Ah, Super Bowl food. Many people look forward to the snacks and dishes served at parties as much as they do the game itself. But amid all the hobnobbing, seven-layer dips, brews, and screaming at the TV, you might be distracted from one big offense: an expanding waistline.

More on calories

“While it’s a special occasion, it’s important to still be mindful of what and how much you’re eating,” says Maxine Siegel, R.D., who heads Consumer Reports’ food lab. “We just came off the holidays and the overindulgence that went with them. It’s only February, so you should choose wisely.”

That can be difficult, though, when you’re faced with a tempting array of snacks, such as hot wings, chilled brews, and crunchy chips. To help you out, we’ve calculated what 100 calories of common Super Bowl foods looks like as a visual guide to help you keep your snacking in check. 


Check our guide to the Super Bowl.
 

If the foods you eat at a party will serve as dinner, Siegel says, aim for roughly 500 to 700 calories if you follow a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet.

She also advises eating before the game. “Skipping breakfast and lunch to save calories isn’t a great idea,” she says. “You’ll arrive at the party starving, and it’s easy to go overboard on Super Bowl food when you’re hungry.”

At the party, survey the spread before you fill your plate. “Take a healthy helping from the crudité platter, and choose smaller portions of wings, pizza, or other high-calorie foods,” she says.  

Be careful with dips, too. “Guacamole and hummus are loaded with healthful nutrients and are rich in good fats, but the calories add up fast,” she says. “Salsa, on the other hand, has one-fifth the calories.”

And though it may be hard to resist, Siegel says, stay away from the chips: “You can have a heck of a lot more popcorn and carrots for the same calories you’d get in five corn chips.”