Gaming is a fairly sedentary activity, and the extended periods of time involved and predilection towards consuming huge amounts of Cheetos and Dew doesn’t really help either. As a GM, you probably have a bit more pull over your group than as a player, and that can be used to your advantage when trying to eat healthier and loose weight. Here are a few tips to encourage some weight loss while you’re GMing, or at least minimize the damage.
“Where’re the Cheetos?”
Easy stuff first: don’t bring snacks for yourself, and ask your players not to share with you. If you’re feeling weak-willed but brave you could ask your players not to bring snacks at all. On the other hand it’s probably safer to ask them to bring healthier snacks like carrots, popcorn and juice.
Bringing food to gaming seems to be a traditional thing, but in my experience I’m not sure if most people are actually hungry or if they just expect to eat. I don’t normally snack, but during game that goes right out the window. Eating is a social thing, so again, asking your players to cut back on the snacks can help. Another part of that may be because gaming is done around a table, and what else do you do at tables? Eat. Try moving your game to the living room couches, if it’s not too disruptive.
Number 6 on the Speed Dial
Some groups game over meal times and have to coordinate actual food, not just snacks. In any given group of people the only food acceptable to all of them is either pepperoni or cheese pizza, and sometimes not even that. It’s also painful to try to organize food when you’re hungry – it’s easier to give in to unhealthy options if it means getting food faster. Try organizing your food arrangement ahead of time, and determine dietary “restrictions” before hand so you can suggest healthier options that your players may actually agree with. Sometimes you can’t find options that please everyone, but those with more restrictive eating habits are usually OK with getting food on their own.
Instead of going out, try eating in. It’s pretty easy to set up a slow-cooker to make some chili, pre-chop veggies for a quick stir fry, or assemble a lasagna and pop it in the oven before game. It’s especially helpful if there’s a non-player in the house who’s willing to help out (like your amazing and wonderful spouse or roommate). Eating in is much cheaper for everyone, but make sure you ask your players to kick in a couple of bucks now and then to offset the costs to you.
Lastly, I have a couple of non-food tips. First, stand up instead of sitting. Standing burns more calories and and makes you more likely to move. Get rid of your chair if necessary. Second, get really into the game – do voices and sound effects, wave your arms, speak in character, dance around and dodge like someone is poking you with a sword. Moving burns calories and being immersed in the game can help you to ignore the food.
These tips aren’t exactly going to melt the pounds off, but they can be a useful way to help curb unhealthy habits and encourage good ones. I’m sure you’ve got more tips, so let us know in the comments.