Beating the Ballpark Binges

Take me out to the ballgame.
Take me out to the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks…

and hot dogs, and beer, and nachos, and ice cream…

'Tis the season for trips to the old ballpark, and chances are you’ll get hungry sometime during those nine innings of play. Before you head out to watch your favorite team, check out these tips to avoid the big ballgame binge:
  • Eat a little something before going to the ballpark. This will take the edge off your hunger so you won’t over-do on the high calorie ballpark foods.
  • Check out some of the new choices at the ballpark. Many stadiums now offer leaner turkey hot dogs, soy burgers, fruit cups, and low fat frozen yogurt.
  • Decide on what you will purchase before you get in line. This will help prevent temptation and buying on impulse.
  • Go easy on the beer and other alcoholic drinks, as well as regular soda pop. The extra calories go down in a gulp and add up fast. Alcohol also lowers inhibitions, making you more likely to eat (and drink) more than you normally would.
  • Plan on banking a few extra calories earlier in the day to use on those ballpark delights. In other words, eat smaller meals and snacks so that you have the option to enjoy the ballpark foods without exceeding your calorie budget.
  • Find out what food items can be taken into the game. If possible bring along your own healthy snacks—some grapes, fresh fruit, strawberries, raw veggies and bottled water—to eat along with your hot dog. You’ll enjoy the flavor of the ballpark food, but these low calorie add-ons will fill you up.
  • Enjoy the game! If you do splurge on ballpark food, cut back the next day and move on with your healthy eating plan.
  • Exercise before the game. After you’ve worked hard in the gym, you’ll think twice before overindulging, and likely eat less.
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Member Comments

Very nice article, helpful yet realistic. And check the facility for carry-in guidelines so you don't have to leave home-packed snacks or beverages in the car. I checked our local stadium and was pleasantly surprised to see what can be brought it. Local theaters in my area ban ALL food and beverage carry-ins, even for folks with special needs. Report
so hard to watch my SPURS- going for their 5th ring- and not have my nachos....... i'm getting better and will substitute popcorn, but it is soooooooo hard...... Report
I wish we lived closer to a major league baseball team. I still enjoy watching my son play at the high school level. The games are always at dinner time, so it is really hard not to want to eat at that time. I am trying to plan a head and have healthy options that are low in calories. Report
Go Philles! Season ticket holder, so I can't splurge every game! LOL Report
Go Cavs! It's hard to watch basketball on TV so close to the kitchen, but you can't leave the room if you want to watch LaBron, Mo and the rest. Stay in the room with the game. And practice the discipline you see. LaBron is an example of good character and self control. His mom did a great job with him, and I want to copy that self control in my life.. The young can teach the grammy generation. Report
Attended a Minnesota Twins game this weekend and only had a diet soda. Ate dinner at home beforehand. The Metrodome does serve Blimpie turkey subs so those are a good option if you tell them to hold the chips and cheese. Report

The high prices would stop me from eating too much! LOL Report
I'm going to have add it..GO CUBBIES! This is your year! I did go see Tampa and Chicago, planned on a hot dog and Blue Moon Beer, savored ever moment of the game and forbidden goodies! Still lost weight that week! Report
Go Cubbies!!!! Go Salt Lake Bees!!!! Report
Go Cubs!!! Report


About The Author

Becky Hand
Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.