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Johns Hopkins Medicine
Media Relations and Public Affairs
MEDIA CONTACT: John M. Lazarou
January 17, 2007


Think the heavy eating season is over?  Some sources say Super Bowl Sunday is ranked as the number two “food consumption event” of the year, second only to Thanksgiving, and experts at Johns Hopkins have developed a game plan for dieters wary of packing on more pounds on Feb. 4.

“Food and football go well together, so our focus is not on spoiling the fun but on how to eat well, tame the calories and not over-challenge the willpower,” says Ryan Andrews, a clinical dietitian at the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center.

Andrews’ advice to Super Bowl party hosts:

• As an alternative to fried and saucy wings, oven-fry bite-size boneless chicken breast and serve with a barbecue or honey-mustard sauce.
• Make chili with extra-lean ground beef or turkey and serve it with low-fat cheese and a nonfat sour cream.
• Ditch the premade Dagwood sandwiches, and offer guests a do-it-yourself sandwich construction spread featuring turkey, ham and chicken with a variety of whole-grain breads, wraps and rolls.  Low-fat dressings and veggies (including lettuce and tomatoes) add flavor and color.
• Crudites offer a satisfying crunch. Serve mini or cut-up raw vegetables with “skinny” dips, along with pretzels, air-popped popcorn and baked chips instead of pork rinds and potato chips that are high in fat.
• Have plenty of bottled water, coffee, iced teas and diet sodas on hand whether or not you serve beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks.

Super Bowl party guests need to do their part, along with hosts, to tame the calorie beasts.  “Don’t go to the party hungry,” says Andrews.  “Eat breakfast, lunch and a light afternoon snack before you arrive so you’re not tempted to overindulge.”  Also:

• When you arrive at the party, have a soda or iced tea and avoid the food for a while to divert your attention away from the goodies.
• Don’t fill up your plate. Go for the foods you really want, take small portions at a time, and focus on the low-cal end of the spread.

If you’re seriously dieting and don’t want to risk the menu, BYOD (bring your own dish), such as a fruit platter, to eat or share.

“On the field or off,” says Andrews, “victory requires a plan and sticking to it.”