Football Season – More TD’s, Less LB’s!

Football Munchies

Football season is underway and fall is here! Many of us look forward to this all year. Finally, we can throw on a pair of jeans, a jersey, and some sneaks while kicking back with some friends, some wings, and a few cold ones. However, football season can be DANGEROUS for your waistline – and can undo any healthy habits that you have worked so hard to achieve! Don’t become a victim to the NFL Belly Bulge!

Here are some tips that are EASY to follow:

1) Watch the game at home with friends instead of going to a bar. This way, you have more control over the food and beverage choices.

2) Beverages: If you are watching your waistline (or blood pressure, blood sugar, or triglyceride levels, for that matter), limit the amount of beers or alcoholic beverages you consume. Focus on the game and socializing rather than seeing how many beers you can chug. Choose light beer, wine, or liquor mixed with club or diet soda to save calories and sugar. Better yet – sip on water, seltzer, or unsweetened iced tea while you root for your favorite team!

3) Munchies: if you want to crunch during the game, there are plenty of healthier/​lower-​​cal alternatives. Try raw veggies (carrots, tomatoes, peppers, etc) with a low-​​fat dip, hummus, salsa, or guacamole; choose air-​​popped or low-​​fat microwave popcorn vs. chips; make your own homemade nachos with baked chips, reduced fat cheese/​sour cream, salsa, and beans; and for a salty snack, try boiled edamame. If you’re really feeling motivated – crunch on a salad!

4) Keep it lean: Avoid high fat meats like fried chicken wings, sausage, hot dogs, and burgers and opt for leaner alternatives like chicken breast, turkey sausage, chicken/​turkey meatballs and 95% lean ground beef burgers. Make your own grilled chicken tenders in wing sauce or try this delicious, healthier version of Buffalo Chicken Dip.

5) Burn it off! If you’re home alone or with family during the game, try taking a walk during halftime; do jumping jacks, squats, or jog in place during commercials; or walk on the treadmill in front of the TV. If this isn’t an option – make sure to get your workout in BEFORE the big game!!

6) Make the game personal by creating special rules: For example, each time a team scores — do 20 pushups, allow yourself to indulge in a special treat only when your team scores a touchdown, do sit-​​ups or hold a plank for every time out, etc… Get creative!

Follow these tips and you’ll be part of the winning team that battles the bulge!


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Shana Maleeff

Shana Maleeff, M.A., R.D., ACE-GFI, received a B.S. in Nutrition from Penn State University and an M.A. in Nutrition Education from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. She works in the New York and New Jersey Metropolitan areas counseling clients on nutrition, exercise, medication adherence, and stress management to help them with weight management and treatment/prevention of heart disease and diabetes. Shana is the creator of the groundbreaking weight loss program "The 21 Diet and Exercise Weight Loss Solution". Previously, she worked as a hospital dietitian and as an adjunct professor of nutrition at Philadelphia Community College.

Shana takes a special interest in fitness and works as a group fitness instructor at Crunch Fitness and Equinox gyms in Manhattan. She currently resides in New York City and enjoys living a healthy lifestyle.

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