Front view of three men watching American football

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NEW YORK — Watching college football every Saturday and NFL games every Sunday afternoon is an absolute must for millions of men across the country. And while throwing back some cold ones to wash down a plate of spicy chicken wings goes hand in hand with football, many fans are keenly aware that this simply isn’t good for their bellies.

In a new poll of 2,000 American men over the age of 30, more than one-third (37%) would give up football games or other sporting events for two months if it meant they could sport a six-pack or a flat stomach.

In all, 39 percent say their belly is the top physical attribute they’d change about themselves. Of course, football season makes it quite hard for gridiron-loving dudes to get rid of the stomach flab. Thirty-seven percent say they usually gain weight from September to January, with 53 percent claiming they gain 10 pounds or more.

Goodbye love life, hello abs

belly weightFootball isn’t the only thing men would give up either. The poll, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Nutrisystem, also revealed that a quarter of men would give up their love life for two months for a flatter belly.

Almost one in five men began to lose confidence by the time they reached their early 30s. More than 50 percent are less comfortable dating after reaching 30 because they are less confident in how they look. Another forty-seven percent of men admit they worry that their significant other doesn’t find them as attractive as they used to.

Men’s health and wellness seems top of mind more now than ever before as 43 percent of men believe that mental and physical health are equally as important as wealth and current lifestyle. If given the choice between getting a promotion at work or losing 20 pounds, 30 percent would choose to focus on their weight loss goals.

“Losing weight will not only lower total body fat, but also stubborn belly fat,” says Courtney McCormick, MPH, RDN, LDN, Manager Clinical Research & Nutrition at Nutrisystem, in a statement. “Excess fat around the abdomen responds well to a high protein, low GI diet, so be sure to pay attention to your portions, eat plenty of fruits and veggies and stick with whole grains and lean proteins.”

Social media and its effect on men’s body image

belly weightEven more interesting, a whopping 68 percent believe social media has created unrealistic body standards for men over the past decade.

However, most men believe making a change could help. Half of men in the poll believe that losing weight would make them feel better about themselves. Another 45 percent feel they would need to lose 11 pounds or more to gain more confidence, which isn’t surprising since 46 percent of men say they gained at least 21 pounds over the last 10 years.

“Having a game plan is crucial,” says Hall of Fame quarterback and Nutrisystem ambassador, Dan Marino. “For guys especially, simplicity, variety and correct portion sizes are key.”

When it comes to getting back on track, 53 percent of men think having an easy-to-follow plan for healthy eating would help them best achieve their health goals. Thirty-eight percent of respondents feel teaming up with a partner would fuel their success, while 35 percent prefer having healthy meals delivered to their door.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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