It’s that time of year again…
Time to sport your favorite teams colors, set up a tailgate, have the funnels on standby and the beer cold, and man the grill to show off your Iron Chef skills to all your friends. Once again ladies and gents, football season is here!
So we all know about the obligatory “Freshman 15” that tend to sneak up on college kids across the nation…Well, the “Football Season 15” can be just as big of a problem for our culture of “Die Hard” football fans. Especially the ones who support both a college and professional team! As fun as it can be to “suit up” on game day and eat some burgers, dogs, and chips, and wash them down with an ice cold beer or 5, it is far more gratifying rooting for the home team without feeling miserably (drunk) bloated, lethargic, guilty and disgusting after the fact. So with Week 1 of the regular season behind us, I figured I would give you my 7 best tips to avoid gaining that unsightly, unwanted, and unattractive body fat this football season, and protect that flat stomach you worked so hard for all summer…
1) Workout the Morning of Gameday.
Getting in an intense workout before eating or drinking things that are not exactly conducive to wash board abs can make a huge impact both physically and mentally. Elevating your heart rate significantly and lifting some heavy weights prior to tailgate time can reduce the probability of your body storing any extra calories consumed as fat, and provide you some piece of mind on a psychological level to where you don’t feel as bad after the fact. I prefer some type of HIIT training on days I know I’ll be deviating from my normal diet.
2) Schedule Your Weekly Cheat Meal On Gameday.
Nobody expects you to represent the pinnacle of health all of the time. You work hard and deserve to alleviate some stress and enjoy your favorite comfort foods from time to time. Comfort food isn’t very comforting however, if you over eat and feel like sh*t after the fact, and can’t stop repeating in your mind “I’m a fat loser”. Trust me, this happens 95.8% of the time I order a pizza because for reasons unknown I can’t seem to enjoy pizza without a chocolate chip cookie pizza or cinnamon sticks (or both) accompanying it. 🙁 So plan your weekly cheat meal on game day, get it out of your system, and get back on track with your diet 3-4 hours later. WARNING!!!! Do not let your “cheat meal” transform into a cheat day or cheat weekend!!!!! You will hate yourself for it the next morning when you wake up bloated, swollen, and 3-6 pounds heavier as a result of fluid retention.
3) Drink More Water.
Keep a water in your hands at all times. You’ll stay hydrated, it will help keep you fuller, and will limit excessive grazing and snacking.
4) Don’t Drink Beer.
The term “beer gut” was coined for good reason. If you’re going to drink (meaning if you are 21+) stick to vodka-water, or add some crystal light to the mix for a more fruity, tasty, and calorie sparing beverage. Whiskey works too, assuming you’re not an amateur.
5) Be That Guy! (or girl)
Show up to the party with your pre made, pre portioned, healthy meals, or be the one who shows up with the healthy sides, fresh fruit and veggies! Sure you may get some glances initially from the 300+ pound raving lunatic walking around in a speedo painted head to toe in the colors of the home team, but you’ll be able to enjoy yourself without any guilt, remorse, or feeling of the immediate need to run a marathon to burn off all the crap you just ate. Plus your fellow party goers will hold you in high regard and admire your dedication.
6) Start with the salad.
As tempting as it seems to immediately load your plate with chips, cheese fries, deep fried chicken wings, and cookies….Eating a generous serving of a greens salad can reduce the probability of over eating immeasurably; as well as provide you with some much needed fiber intake which will help your body better break down and hopefully excrete the more greasy and unhealthy things you may or not put into it after the fact.
6) Stick to Burgers Over Hot Dogs…HOLD THE BUN!
An average 4oz hamburger patty (90% lean) has 246 calories and provides you a generous 30 grams protein! While hot dogs have typically 100 fewer calories per serving, they provide only 5 grams protein, and a bunch of unneeded cholesterol and sodium content!
**** For a more nutrient dense and mouth watering option, slice and grill some pineapple and use 2 slices to house your burger.
7) Go Grilled!!!
If your team is playing away and you decide to meet up with some friends at a local sports bar, order your wings grilled. Many of us don’t even know this to be an option, but most establishments would be happy to prepare you wings as such. It does take a little longer to prep but the wait is well worth it not only on the overall health side of things, but they actually taste phenomenal as well!! Same rules apply here as it pertains to drinking. 🙂
Good luck to you and your team(s) respectively this season! Keep in mind the action happens on the field… So in no way, shape, or form will it help your team persevere or increase the chances of defeating the competition by engaging in behaviors conducive to an eating contest off the field. Just wanted to throw that out there.