What is a Super Bowl party without pizza, beer, nachos or wings? For many, it’s almost inconceivable.
In 2014, the Super Bowl contest was the biggest pizza-eating day of the year, according to MyFitnessPal, a free nutrition and fitness app with over 65 million users. Compared with normal averages, pizza consumption on the annual NFL game day was up 67 percent, tortilla chip eating was up 200 percent and chicken wings a hefty 327 percent.
Pizza places around Sacramento were gearing up Sunday afternoon for the 215-minute game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.
Pizza Rock on K Street had its biggest projection-screen TV pulled out for the game, according to restaurant staffers.
Papa John’s Pizza in Natomas expected to do at least three times as much business as a regular Sunday, according to manager James Miller.
“Almost our entire staff is on today to make sure deliveries are on time,” Miller said. “We get busy around kickoff and then there’s a big push around halftime.”
And at Chicago Fire on J Street in midtown Sacramento, manager Pete Kertsz said take-out and delivery orders would probably be double from their Sunday average, with wings being the most popular item.
With a West Coast team in the mix, Miller expected even more business than usual.
“The Seahawks mean bigger hits for us,” Miller said. “West Coast teams will affect our sales.”
Monique Elias, 39, eating nachos at the bar in the Firestone Public House, said she would have shown up even if a West Coast team wasn’t on the field.
“The Super Bowl, I don’t miss,” said Elias, who prefers nachos because they’re a finger food.
She was attending a Super Bowl party hosted by the Firestone Public House, which required pre-ordering a table to secure a seat during the game. Calvin Lem, a Firestone manager, said the restaurant expected a full house of 200 customers.
The most popular food items ordered are Bavarian pretzels and brandy-fried chicken wings. Pizza and wings are the top take-out orders.
Firestone customer Michael Maggio, 57, said he’d be eating pizza and nachos with his beer.
“You’ve got to have pizza and beer,” Maggio said.
In fact, MyFitnessPal found that when people eat pizza, 85 percent of the time they’re also drinking beer. Firestone planned to have representatives from Bud Light and Coors on hand during the game.
How to limit calorie intake during the snack-centric Super Bowl? For those who consume alcohol, MyFitnessPal recommends a light beer during the game.
“Light beer has fewer calories than regular varieties, and most people tend to drink the same number of light beers as they do regular ones during a game,” Steven Ledbetter, a nutrition and behavioral change consultant at San Francisco Crossfit, wrote in a recent blog about football season snacking. “Net result? Fewer calories.”
Other recommendations from Ledbetter: Sit far away from the snack table, drink lots of water, eat a lot of protein to fill up fast and bring your own healthy foods.
Worried about getting slammed for showing up with carrot sticks? “No one will care, really,” writes Ledbetter. “If someone does comment, just tell them their team sucks and see where the conversation goes.”
Call The Bee’s Ellen Garrison at (916) 321-1006