It’s Baseball Season: 6 Surprising Health Hacks for the Ballpark

Article posted in: Nutrisystem for Men

A trip to the ballpark doesn’t have to be a strikeout for your weight loss program—you don’t have to go hungry the whole game, either.

If your city’s stadium won’t let you bring a healthy snack in yourself, use these tips to enjoy the game (along with some ballpark fare) and stay on track.

Health hacks for the ballpark (plus a guide!) to keep you on track:

1. Have water before you have beer.

health hack ballpark water bottle

Stadium beer prices can run as much as $12 for a single brew. Save your money and some calories by starting the game with a big bottle of water: Many stadiums will let you bring in an unopened bottle from outside the park, and it could help you eat and drink less during the late innings.

In a study from Virginia Tech, participants who drank 16 ounces of water before meals lost about five more pounds over a 12-week period than those who didn’t drink before meals. After that, feel free to caffeinate, too!

Slurping on some ice-cold, dark coffee is another refreshing, low-calorie approach to filling your stomach. All perked up, you’ll probably also avoid missing a minute of the action. If you’re still thirsty—and if a trip to the game isn’t complete without one brew—opt for a light beer and try to keep it to one.

2. Don’t show up starving.

health hack stomach ballpark

While ballpark fare is a huge part of the baseball experience, remember that you’re at the game for the game—or a warm day in the sun, or to catch up with friends. Food is a secondary focus at the stadium. When you do eat, which you can do primarily at home, make it count: Try practicing “mindful eating.” Eating with fewer distractions can help you eat less not just during the mindful meal, but for the rest of the day.

Instead of just popping food into your mouth, focus on the colors, textures and flavors of your ballpark snack. This can help you feel full and, according to a study from Ohio State, help you better manager your blood sugar.

This is easier to do if you aren’t starving when you walk through the stadium gates. Before game time, have a balanced meal that’s on-plan for your weight loss program (Not on Nutrisystem yet? Get started with a weight loss plan today!). Include fiber and healthy fats to help you feel full and stay full through the early innings. Then, when the seventh inning snack craving comes calling, it will be easier to keep your eye on the weight loss ball—and easier to stay on track.

3. Pop a mint.

mint health hacks

Whether or not you go for the low-fat hot dog, pop a few peanuts, have your one light beer or none of the above, a mini mint can have a big impact. Popping a mint doesn’t just make your friends and family happy to sit so close to you, but it may also help keep you away from the food.

Mint is known for it’s ability to work as an appetite suppressant. This sneaky little diet trick is the reason so many opt for peppermint tea after a meal. Finishing with mint sends the message that your meal is over, and it’s time to move on.

A small container of mints, or gum, fits perfectly into your pocket or game-day-appropriate bag, so snag one on your way out the door. Keep a mint in your mouth and your mind on the game!

4. Don’t just park, explore the park.

walking steps health hacks for the ball park

When you’re at the ball park, it might be appealing to just get in, get your seats and get down to business, but why the rush? It’s a beautiful day, at a beautiful, fun-packed place. Take a walk around!

You’ll burn calories and get the most out of your day. According to Harvard Medical School, 30 minutes of walking at a reasonable pace can cut 178+ calories.

Stairs: Even better. Explore all of the new features of the park that they’ve added since you were last there. There are probably hundreds of stops you can make, and even more stairs.

Allow your health-inspired self to travel up, down and all around. Head up to check out the view from your seats and return back down the stairs to explore the merchandise. Maybe try to get close to the players for some good pictures.

5. Savor what you shell.

health hack baseball sunflower seeds

Grabbing a bag of peanuts might seem like a healthy option: They’ve got healthy fats and a little bit of protein. Unfortunately, mindlessly shelling and munching can add up. A 12-ounce ballpark bag of in-shell peanuts can contain roughly 2,000 calories!

Two tablespoons of peanuts are a PowerFuel on the Nutrisystem program… and a reasonable 85 calories. To stay in check, buy with the intention of sharing, and share right away. This way, you won’t have the time—as in hours during the game—to let your diet dedication falter.

You can divvy out portions in cups, keeping proper portion sizes in mind. Just shell out your two tablespoons and let your friends and family have the rest. (Prefer sunflower seeds? Grab a tablespoon, and check off all of your Extras for the day).

No matter what you shell, try to focus your energy on savoring each bite. You won’t feel quite so restricted if you can take pleasure in the food you are able to have at the park. Mindful eating tactics help you feel satisfied on less, so take note of every crunch, hint of salt and dose of nutty flavor. Nutrisystem is all about weight loss that works for your life, incorporating your favorites every step of the way.

6. Have a hot dog… just make it low-fat or veggie.

health hack ballpark hot dog

Baseball fans ate 19.4 million hot dogs during the 2016 season, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, and in stadiums full of gooey nachos, chicken fingers and buckets of fries, the humble hot dog might not be the worst choice.

A full-fat frank might cost you 200+ calories with 160 of those coming from fat! Go for the leaner alternative and you can take this number down to about 80. Just bring on the bun, and make it a meal (in place of your Nutrisystem option for that day).

Can’t find a low-fat frank? Many ball parks have veggie dogs now, too. Veggie dogs tend to be even lower in calories and fat, making them a great sporting event go-to. We know, we know: Veggie dogs just don’t have the same ring. But these guys are actually pretty good. Smothered with toppings, you might not even know the difference.

Either way, skip the chili and cheese, and top your dog of choice with ketchup (unless you’re morally opposed), mustard and onions. One tablespoon of ketchup is an Extra on Nutrisystem, while mustard is a Free Food, and onions are a Vegetable. You’ll have a filling snack that won’t feel like you’re skimping on your day at the game. For more help making the right choices, explore the options in the Nutrisystem Dining Out Guide.

7. When in doubt, whip out your handy dandy guide!

Baseball Park Diet Guide Health Hack

The Nutrisystem Dining Out Guide, as we mentioned previously, is a wonderful tool to make navigating the ball park so much easier! Keep it in your wallet or purse, and you’ll never have to make tough, real-world diet decisions alone. Don’t feel like paging through the guide? Check out our simple table above for some stadium swaps that will keep you on track while at the ballpark.

As long as you make the right choices, you can take pleasure truly in all your game-day experience has to offer.

Check out this handy guide to better understand what you should order and avoid while at a sporting event:

Sports events eating out guide