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!'"
In order to work off about one cup, or ten dips, of seven-layer dip, you'd have to do about 65 minutes of water aerobics or, in other words, about nine minutes per layer.
A quick way to make that macaroni and cheese even tastier is to freeze it. Yes, freeze it, then cut it up and throw it in the deep fryer for a minute.
Bill Roberts, a deep-fried macaroni and cheese aficionado, said he started making the concoction because as a Southerner, he thinks everything is better fried.
"My family deep fries turkeys at Thanksgiving. We deep fry bacon before we deep fry the turkey to season the oil (because bacon should clearly be its own food group). Basically, if it'll hold a breading or a batter, it's going in the oil," Roberts told the Super Bowl food panel at ABC News.
Click here for his recipe.
Regular macaroni and cheese costs you about 405 calories per cup. Who knows what happens when it's deep fried.
"My theory is you can deep fry rocks and people would eat it," said Ayoob. "Deep-fried macaroni and cheese? Oh my."
As if macaroni and cheese wasn't tasty enough, someone had to go and deep fry it. About a cup of this deep-fried goodness will cost you about 50 minutes on the basketball court.
If baby back ribs are your thing, try to stick to just four of them. Chew on each and every rib slowly and chew to the bone. By the time you get to four, you've racked up 496 calories.
It will take you about an hour and 40 minutes of leisurely biking to ride these ribs off. Better yet, head to a spinning class for some intense biking and cut the time in half.
Fried Chicken is an easy bet to bring to a Super Bowl party -- especially since you can order it in a bucket. But that chicken's a costly treat. Grab two large drumsticks and you've put on 508 calories.
Pork chili is not too bad on packing in the calories. Two cups will cost you 467 calories and about 55 minutes on the stationary rowing machine.
Not everyone can down deviled eggs, but if you pop them in your mouth like candy, this is probably the most harmless Super Bowl food of the bunch.
Despite the name, deviled eggs may actually be the angel on the Super Bowl buffet table.
"The best thing on this list is probably the deviled eggs," said Ayoob. Although high in calories, Ayoob said they're full of protein goodness.
"The mayonnaise gives it some extra fat, so use some light mayo and plain yogurt and throw some mustard in there for flavor and you've got a decent snack," he said. "We're talking real food there."
Eat three and you'll have to walk for about 35 minutes at a 3.5 mph pace in order for the 169 calories to stay off your waistline.
Beer, as most know, is not the healthiest of beverages. The average 2.5 cans of regular beer will slide down an extra 369 calories. Imagine how much you're drinking when there's a keg at your party.
It may be easy to make, but it's not so easy to work off. If you plan on eating a piece of the PB pie, find a mountain and go hiking for an hour.
Don't worry about eating those leftover slices right out of the freezer. The extra fat gained from each 422-calorie slice will keep you warm.
But calories are not the whole of it.
"These foods are full of salt," said Ayoob. "Between that and the beer, and boy these guys are going to be retaining [water]."
Keep in mind that you could take a reasonable sampling of our Super Bowl foods and eat about 5,000 calories that day. Or you could just take a glass of water and sit down with the bacon explosion roll and pack on the same amount.