Rack Up More Touch Downs & Less Pounds This Football Season

couple watching football

This far along in the football season, I’m sure you have experienced some upsets and a few surprises with your favorite team. On a winning streak one week, losing the next – all the ups and downs can keep you on edge. The battle should be on the field but too many end up battling the bulge and gaining weight during the 17-week regular season, playoffs and ultimately the Super Bowl.

According to a Harris Interactive survey, an estimated 25 percent of football fans gain weight during football season. While the average weight gain is around 10 pounds, shockingly 16 percent admit to gaining as much as 20.

Unwanted pounds during football season can come from football watch parties, tailgates or just eating your emotions while watching the game. Add to that the fact that football season coincides with the holidays and you have more chances to eat, less time to sleep and a big excuse not to exercise. So, how do you avoid turning from a linebacker into a lineman and becoming a statistic?

Here are a few game day strategies that can help you rack up touchdowns (TDs) instead of pounds (LBs) this football season.

Pregame

  • Eat breakfast! Research suggests that those who eat breakfast that includes carbs, protein and healthy fats stay satisfied during the day and eat less than those who skip breakfast.
  • If you had plans to exercise on game day, stick to those plans and get your exercise in early.

Game Time

  • During the watch party or tailgate, choose your favorite dishes but limit your portion sizes. Depriving yourself of the foods and drinks you love could backfire.
  • Fill up with some lean proteins in the beginning like shrimp cocktail, hot wings without the sauce, veggies, or nuts. If your party includes a full meal, load up half your plate with greens and non-starchy veggies leaving less room for cheesy casseroles and large portions of meat.
  • If you’re partying away from home and know there won’t be healthier options, consider making a healthy dish to take with you. You can also eat a balanced meal before you leave home, so you won’t be as hungry and tempted to fill up on unhealthy fare outside of the house.
  • Choose smaller portioned food and beverages like the Coca Cola mini can which comes in some of your favorite flavors like Diet Coke or Coke Zero or pouring your beverages into a smaller cup to drink from.
  • Drink light beer in moderation and stay hydrated during the day with other non-alcoholic beverages like water, flavored water and teas.

Half Time

  • Focus on watching the game and enjoy eating during halftime and not during every quarter.
  • During half time, get up and move around. Sitting the entire game will only make you feel heavy and slow down your metabolism.

The final score is that you can still indulge and enjoy all the big flavors on game day using smaller portions and a little common sense. With these tips, you can stay on track with your diet and exercise routines without adding those unwanted pounds.

 

Visit the BlackDoctor.org Healthy Weight Loss center for more articles. 

Rani G. Whitfield, M.D. is a board certified family physician with a Certificate of Added Qualification in sports medicine.  He has become known as “Tha Hip Hop Doc” or “H2D” as he uses hip hop music as a medium to educate youth and young adults on health issues. Dr. Whitfield serves as a medical consultant for The Coca-Cola Company, MSNBC, Sirius XM Radio’s Sway in the Morning, and the Tom Joyner Morning Show to name a few.  He is currently in private practice in his native Baton Rouge, LA.