As if tailgating doesn't present enough tempting less-than-healthy foods, now a new study says the day after a game can also be a eating disaster.
According to research published in the journal Psychological Science, fans of a losing football team tend to eat more fats and sugars the day after the game, while supporters of the winning team actually choose healthier foods. After looking at two seasons' worth of NFL games and food consumption in more than a dozen cities, researchers found that following a Sunday game, residents of cities with a losing football team consumed about 16 percent more saturated fat compared to what they normally would on a Monday, but people in winning teams' cities ate 9 percent less saturated fat than normal.
The researchers hypothesize that a loss causes fans to feel an identity threat, so they turn to eating as a coping mechanism, while winning may boost self-control.
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So how can you feel like a winner even when you aren’t? Focus more on the actual game and stamina that it takes to play the sport instead of the outcome. I always tell my patients if all football players didn’t watch what they put in their mouths, there might not be a game to watch at all. Quarterbacks could definitely not run the field the way they do if they didn’t take care of themselves.
Therefore on Monday mornings instead of letting yourself feel like a loser, hold your head high and take control, if not for yourself than for your favorite player. And if you honestly don’t care about the results of the game or any of the players and were just along for the ride with your hubby, boyfriend or guy pals, make sure their decisions don’t affect yours.
Try this winning meal plan:
Breakfast: Oatmeal made with nonfat milk topped with 1 tablespoon chia seeds and 1 serving natural peanut butter
Lunch: 4 ounces grilled chicken with sliced avocado, tomato, lettuce, and red onion on 100% whole-wheat bread with fruit for dessert
Snack: 1 string cheese with 1 piece fruit
Dinner: Mixed green salad with oil and vinegar to start; broiled 4-ounce salmon fillet with lemon, parsley, and dill served with 1/2 cup barley and asparagus spears