The Football Fan's Diet Survival Guide

Posted On Oct 10, 2013 By Erin Kuh, MBA, RD

The Football Fan's Diet Survival Guide

Are piles of wings and pitchers of beer threatening to get you off track? It can be especially challenging when surrounded by friends who are all reaching for another helping of ultimate nachos or ordering another round to cheer on your favorite team. Having a game-time strategy and your own playbook of healthy strategies will help keep you from sacking your diet during this football season.

If you drink alcohol:

  • Drink water between each alcoholic drink or limit yourself to drinks only during the first quarter; drink water or ice tea the rest of the time.
  • Drink only during timeouts or advertisements. This will force you to slow down and drink less.
  • Don't keep a fridge full of cold beer. Only put a few drinks in the fridge. Once you're done with those, that's it! Most people don't want to drink warm beer so you're eliminating the temptation by reducing the supply.

If you're staying home or hosting a gathering:

  • Use halftime to do something active.
  • Pregame with your own flag football game.
  • Limit the food to 2-3 different snacks and put them away at half-time.
  • Plan your workout for after the game. It might be hard initially to stay motivated to do it but if you keep it on the forefront of your mind during the game, this will help you from overindulging. Trying to complete a workout on a stuffed stomach isn't fun!

If you're going out to watch the game:

  • Don't go ravenous. Have a filling snack beforehand like an apple and almonds or a half sandwich.
  • Only eat from your plate: Place appetizers on a plate rather than eating straight from the serving tray or basket. Also, by limiting yourself to one plate, it will help you keep better track of how much you've had to eat and prevent you from having "just one more".
  • Chew a piece of gum or have a breath mint once you've had some food and drink. You're less likely to have more once you have fresh breath. Minty gum, cheesy chili fries, and a brewsky are not a good flavor combo!

Finally, get support. Let one of your friends or family members know you're trying to stay on track and explain how they can help you stay healthy this football season to prevent you from throwing in the towel.