March “Munch” Madness

March madness is upon us – the two weeks out of the year where the collegiate basketball fans are glued to the TV set at work or home to watch the drama unfold. You know the drill – your alma mater is playing and you’re invited over to a friend’s house, a restaurant, or the bar for an emotional roller coaster ride!

Coupled with the high availability of food, we can be prone to curb our anxiety, nerves, and other emotions with foods and beverages. Here are a few tips to keep you sane through March Madness:

Have a balanced meal or snack before you get to the party. These parties are often loaded with fried appetizers, high fat dips, and finger foods low in nutritional content. Going in overly hungry might get you into trouble even before halftime is over! Remember balanced snacks should include carbohydrates and proteins (apple and peanut butter, ham sandwich, omelet with toast). 


Bring a healthy option to share. Bringing a salad or vegetable tray will help to balance out your plate. Filling up on the items you brought and indulging in some of the higher calorie foods won’t break the bank. You’ll be the MVP as some people find a salad refreshing after all the energy dense foods.


Try not to stand around the food. We rely heavily on visual cues when we eat. If you are standing directly next to the appetizer table, the chances are high that you are going to go back for seconds and thirds. It is best practice to fill your plate, walk away from the table, and eat your food in another room or space (while yelling at the TV). Try to encourage your host to move the food into the kitchen or away from the TV viewing space.


Alternate alcoholic beverages with water. Alternating between alcoholic drinks and a full glass of water will help you stay hydrated and avoid over-consumption. Stick to light beer or mixed drinks with soda water or no calorie mixers. March madness isn’t just on the weekends – you need to be able to function at work all week!


Get your head in the game! Remember the reason why you came to the party or event. Keeping focused on the game and conversations with friends and family can help you avoid thinking about food while you are there.


You have enough to worry about during March Madness (like how your bracket is now ruined and you are out of your office pool). You shouldn’t have to worry about sabotaging your nutrition goals too!

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Christine Steinmetz