Packing on the playoff pounds? Winnipeg nutritionist has tips for Jets fans

Packing on the playoff pounds? Winnipeg nutritionist has tips for Jets fans
WATCH: It's the 15th playoff game and for many fans, that means another late night of eating and drinking. As Joe Scarpelli reports, it's catching up with some.

It’s the furthest the Winnipeg Jets have ever gone in the playoffs, and while fans are excited to be a part of the ride, some admit the Jets’ playoff run has them packing on the pounds.

The Jets will hit the ice for their 15th playoff game Wednesday night, which means another late night of snacking at the bar or on the couch for some fans.

“Oh, eat like chips, popcorn, pizza,” Darrell Marleau said.

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And then there’s the booze.  Colin Nicolson said he doesn’t normally drink beer during the week, but he can’t resist having a cold one, or two during the games.

“Probably half a dozen or more, and I’m probably being conservative,” Nicolson said.

Sawy Ghuman knows all the extra Jets games are affecting his diet, but said it’s worth it.

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“If the Jets weren’t in the playoffs I’d be home cooking and eating and going to the gym,” Ghuman said.

“It’s worth it because when was the last time the Jets were in the conference finals?”

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But Ghuman added, with games every other day, it’s starting to take a toll on his body.   “The hangover lingers. All the food, all the extra calories, you feel that the next day, you feel it in your work performance.”

For Olivia Peters, sometimes the temptation of greasy, game day foods just takes over.

“You don’t want to be that person that’s like ‘oh, I’m going to have a kale salad while you guys have your poutine’ and watch the game,” Peters said.

READ MORE: 9 healthy foods that aren’t actually that good for you

So is there a way to cheer on the home team without all the extra calories?   Jorie Janzen, a registered dietitian with the Canadian Sports Centre Manitoba, said there is.

“You think Christmas is a long period of time? Well the playoffs are a long period of time.”

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Janzen said clients have been calling her, wanting to get their diets back on track.  Her main tip is to get your nutrients in before heading out to a party.

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“Maybe you’re going to plan the night before,” she said. “Have a breakfast smoothie, or some Greek yogurt and some berries.”

She adds, it’s a good idea to consider snacking on vegetables during the game.  But for fans who don’t want to swap chips for carrot sticks, she said there are other options, such as being mindful of the toppings on your pizza.

“We’ll ask for a whole wheat, thin crust…half the amount of cheese and extra vegetables,” Janzen said. “Is it the most popular when you go to a party? No, but it’s actually really appreciated.”

She also suggested staying hydrated, especially after a few beers or sugary beverages.  “Eat slowly, drink lots of water.  If you need to be a little festive then after every alcoholic beverage or sweet sugary beverage, have a couples glasses of water.”

READ MORE: Recipes for healthy snacks you can eat guilt-free

The Jets have at least two more games to play after Wednesday’s tilt.

Janzen said she understands some people may just want to wait for the playoffs to be over before jumping back on the ‘healthy’ wagon.

She said getting enough sleep is an important first step when starting a new routine.

“Then maybe you’ll be ready to make good nutrition choices and then you’ll be ready to get the exercise in.”

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