We here at Made Man like to keep our packages tight so as to better crush one another when it’s time to join the field of battle as weekend warriors and also to entice the women-folk.  But, it is difficult, sometimes, to stay vigilante in the face of a steaming tray of pizza bagels.  Especially after we’ve had a few drinks and the inhibitions are down.  But stay strong!  There are a few things to remember which will help you keep that extra padding off your waist this season.  

Dr. Margaret Lewin, Medical Director of Cinergy Health (www.cinergyhealth.com)

What’s the most common mistake when trying to eat healthy?

Skipping meals to save calories, and then arriving at a party hungry – ready to eat anything not nailed down!

What are the least healthy things that most football fans snack on? 

Foods high in fat and refined carbohydrates such as onion rings, nachos, fried Buffalo wings and chips.

What are some healthy snacks that don’t taste like rabbit food? 

– Make-it-yourself subs put together from trays of healthy breads and wraps; low fat, low salt meats and cheese, roasted red peppers, thinly-sliced canned jalapeños, sliced olives, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, olive oil and low-fat dressings and mayo. Add some crisp crackers for smaller do-it-yourself finger food. 

– Baked pita crisps and cut-up raw veggies served with salsa, guacamole, hummus, bean or other low-fat dip

– Popcorn – air-popped or microwaved (put ¼ cup plain popcorn in a brown paper bag, fold over top and seal with 2 staples, cook on high for about 2 minutes), using margarine high in omega-3’s, low in saturated fat, and without trans-fat; go light on the salt. 

– Edamame in the shells.

– Pistachios in their shells.

– Snack mix made with mini whole-grain cereal squares, seeds (toasted sunflower or pumpkin), unsalted nuts, mini-pretzels, dried cranberries

– Cut-up fruit.

– Chili made with turkey instead of beef, served with fat-free sour cream and fat-free cheese

Are there any brands or stores that specialize in healthy football food?

Morningstar Farms and Amy’s Kitchen make good vegetarian frozen foods.

What’s something that most football fans don’t know is actually healthy?

Nuts or any of the above modifications of favorites.

What are some ways to take junk food (onion rings, chicken wings, chips, etc.) and make them healthy?

– Look at the websites for Morningstar Farms (check out the “chik’n” recipes) and Amy’s Kitchen (check out the snack recipes)

– Make well-seasoned oven-fried chicken fingers (skinless chicken breast dipped in buttermilk then in seasoned ground cornflakes or breadcrumbs, then baked); serve with dips

– Lightly coat small, whole white or sweet potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt or other seasonings, let stand for a few minutes, then roast at 450 degrees till puffed and crisp.

– Cut whole-wheat pitas into triangles, brush on a little olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning of your choice, then bake for a few minutes till dry – use instead of chips for low-fat dips

Are there any quick tips or rules that are easy to remember for fans trying to stay healthy? 

– Don’t arrive hungry

– Seat yourself near the healthy foods: make it inconvenient to get up and grab less healthy snacks

– Taste, don’t stuff; don’t join the “clean plate club”

How can readers stop cravings that cause them to overeat during the game?

Have a healthy snack before going to the game (a person starts to feel “full” in about 20 minutes), and start with the most attractive healthy choices first, leaving little or no appetite for the rest

If they’re going to drink beer, which beers are best to compliment these healthy snacks?

Light (as opposed to dark) beers