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Super Bowl Snacking Tips

Wednesday, 02 Feb 2011 09:16 AM

Chicken wings are one of the tastiest things to eat while watching the Super Bowl, but it's easy to overindulge. Eating while watching television prompts overeating of any food, but if you know how this works, you can enjoy your wings without doing too much damage.

There’s such at thing as mindless eating — just putting food in our mouths because it’s in front of us, regardless of the taste. For example, one study found that people will eat more stale than fresh popcorn if the stale stuff is in a bigger container.

The researcher who led this and dozens of other studies on the subject is Brian Wansink, Ph.D., author of "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think," and a mastermind of what makes us eat more, or less. The director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, he has written more than 100 scientific articles about our food triggers and habits.

Chicken Wing Choices

Based on a study of chicken-wing eating and other research by Wansink, these are five things you can do to enjoy your wings and eat fewer calories while watching the big game:

1. Instead of taking wings out of a big container, put a few of them on a small plate and keep the rest out of reach or better yet, out of sight.
2. Choose wings on the bone, not boneless ones. The extra effort it takes to eat off the bone will keep you occupied longer while ingesting less food.
3. Put the discarded bones on a separate plate on the table and leave it there in plain sight. A pile of bones sends a signal that you’ve eaten a lot of wings, so you’re less likely to reach for more.
4. Select smoked or grilled wings, with plenty of flavor from spices but without breading or batter, which adds a lot of calories and encourages your body to crave more starchy food.
5. If there is a big container of wings on the table, put a big plate of raw vegetables between you and the wings and other high-calorie foods. If you have to reach farther for the more indulgent food, you will probably eat less of it. Given the excitement of the game, you might even grab some celery or a carrot without even thinking about it.

Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most exciting days of the year, and enjoying favorite foods and snacks is a traditional part of the event. However, if you make it easy to indulge without overdoing it, you’ll feel better, regardless of which team wins.


© HealthDay

 
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