Summer is almost over, which means it’s time to enjoy good company and cheer your way through a game. With an exhilarating game comes a lot of mindless eating and unwanted calories. Except this football season will be different, because you will be equipped with tools for staying healthy before, during, and after the big game. We spoke with registered dietitian Chelsea Fuchs about which stadium foods you can enjoy and which foods you should stay away from.
“Focus on the game and the good company rather than the temptations,” Fuchs says. “Have a bottle of water or club soda nearby, as it’s easy to get dehydrated during a game, and we can often mistake thirst for hunger. Also, pack your own healthy snacks! Not only will your waistline thank you, but your wallet will, too.” Just be sure to check the stadium’s guidelines for bringing in outside food into the venue so you can be prepared!
Fuchs admits that it is difficult to avoid danger foods completely, and says that if you really want to have something unhealthy, you should enjoy it in small doses. You can even share a treat with someone else so that you are less likely to overeat. “No one is perfect, so if you find yourself indulging in some of those danger foods at the stadium, grab a bottle of water and do a quick reset,” Fuchs says. “In fact, there are even some quick and effective exercises you can do from the bleachers, right on your phone. Whenever I have one too many peanut M&M’s at the stadium, I make sure I do the Cosmo Body bleacher workout right from my seat to get some extra crunches in!”
With this list of best and worst stadium foods, you’ll navigate game day in the healthiest way possible.
Thinkstock / Fuse
Say hello to fried carbs! “Eating fries at the stadium will certainly not help you to feel full, as white carbs spike blood sugar and have little to no fiber or protein,” Fuchs says. “In addition, fries are quite easy to overindulge in — you might find yourself springing for the large and sharing with a friend, or allowing yourself to have just a few more. Whether you are having fries plain, drenched in ketchup, or smothered in cheese, this popular snack food can pack on the pounds quickly.”
Ooey, gooey, cheesy nachos might sound delicious, but you will regret the indulgence later. “The chips are loaded with sodium, which can cause fluid retention and make you look and feel bloated,” Fuchs says. “On their own, the chips are bad enough, but add some chemically processed cheese on top and you have an artery-clogging snack that is sky-high in calories and will wreak havoc on your waistline.”