College football starts this weekend, and the sports world, dietitians always give players pre-game eating and hydration tips. Whether you are a pee-wee player or a college football star, what you do pre-game can influence how the next few hours go! The same is true for those of us watching the game, what we do pre-game can determine how great or disastrous our next few hours of eating and caloric intake might be!
Here are 5 pre-game tips to help you win during your next game watching party:
- Don’t skip meals: Skipping meals does nothing but make you feel starving later. You will actually do a better job of controlling your appetite later in the day if you consume more nutrition earlier in the day. Research shows that 30 grams of protein at breakfast helps you feel more satiated throughout the day. So, be sure to have small meals and snacks leading up to the party.
- Have some pre-game protein: The power of protein is that it helps you feel full faster and stay full longer. So, have some protein pre-game, before your party. Walking into a party hungry is never a good idea as you will be tempted to eat everything you see. Pre-game protein will help take the edge off!
- Don’t go into your game dehydrated: What’s a football party without your favorite beer or bubbly?! The answer is a less fun party, so be sure to hydrate before you line-up to start the game. Hydrating with water throughout the day will help balance out some of the negative dehydrating effects that adult beverages can have on your body. Similarly, keep sipping on water throughout the party too.
- Have a game plan: When you grab a plate to eat, have some type of plan. Try to put some veggies and/or fruit on your plate first to take up space. Then fill in with some of the other goodies. Ideally choose the smaller size plate because by default less food fits on it helping with portion control. Sit, chat, eat and wait at least 15-20 minutes before you jump up to re-fill that plate. It takes a little time for your brain to register fullness so sit back, watch some plays, then re-assess your hunger.
- Set yourself up for victory: Don’t stand by the food table, end of story. If you stand near the table, you are way more likely to reach down and keep grabbing handfuls of goodies. Your brain does not always register how much you eat if you grab a handful of this and some pinches of that, so it is likely you end up eating more than you think. Executing your eating game plan is essential to make sure you don’t fill up on too many snacks!