With mouthwatering aromas wafting through the air and tempting treats visible in all directions, the beach boardwalk can easily feel like a diet disaster waiting to happen. Fortunately, with just a little bit of forethought and planning, you can seek out some of the healthier choices like dry-roasted nuts, a single serving of frozen yogurt or even corn on the cob. Plan ahead by knowing what options your boardwalk offers, and by all means, avoid these six worst calorie bombs:
1. Funnel Cake
With more than 700 calories and 40 grams of fat in a single funnel cake, this popular boardwalk treat is close to half of the calories needed in an entire day. The deep-fried batter of funnel cakes is an artery-clogging nightmare. While deep-frying everything from Oreos to Twinkies to even butter (yes, deep-fried butter-on-a-stick is an actual thing) remains an ongoing boardwalk trend, it’s truly best to avoid anything that’s gone into the deep fryer.
Instead of reaching for a deep fried dessert filled with oil, consider making your own healthier versions at home in the air fryer! Click the link below for some tasty recipes:
2. Pizza with Toppings
A lot of people say there’s nothing quite like the taste and smell of boardwalk pizza. But the classically oversized slices doled out on the boardwalk can be upwards of 250 calories—and the more toppings you add on, the more that number climbs. If pizza is your favorite boardwalk indulgence, skip all the toppings or—better yet—opt for a veggie slice. You might be less inclined to indulge knowing that you’d have to swim for a full half hour to burn off just one slice of boardwalk pizza.
With every candy shop on the boardwalk handing out delicious homemade samples of fudge, it’s easy to get suckered in. But of all the boardwalk candies, fudge is one of your least healthy choices as it’s not only packed with sugar but fatty ingredients like butter. If you must indulge your sweet tooth, a piece or two of salt water taffy is a better choice. You can also make your own freezer fudge at home with our simple guide below:
4. Chili Cheese Fries
Boardwalk fries get a whole lot worse when you start downing them in fat-laden toppings like chili sauce and cheese. Fries are packed with saturated fat and sodium to begin with, but by smothering them in cheese, you’re seriously adding on the fat and calories. If you indulge in a few fries on the boardwalk, split an order with friends and forgo the toppings (with the exception of ketchup). Be sure to also avoid highly battered options such as curly fries.
Pro Tip: Can’t crush your chili cheese fry craving? Use the Chili with Beans from Nutrisystem to make this lightened-up Loaded Chili Cheese Fries recipe at home! >
A typical cheesesteak sub sandwich, even without all the toppings, is more than 700 calories. If you’re on the boardwalk for lunch or dinner and craving a sandwich, most of the grills do have healthier choices like grilled chicken or even a variety of wraps. While a greasy cheesesteak might be tempting, even an hour of jogging isn’t going to burn off all those calories.
6. Sugary Beverages
It’s important to mention that drinks tend to be one of the sneakiest diet wreckers out there. It’s easy to slurp down the calories without even realizing your calorie intake—particularly when you’re walking on the boardwalk on a very hot day. While a small soft drink is around 150 calories, the monster-sizes on the boardwalk tend to skew things a bit. What’s considered a “small” might actually hold more than a single can of soda. In addition, you can expect that a boardwalk lemonade is going to have a lot more sugar than the kind you might drink at home.
It’s always best to drink water, but unsweetened iced tea or a real fruit smoothie can also quench your thirst without packing on the calories. Before reaching for a drink, be sure to check out these six must-follow rules for choosing your beverages! >
*Calorie estimates calculated via the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database. Note that boardwalk varieties may vary in nutrition content.