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Six Swaps to Survive Footy Finals

Six Swaps to Survive Footy Finals

Twenty-six weeks of football and your team is in peak physical performance. You know it is Spring so you have started to up your personal training but you have also cleared your schedule for the next four weekends for footy finals and have literally booked in hours of couch time! With footy finals, comes footy food so how do we all survive the next four weeks without turning into couch potatoes?

  1. Swap the delivered pizza for homemade. I know it sounds boring, but they always taste better and literally will halve your energy intake. Buy the basic ingredients in bulk so you don’t have to stock up every weekend and I highly recommend even cheating and buying a BBQ chicken to use as meat. The best thing about homemade pizzas is that you can actually include some veggies on them.
  2. With footy comes beer (rightfully so). It is important to remember why we reach for a beer…..it is for the taste and the fact we associate it with our memories of watching football over the years. Therefore it doesn’t really matter if we have a full strength or a light beer right? So switch to a light beer and once again save yourself about 200-300 kilojoules per beer (equivalent to one slice of bread) which when you are having a six pack twice per week for four weeks really adds up. PLUS, this will also ensure you don’t miss any pivotal moments in the game due to accidentally sculling that first beer on a Friday night and it hitting you a little bit too hard too fast (we’ve all been there).
  3. Heading to the pub or a friends place (who is serving Dominos) to watch the game? Kick off isn’t until 8pm these days so plan ahead and eat a healthy meal at home before you go and meet up with your friends. You will feel so much better for it, plus if you haven’t eaten until 8pm you are basically guaranteed to make poor choices, so take advantage of the ‘forever moving later’ kick off time and fuel up with healthy food so you have energy to cheer on your team.
  4. This may break some hearts but I strongly suggest swapping your meat pie for some homemade kangaroo sausage rolls. I promise that they taste amazing and using lean meat source, and puff pastry you more than half the saturated fat (the bad fat) intake in comparison to a meat pie. Try this Roo Roll recipe that has been tried and tested on football players themselves and if they think it is a winner…..than I’m sure it will impress the pickiest of meat pie lovers.
  5. BYO to games. No, I don’t mean pack your own bottle of wine in your handbag, as obviously this will be confiscated… I mean BYO your own snacks. There is nothing stopping you from packing some snacks from home to take to games you are watching live. So pack your own popcorn, fruit, crackers and dips (if you don’t mind being judged) or even just a healthy homemade sandwich. It will save you calories, fat and also you will save enough payment for a down payment on a house avoiding stadium food prices.
  6. Keep moving. Use the finals as motivation to get outside on weekends and kick the footy around with your work colleagues or your children. There is a significant increase in ‘sitting’ time during the football finals in addition to the eight hours per day we sit at our desks so make a conscious effort to move more during this period.
Peta Carige
Sports dietitian

Peta Carige is regarded as one of the top Sports Dietitians in Sydney. After graduating with a duel degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Bachelor of Science she was able to obtain a clinical position in a tertiary hospital while maintaining sports nutrition work on the side. This allowed Peta to obtain a unique experience in numerous clinical areas as well as in sports nutrition and sports performance.

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