Big Game Survival Tips: Game planning for a big loss (on the scale)

Know your opponent and other key tips for staying on track on game day.
Superbowl Party

Pregame prep
Before entering your buddies' house, give yourself a mental pep talk and then "stick with your plan," advises Jay Fleming, a Weight Watchers leader who's maintained a 65-pound loss for four years.* "Ask yourself why you are at the game. Is it to eat or is it to watch the game?"

Game day grub

Whether you’re playing host or guest, here are some Weight Watchers recipes you can whip up in preparation for the pigskin party:

New game plan
You can still enjoy some football fare: a chicken wing or two, some chips and dip, a slice of pizza and a cold one. Just don't overindulge — eat and drink reasonably, keep track of what you chow down on, and save your weekly PointsPlus™ Allowance for game day.

"If you're working at getting rid of your beer belly, remember that, 'If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got,'" Fleming says. "So if you pig out at that tailgate party or during the game, you'll get that beer belly just like in the past."

Know your opponent
Forget the game for a sec. At the party, your foe is all that grub on the counter. It most likely isn’t low calorie or fat free, either. Keep in mind, a plain hot dog on a roll can pack 9 PointsPlus values. Two medium slices of thin crust pepperoni pizza have about 11 PointsPlus values. A serving of nacho chips and mystery cheese can be laden with around 9 PointsPlus values and more fat grams than points both teams will score. If you're still jonesing for football food, try minimizing the damage. Eating the dog minus the bun will save about 5 PointsPlus values. Have only 1 slice of pizza and you’ll cut 6 PointsPlus values.

Good substitutions

"Make better food choices," says Neil Anderson, a master personal trainer. To make that easier, prepare and bring healthier items such as:

  • grilled chicken sandwiches
  • fruit cups
  • a veggie tray
  • shrimp with cocktail sauce,
  • baked chips
  • light beer
  • fat-free pretzels
  • turkey brats
  • bags of low-fat microwavable popcorn.

Not all to be eaten at the same time, of course.

Walk it off
Consider parking a few blocks from the party or heading outside for a walk instead of watching for the next wardrobe malfunction at halftime (that’s what DVRs are for anyway).

Improve your bench
Try fitting in a few exercises – push-ups or Pilates – whenever possible, Anderson suggests. Drop and do 20 push-ups or a few Pilates hundreds during commercial breaks. Or put a couple of bucks in a pot for the winner of a game-long challenge with your friends. You can also make friendly competitive wagers using crunches instead of money. Every time your team scores, fans on the opposite side have to hit the deck for 20 and vice versa.

Stay in motion
During breaks in the action, get off your seat – but not to visit the food table. "Try to do anything that can make you active. The activity counts just as much as eating right," Anderson says. "If you get active during a football game, you'll eat less."

Try staying on your feet for an entire series, and switch between doing push-ups, stretches, crunches or squats during breaks. Do "secret squats" by pushing yourself out of a low-rider chair over and over. Here's a good stretch for your back and legs: sit up straight against a couch, extend your legs and hold as long as you can.

You could even practice different TD celebration dances. This, of course, is best done alone – unless you have no shame or don't embarrass easily.

If you follow these tips, your new fleet-footed celebration moves might be used to commemorate a losing season on the scale.

About the Writer
Jody Genessy is a sports writer and weight-loss columnist in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has lost (and trying hard to not rediscover) 100-plus pounds* with Weight Watchers meetings.

*People following the PointsPlus program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

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