The Truth About Football Season Weight Gain (and How to Bounce Back!)

Article posted in: Lifestyle Diet & Nutrition
man watching football on tv

More than one-third (37%) of men would give up football games or other sporting events for two months if it meant they could sport a six-pack or a flat stomach, new research suggests.

In a poll of 2,000 American men over the age of 30, 39% said their belly is the physical attribute they’d change about themselves.

And as football season comes to an end, men are feeling the effects. Thirty-seven percent said they usually gain weight from September to January, with 53% claiming they gain 10 pounds or more.

Football isn’t the only thing men would give up either. The poll, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Nutrisystem, also revealed that a quarter of men surveyed would give up their love life for two months for a flatter belly.

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The poll also showed that almost one in five men began to lose confidence by the time they reached their early 30s.

More than 50% are less comfortable dating over 30 because they are less confident in how they look. And forty-seven percent of men admit they worry that their significant other doesn’t find them as attractive as they used to.

Men’s health and wellness seems top of mind more now than ever before as 43% of men believe that mental and physical health are equally as important as wealth and current lifestyle. If given the choice between getting a promotion at work or losing 20 pounds, 30% would choose to focus on their weight loss goals.

“Losing weight will not only lower total body fat but also stubborn belly fat,” said Courtney McCormick, MPH, RDN, LDN, Manager Clinical Research & Nutrition at Nutrisystem. “Excess fat around the abdomen responds well to a high protein, low GI diet, so be sure to pay attention to your portions, eat plenty of fruits and veggies and stick with whole grains and lean proteins.”

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Even more interesting, a whopping 68% believe social media has created unrealistic body standards for men over the past decade.

But most men believe making a change could help. Half of men surveyed believe that losing weight would make them feel better about themselves. And 45% said they would need to lose 11 pounds or more to gain more confidence, which isn’t surprising since 46% of men said they gained 21 pounds or more over the last 10 years.

“Having a game plan is crucial,” said Hall of Fame quarterback and Nutrisystem ambassador, Dan Marino. “For guys especially, simplicity, variety and correct portion sizes are key. Programs like Nutrisystem that are delivered to your door and easy to follow are the best bet. And when you start seeing the results, it makes you motivated to keep going.”

When it comes to getting back on track, 53% of men said having an easy-to-follow plan for healthy eating would help them best achieve their health goals. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said teaming up with a partner and 35% said having healthy meals delivered to their door would fuel their success.

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Start exercising more             (53%)

Lose weight                             (51%)

Quit smoking                           (31%)

Improve their love life             (24%)

Change jobs                           (23%)

Men's Battle of the Belly Bulge and football season weight gain