Now that we are in the thick of football season, the jubilation or sadness that comes with rooting for the victors or the vanquished may influence eating behaviors come Monday. A study in the journal Psychological Science found that the outcome of an NFL game can alter fans’ eating habits a day later, for better or worse.

Supporters of teams that went down to defeat tend to drown their sorrows in calorie-dense fatty foods, while fans of winning teams eat less and gravitate toward healthier grub the next day. The impact on diet among fans was greater in the most NFL-obsessed cities (hello, Cheeseheads!), when teams were more evenly matched (less anticipation of a blowout) and when the margin of defeat was slim.

Fortunately, you need not switch allegiances to prevent fumbling your diet. Study authors showed that simply taking note of what’s important to you in life, such as family or religion, can be enough to tackle postgame gluttony.

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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