When the Big Game turns into the Big Gorge: 5 Tips to Sideline Calories

On February 2nd, millions of homes will be filled by football fans gathering to watch the Big Game. According to the National Retail Federation, 46 percent plan to throw or attend a party. As the second biggest food day (Thanksgiving is #1) for Americans according to the USDA, the Calorie Control Council has pregame tips to help fans avoid the penalties that can come with a 2,400 calorie football party feast and make better nutritional decisions while celebrating.


A relatively modest consumption of foods and beverages in a game day party menu, including pizza, chicken wings, potato chips, beef nachos and beer or sodas, adds up to more than 2,400 calories and 121 g of fat according to the USDA National Nutrient Database — more than many should eat in a single day. The Council’s list of popular items on the menu, with calories and fat gram counts, is located below. (*Foods and beverages named in an NPD Group survey)

Pepperoni Pizza2 slices59624.3 g
Regular Beer3 cans (12 oz.)4580 g
Sodas (regular, not diet)3 cans (12 oz.)4200 g
Potato Chips3 servings (11-13 chips/svg.)46531.9 g
Fried Hot Wings
w/Bleu Cheese Dip
6 wings57040 g
Beef Nachos1 serving43025 g


The CCC recommends pre-planning your game day menu to include lower calorie appetizers and beverages. When it comes to recipes, it is possible to cut the calories without cutting the flavor. Huddle up with the Calorie Control Council’s lower calorie recipes. Have a menu of your own in mind? Try the Council’s food calorie calculator.

The Calorie Control Council recommends the following tips:

  1. Acknowledge that while there is a lot of food, you don’t have to try all of it.
  2. Volunteer to bring low-calorie dishes and diet soda instead of the full calorie options.
  3. Hit the veggie tray first and fill up on those before considering the other offerings.
  4. Minimize your mindless munching.  Limit your eating while watching the game and make it your goal to chat with each person at the party.
  5. Hopefully you’re getting some exercise during the week, but be sure to work out on game day and the next day to mitigate the party damage. (A walk counts as physical activity!)

For more information, recipes, nutrition tips and a healthy weight tool kit, with online calorie and exercise calculators, visit: www.caloriecontrol.org.

(Previously published article: Updated on 1/27/2020)

faq2Do you have questions about low-calorie sweeteners? Want to learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle? You asked and we listened. Our resident Registered Dietitians answered the most popular questions about low-calorie sweeteners.

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