First it was the Olympics, then Stanley Cup playoffs, now FIFA World Cup… it seems for sport enthusiasts, the events never end.
Unfortunately, most of us spend more time watching sports than playing them ourselves.
While watching a game this weekend, I reflected on how I was not only being sedentary, but also drinking beer and eating unhealthy snacks. Luckily, I am not an avid sports fan and as a mother of two small children, my days of binge drinking are over. However, I realized how easy it would be to eat and drink my daily quota of calories during this one event.
Current guidelines recommend no more than one or two alcoholic drinks daily (depending on your size; typically, one for women and two for men).
Unfortunately, these drinks cannot be banked. Meaning even if you did not drink Monday to Friday, you should not have six beers on Saturday! Furthermore, the quantity of alcohol is standardized. A drink is not how much you can pour in a glass, but a 12 oz. regular beer (5 per cent alcohol), 1.5 oz. hard liquor (40 per cent alcohol) or 5 oz. of wine (12 per cent alcohol).
Alcohol has many effects, but from a dietitian perspective it is generally not helpful for weight management.
Not only does it provide extra, non-nutritive calories, but liberalizes your appetite and affects your judgement. When drinking and enjoying ourselves, especially in front of the television, we tend to lose track of what or how much has gone in our mouth.
So the question becomes, is there a healthier way to enjoy the game?
If you drink beer, only put one or two beers in the refrigerator (hopefully, warm beer is a deterrent!) If going to a friends’ house, bring only one or two beers with you.
Pace yourself – alternate alcoholic drinks with glasses of water
If mixing drinks yourself, consider making them more dilute, and using low calories mixers.
Plan a physical sports event with your kids or friends before the event (for example, meet at the park to kick a ball around before going home to watch the game).
Choose healthier snacks to eat during the game. You will do less “damage” eating a whole plate of veggies than a whole beg of chips.
Do not eat in front of the TV, keep snacks to half-time.
–Serena Cancer is a registered dietician who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.