not particularly invested in the Super Bowl this year, but still would like to have people over."
Many sports fans this season may share the sentiment, but don't let this get in the way of enjoying some good food this Sunday.
If you're looking for the healthiest Super Bowl recipes, proceed with caution. Here is the anti-healthy list of Super Bowl foods. You can, if you choose, check out the caloric intake of each item (not to discourage you) so you'll know just how many miles you'll have to run, steps you'll have to climb and laps you'll have to swim to work off Sunday's gluttony. We calculated the exercise by a table designed for a 160-pound person, so if you weigh less you'll have to work more.
First up is the Big Daddy item of all things meat, or as its creators named it, the Bacon Explosion. We've never seen anything like it. The explosion was born in Roeland Park, Kan., in Jason Day's kitchen. Day and Aaron Chronister, who are members of the Burnt Finger BBQ team, received a Twitter challenge: What could the barbecuers do with bacon? Here is what they came up with.
This whopping log of pork will launch your calorie count into space. One roll clocks in at about 5,000 calories, and if you eat a hefty chunk of it, let's say about a tenth of it, this will put you at 500 calories. Step up to that stairclimber and get climbing for 45 minutes if you want to work off the bacon.
If you're going for more standard fare, we have some expert advice to keep the pounds gained to a minimum.
"That day is going to be about quantity," said Keith Ayoob, a registered dietitian and an associate professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. When serving your Super Bowl buffet, keep the naughty items to a minimum.
"Variety breeds intake," said Ayoob. "So pick one and serve it."
Nothing says football like chicken wings. Good news -- the savory combo of butter, cayenne pepper sauce and chicken actually isn't so bad for you, compared to other items on our list.
But don't eat too many. At 294 calories per average serving of four wings, a few extra wings can add extra calories in your stomach.
In order to work off four Buffalo chicken wings, you would have to participate in high-impact aerobics for 35 minutes.
As your chip dips down deeper and deeper into this favorite Super Bowl dish, one might imagine a doctor shaking her head harder and harder.
Not exactly. Ayoob said that while seven-layer dip does have a lot of fat, it's the right kind of fat, and the dip is packed with protein-rich beans.
"Is it high in calories? Yes, but the ingredients are pretty decent. Beans get four thumbs up," said Ayoob.
"Dip it with some veggies and you're going to have way less to worry about the next day," said Ayoob. "If they balk at vegetables, say 'man-up and eat some peppers!'"