I love March Madness! I look forward to it all year. I enter brackets, I wear my UC Bearcats shirt and hat, and I watch a bunch of games. All of this is good but it can lead to a very sedentary month and some bad eating if you aren’t careful. So today I am going to provide you with a March Madness Survival Guide!
1. Plan your workouts! You already know Thursday/Friday/Saturday and Sunday are going to be full of basketball – so plan ahead! Get up early and get a run in or go to the gym. Or do some mat exercises at your home. You’ll enjoy the games more knowing you already got your workout in.
2. Plan your beverages! I agree – basketball and beer go nicely together! But – some of these games start pretty early and if you feel you need to have a beer in your hand during all the games- well you’ll probably be drunk and full of calories by the end of it! I set a time limit- no drinks before 7pm and then I alternate beer and water. This keeps me hydrated, happy and my liquid calories in check.
3. Just say no to chicken wings! We all know wings are one of the worst ways to eat chicken- all skin and fatty meat. One of the popular wing and sports bars in Cincinnati offers “naked wings” which are essentially skewered white meat chicken and your choice of dipping sauce. You get all the flavor you want while eating a much healthier, low fat, protein packed option. And it’s ok to eat a salad while watching basketball… really! So check out that menu and choose wisely. Don’t be shy about asking your server to modify your order – leaving off dressing, sauces, cheese, etc.
4. Work off your frustration! Let’s face it – your team is probably not going to win it all and there will be some frustration. Your bracket may be sailing along nicely and then completely implode with a couple critical loses. What do you do with that frustration?? Drown your sorrows? NO! Work it out – try a hardcore spinning class. You’ll get that frustration out and get a great workout at the same time.
5. Mindful eating! If you are watching the game at a restaurant or bar, your server will continue to ask you if you want to order food, appetizers, dessert and so on. Just because you are sitting there does not mean you need to eat. Ask yourself- am I hunger? Or am I eating out of habit? Try waiting a while to order if you plan on being out for a couple games. Pay attention as you are eating – it’s easy to fall into the shovel it in mode when the TV is on. Take breaks. Give yourself the chance to feel hunger. Remember there are no extra points for speed eating or plowing through a whole plate of nachos before the second half.
6. Consider a party at your pad! Invite friends over to watch the games at your house. You can control the food and drink options this way and will most likely save a little money too. Consider making a healthy chicken tortilla soup for your guests or lean protein sandwiches topped with lots of veggies. Get creative with your menu!
7. Prioritize the games you need to see! Let’s face it – you can watch basketball all day if you want but that’s an awful lot of sitting on your butt time. Prioritize the games you really must see and consider skipping some of the others in favor of your workout. You know the highlights of all games will be played over and over again. Anything great or awful that happens will be shown repeatedly.
All it takes is a little planning and some self discipline to survive March Madness. You may be upset if your team loses but you don’t have to be upset about what the scale has to say at the end of March Madness.
PS- if you live in the Nashville area – check out an opportunity on my Facebook page for a chance at a March Madness Free Reformer Class! https://www.facebook.com/12SouthPilates