While the New England Patriots head off to Disney World as Super Bowl champs, the Atlanta Falcons—and their fans—are spending today licking their wounds. And when our spirits are low, a strange thing happens; we eat more.
You have probably heard of “emotional eating” before. When you are feeling stressed, tired or sad, it’s normal to turn to food to feel better. That is, after all, why they call it comfort food! But you probably don’t realize that when your favorite team loses the big game, you are actually experiencing that loss with them, and are more likely to indulge in greasy, fatty foods the next day to soothe your soul.
The New York Times reported on this phenomenon, citing a recent study that showed football fans’ intake of saturated-fat increased by 28 percent after their team lost and decreased by 16 percent after their team won.
By recognizing this tendency, it’s now in YOUR power to buck the trend and take steps today toward healthy living. Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight are integral in reducing your cancer risk. So before you go for the fast food and pizza, try these options:
Work it out. Take your frustration to the gym and use it to fuel your workout. Once your endorphins kick in, you’ll start to feel better, AND you’ll be reducing your cancer risk by staying active.
Phone a friend. Talking through your anger or disappointment is a calorie-free way to feel better! Call a friend who shares an allegiance to your team so you can commiserate about last night’s game. Ranting with a friend is a better option than stuffing your face!
Practice self-care. Find little ways to give yourself (non-food) treats throughout the day. Go for a quiet walk at lunch, watch a favorite movie in the evening or start planning your next vacation. You can indulge without heading to the fridge!
Losing is never easy, but don’t let the disappointment throw your day off-track. Falcons fans, kick your week off with healthy choices that will reduce your cancer risk—that’s the real champion move.