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September 2, 2014

Watching Football and Weight Gain

weight gainWell, the dog days of August are behind us and that means one thing.  “Are You Ready for Some Football?” If you’re a football fan this is the time of year you’ve been waiting for – getting ready to cheer for your favorite professional and/or college football team. But have you trained for this football season like the players you cheer for? You should. Want to know why? There’s a one in four chance that over the next 4 months or so you will see some weight gain as you sit for countless hours watching football on TV.

An Harris Interactive online study performed last year discovered that 25% of football fans gain weight during the football season. Though the average gain is 10 pounds, 16% report gaining more than 20 pounds – that’s a huge amount – more than some football players put during the course of an entire year in attempt to get bigger and stronger which is not exactly the goal of most football fans.

I know what you’re thinking. What about the holidays? Surely that accounts for some of the weight gain, doesn’t it?  Football season does coincide with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus, and New Year’s Day.  Yes, but the average weight gain over the holidays is three pounds. And, normal weight gain associated with aging is a half pound to a pound a year only.

Football Season Weight Gain

Football season weight gain by spectators is related to additional calories from overeating, but also eating calorie-dense foods. A lack of activity also contributes to the weight gain. Sitting on the sofa 12 hours every Saturday and Sunday doesn’t exactly churn up a lot of calories.

Here are some tips for controlling weight during football season

  • Eat healthier foods – more fruits and vegetables and less pizza and chips and dips. Watch the BBQ sauces and heavy salad dressings.
  • Eat smaller portions. Put on your plate a reasonable amount of food and when you’re done, you’re done eating.
  • Limit the empty calories from alcohol.
  • Take advantage of all the TV timeouts and get some activity. Get off your behind and walk around, do some stretches. You can even crank out some push ups and sit ups and run in place. Just get the body moving some.
  • One more thing. Get up and change the channels to switch between games rather than use the remote. You know – the old fashion way of watching TV.

 

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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