I know everyone is familiar with the old saying “the freshman 15” but I’m here to tell you about a new phenomenon that I encounter yearly. The extra weight I pick up every single football season and what I do to combat that in the winter and spring. Nothing better than sitting at a tailgate drinking some good ole liquid calories, having some sort of chips and dip, and grilling up some kind of fatty meat on the grill. It is glorious. I know some opt for Michelob ultra, baked lays, and grilled chicken breast with no salt or sauce but I’m not that guy.
Something about the fall and the energy that comes with it just makes me want to enjoy life. From September to January I just cannot bring myself to count calories. Not only do you have football season tailgates and homegates to attend but also Thanksgiving and Christmas. “No, I can’t do the leek casserole. It has butter and heavy cream in it” is something you will never here me say during this time.
Part of the gain is by design but not most of it. In the fall I switch my workout to only 3 days a week and virtually no cardio. I’m what you call a “hard gainer” and cannot make good muscle gains without some friendly fire. That’s really just a nice way to say extra fat. While I always plan for a few extra pounds the enjoyment of the season plays a big part. I stayed much leaner in the Croom years. Not much excitement. I didn’t know too many folks who couldn’t wait to have a cookout during that time period.
After New Year’s Eve it never fails. My pants are a bit tighter and my holiday pictures I have the classic fat face. Now it’s time to pay the piper and get rid of all of my “fall fun” and get ready for the summer. Did I mention how easy it is to go to the gym on Saturday and hit an hour of cardio when there is no football on? The same goes for Monday night football and ESPN’s Thursday night games that aren’t on. Beer consumption also takes a much needed dive in the spring. I might drink a couple Abita Restoration Pale Ales for the Saints vs Falcons on Monday night but for some reason I’m completely ok with green tea during American Idol or Walking Dead.
I’m sure there are some medical professionals who may read this and gasp at the unhealthy fluctuations my BMI takes during the year. It’s easy for me to justify it though. I could just embrace the gut and not worry about it right? I’m sure there are others out there who fight “The Battle of the Bulge” after every fall and holiday season and that is who I’m writing this for. I feel your pain and walk this struggle with you brother. Tomorrow I’ll lay out the major diet changes I makes to lean down from my football season 15.