Try as you might, it's pretty hard to avoid taking in hundreds, if not thousands, of calories on Super Bowl weekend. Between the beer, pizza and pigs in a blanket, there's junk food for every taste gathered round the television.
But in an attempt to stave off the gluttonous effects of Super Bowl Sunday, the Huffington Post Canada Living spoke to personal trainer and nutrition coach Darren Stehle. Stehle, who works at Toronto's Adelaide Club, snapped us out of our food coma delusions and pushed us in the right direction for post-game recovery.
HPC: Is it ever okay to just do nothing -- to eat a ton, and then not worry about working it off?
DS: No. If you eat a ton and do nothing, you are going to get fat. Period. Energy balance is very simple.
Huffington Post Canada: Without looking like a total nut, is there any way to burn calories while watching the game?
Darren Stehle: Since you will most likely be sitting in front of your TV, you can forget about moving enough to get a cardiovascular burn. Drinking lots of water may help to reduce your alcohol and Super Bowl foods intake. While it's not exercise, this is at least a trick to help your body deal with unhealthy foods.
The best suggestion I can make is to drink 1-2 glasses of water per hour while you are watching the game, eating and drinking alcohol. Water makes so much happen in your body. It has a cleansing effect: it helps dissolve vitamins, minerals, amino acids and glucose (sugar) for the body to use; it helps with digestion; it regulates body temperature; helps to burn body fat as fuel; flushes toxins from the body and it lubricates your joints and organs.
LOOK: Over at DietDetective.com, Charles Platkin, PhD, MPH, has done some research on which football-based activities will burn off calories consumed during the game. Interview continues below:
ONE DEVILLED EGG = 12 MINUTES OF CHEERLEADINGEver try doing one of those cheerleading routines? Deviled eggs are made with mayo, which is very high in calories.Fit Tip: Use low-fat mayo, or how about just hard-boiled eggs with hot sauce?
CHILI CHEESE NACHOS = 159 MINUTES OF PLAYING PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLThat's nonstop time.Fit Tip: Make your own nachos with low-fat cheese and black beans. Use salsa and make your own whole-wheat pita chips and you'll be even better off.
TORTILLA CHIPS WITH 7-LAYER DIP = 110 MINUTES CLEANING THE STADIUM AFTER THE GAMEEach chip can have 20 calories and 1 tablespoon of the seven-layer dip is approximately 70 calories.Fit Tip: The answer is salsa -- it's very low in calories. And pick baked, low-calorie chips at about 120 calories per ounce. If you're eating the chips, have one at a time, and don't put out huge bowls of them. Make sure you have to get up each time you want more than six chips.
ONE SLICE OF SUGAR CREAM PIE = 58 MINUTES OF CLIMBING THE STADIUM STAIRSIt's been said that this is the unofficial state pie of Indianapolis (where the Super Bowl is being held this year). The name says it all. "Sugar cream pie" is made with sugar, flour, whipping cream, milk and butter in a pie shell.Fit Tip: Go to eatingwell.com or cookinglight.com and put healthy cream pie in the search box.
JUST ONE PEANUT = COACHING FOOTBALL FOR A LITTLE OVER A MINUTEOne peanut has about 5.5 calories. A handful, or about one ounce (30 peanuts), is 166 calories.Fit Tip: Nuts are healthy, but they're very high in calories. Don't keep a huge bowl in front of you. And try to eat one at a time; don't shove a handful in your mouth all at once.
TEN LAY'S CLASSIC POTATO CHIPS WITH KRAFT FRENCH ONION DIP = 134 MINUTES DANCING TO MADONNA DURING THE HALFTIME SHOWDancing is actually great exercise (if you don't get nauseous from all the food you've eaten already). Each chip is 10.5 calories, and every dip of dip is 60 calories.Fit Tip: Try Popchips, and make your dip with low-fat mayo or non-fat yogurt.
ONE CRISPY BONE-IN WING WITH BLUE CHEESE DRESSING = FACE PAINTING 8 WILD FANSYou ever see some of the fans who get their faces painted? Traditional wings are deep fried, not to mention the super high-calorie ranch or blue cheese dressing.Fit Tip: You can easily make the wings yourself. Remove the skin (it saves lots of calories), soak them in hot sauce or roll them in egg whites, dip them in bread crumbs and bake them in the oven. Skip the blue cheese dressing, which has about 305 calories for 4 tablespoons. Dip them in hot sauce instead.
SIX BOTTLES OF BUDWEISER BEER = DOING "THE WAVE" 4,280 TIMESBeer and football just go together, but keep in mind, each beer is 145 calories.Fit Tip: Planning on having a few bottles? Try Beck's Premier Light at only 64 calories per 12-ounce bottle, or MGD Light, 64 calories, Michelob Ultra or Natural Light at 95, or you can go very low with Budweiser Select for 55. Best bet is to sample a few light beers before the game to see which ones you prefer.
THREE FRIED MAC AND CHEESE BALLS = RUNNING 249 FOOTBALL FIELDSAt more than 500 calories per ball, made with peanut oil, egg, cheese, butter, flour, macaroni, milk and more, what do you expect?Fit Tip: Try baking, adding veggies and using whole-wheat pasta and low-fat cheese.
ONE BACON CHEDDAR JALAPENO POPPER = 60 MINUTES PERFORMING IN A MARCHING BANDThose poppers are made with cream cheese, bacon and Cheddar cheese -- each one will cost you a bit of marching.Fit Tip: Use turkey bacon, low-fat cream cheese and Cheddar cheese. Bake, don't fry.
THREE PIGS IN BLANKETS = PLAYING CATCH WITH A FOOTBALL FOR 68 MINUTES (NONSTOP)Hot dogs wrapped in a crescent or biscuit dough adds up: Each one you pop in your mouth is 66 calories.Fit Tip: Low calorie franks (fat free), with low-fat crescent dough.
SUPER STACKED SUB = 313 MINUTES OF CHANTING, POINTING AND WAVING A FOAM-HAND NUMBER ONEA calorically laden sub can include slow-cured ham, salami, cappacola, prosciuttini and provolone.Fit Tip: Go for low-fat cheese and skip the mayo. Try a low-cal combination of ham, oven-roasted turkey and roast beef at around 330 calories for a 6-inch sub.
THREE SLICES OF PIZZA HUT MEAT LOVER'S PIZZA = 1,229 MINUTES OF TEBOWINGThat's more than 20 hours of continuous praying to burn off those calories. Each slice is loaded with high-calorie meats, including pepperoni, ham, beef, bacon and sausage.Fit Tip: Try cheeseless pizza with plenty of veggies -- broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms or even artichoke hearts -- on top. Also, avoid personal pan and stuffed-crust pizzas: The thick, oily crust equals added fat and calories.
ONE KFC EXTRA CRISPY CHICKEN BREAST AND ONE EXTRA CRISPY DRUMSTICK = 203 TOUCHDOWN DANCES IN THE END ZONEThat's a lot of dancing!! Deep-fried chicken is very high in calories, especially the extra crispy kind.Fit Tip: Bake skinless chicken and use whole-grain bread crumbs.
HPC: What do you do to get motivated to work out after a big day of indulgence, and/or a hangover?
DS: The last thing you want to do is to blame yourself for the night before. Accept that you chose to overeat and/or overdrink. Decide the day before what you plan to do on Monday morning and for the rest of the week to repair and recover. For example, commit to getting up on Monday morning at your regular time or even 30 minutes earlier to take the dog for a longer walk, to go out for a run, power walk, etc. Make the commitment with a friend to do it together. It's easy to decide to skip your workout the day after because you feel like crap, but it’s easier to actually go when you have made plans with a buddy in advance.
HPC: Is it a good idea to work out if you're still feeling full?
DS: This would probably only apply on the day of the game. Monday morning you might feel bloated and uncomfortable. You will just have to get over that and get active. You probably won't be 100% and that’s fine. A 70% effort is better than none at all, so don't fall to the excuse that you 'still feel full', unless you feel sick during activity.
HPC: What kind of meals/specific foods do you suggest eating the day after this kind of overindulgence?
DS: You want to cleanse the body, hydrate and eat clean and healthy balanced meals. Drink purified or filtered water throughout the day, 10-15 glasses (at least 2 litres) and/or green tea for the antioxidant properties. Start your day with a bowl of slow-cooked oatmeal to replenish energy and for healthy fibre. Take 4 to 6 500mg doses of Vitamin C throughout the day and a B-complex vitamin with breakfast.
For food, opt for lean protein sources only: skinless chicken breast, pork tenderloin, fish. Eat 2-3 servings of vegetables per meal (one cup raw or leafy, like raw spinach or half a cup cooked). Eat fruit like bananas and berries, but not on their own. Eat five to six smaller and balanced meals. Eliminate pasta, rice and breads for the day and no deep fried foods.
And you want to avoid your usual Starbucks. The last think you need is a grande full-fat latte or mochachino. Stick to water, black coffee/espresso or green tea. And of course, don't drink any alcohol.