Notice your buddyâ€™s belly poking out of his Browns jersey? This might explain it: Youâ€™re more likely to eat unhealthy foods the day after your favorite football team loses, according to new French research.
Fans of losing teams consumed 10 percent more calories than usual the day after a game, the research found. (And the bigger the team's losing deficit, the more people ate.) But fans of winners translate feelings to their food choices, too: Caloric intake went down 5 percent in spectators whose teams were victorious.
(Eat 30 percent less with this easy research-proven trick: The Easiest Way to Shrink Your Gut.)
We know it's just a correlation, but after doing some research, we did find that St. Louis, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Detroit, and Nashville -- all cities with perennially bad NFL teams -- placed in the bottom half of a Gallup-Heathways poll tracking obesity in 190 of the United Statesâ€™ biggest metro areas. Meanwhile, San Francisco, Denver, and Boston -- towns with traditionally successful NFL franchises -- were among the least obese areas.
So why do losers drown their sorrows in food? Research suggests you adopt the identity of the team you root for. Taking wins and losses personally affects self-regulation, making you more likely to stuff your face with handfuls of chips.
(What are the best snacks for men? Find out here.)
Predicting a bad season for your team this year? To deal with a tough sports loss, try blaming someone else. When our guys win, we often ascribe their success to how great they played. But when they lose, itâ€™s easier to attribute the rout to some other external factor in the game, like bad officiating from the referees or fluke injuries to their star players, says Christian End, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at Xavier University. That convinces us that our team isnâ€™t bad at all -- we just got screwed. Itâ€™s called â€ścutting off reflected failure,â€ť and doing it helps you brush off a loss without your ego taking a blow.
(Discover how the world's greatest athletes use failure as motivation. And use this stratagem to always keep your head in the game.)
Additional reporting by Andrew Daniels