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Don’t Let March Madness Destroy Your Diet

There’s nothing sadder than disappointed sports fans, but don’t wreck your diet because your team loses during March Madness.

Did you know that your college basketball team's on-the-court performance could influence how you eat? (Especially if your team doesn’t fare well on its way to the playoffs.)

According to a GrubHub study in 2014, pizza orders are 19 percent more common after losses than wins, and dessert orders increase more than 9 percent if your team gets knocked out of the tournament. Talk about “emotional eating!”

But your waistline shouldn't depend on the fate of your team...

Here are five tips for avoiding mindless snacking and overeating during March Madness from Tami Lyon, MPH, RD., who served as the nutrition specialist for student athletes at UC Berkeley who had eating and weight issues. This year, let’s ensure your team’s performance doesn’t get the best of you!

  1. At the bar: Quarter your order. Place your order pre-game, and have items come in quarterly intervals, from least to most caloric.
  2. Hosting a party: Tapas-type options are a good choice. Offer non-traditional, healthier finger foods, such as summer rolls, grilled chicken wings or flatbread sandwiches loaded with veggies.
  3. At a party: Bring it, as in bring a healthy fallback dish, such as veggies/hummus, and a bowl of clementines  that you can promote as “mini basketballs.”
  4. At the office: Be prepared. Even if you can't control the spread, you can say no.
  5. College dorm (on a budget): Build your own by creating your own corn soft taco bar with rotisserie chicken, black beans, salsa, chopped cabbage and corn. You also can make sliders with the chicken; just add BBQ sauce and buns.
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