March Madness is officially here and that officially means that indulgent temptations will be present from the first tip-off to the last. Similar to Super Bowl Sunday, March Madness is synonymous with snacking and drinking. The average American consumes 11,000 calories on Super Bowl Sunday, and that’s only one day. So imagine what a drawn-out, multi-week event can do to derail you!
And while we can’t help you build a bust-proof bracket, we can help you with tournament-proof healthy eating tips!
You can have anything, just not everything
If March Madness is your favorite event of the year, it’s okay to have a few beers and snacks that you wouldn’t normally consume. We recommend recognizing that in advance and planning around those selective indulgences.
Unlike Super Bowl Sunday, March Madness is drawn out over several weeks. So “planning to indulge” will look a little more conservative if you want to maintain your progress and keep working towards your goals over the course of the tournament.
Bring your own snacks
Beer, chips, and cheese, oh my! There’s nothing like a little March Madness get-together to bring out everyone’s famous appetizers, dips, and desserts. But those indulgences can come at a caloric price.
If you want to stay on track, bring your own macro-friendly snacks to wherever you’re watching the game. We’re not saying this will eliminate the temptation entirely, but it can reduce the urge to splurge and overindulge when you only planned to have a single bite.
And we totally understand that bringing a veggie platter to a tournament watch party can be less than thrilling. That’s why we recommend bringing lighter versions of your favorite treats like Mason Woofruff’s Buffalo Chicken Dip (protein!!) and his Kinda Healthy Layer Dip. That way, you can preplan your snacks for your day. And you’re less likely to have a snaccident that might throw your progress off for the entire week.
The good news: pacing back and forth during the last 30 seconds of a super close game will help you meet your step goal and maybe get in some extra NEAT too. The bad news: it won’t come close to earning you that tray of buffalo wings you’ve been eyeing since tip-off.
We don’t recommend using exercise as a means to burn extra calories to consume more food. But in high caloric environments, it doesn’t hurt to get in all the movement you can.
We do recommend getting in a good workout before game time and prioritizing movement during the game and commercial time.
This goes for any challenging event/food scenario—filling up on protein before you go will make you more likely to hit your macros (if that’s your goal) and less likely to burn the house down.
Sometimes, bringing a protein shake (like this one) to have as your first drink before eating/drinking anything else will help you stay full and set the tone for the rest of the event.
So go get your bracket in shape, strategically plan your meals and snacks for game days, and enjoy the tournament