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Fire up your grills and get ready for some football! It's great to see our favorite teams back, but it's also the unofficial start to the season of weight gain. People find it hard to control their weight starting now through the New Year. Here are five tips to help you stay healthy while you enjoy cheering your favorite team on.

1. Have a beginning and end to eating.
2. Put food away and out of sight after eating.
3. Be mindful of alcohol consumption.
4. Plan healthy menus.
5. Stay active.

The biggest trouble area is keeping food out for an entire four-hour game and mindlessly snacking. If indulging in adult beverages, have a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage and remember those calories add up very quickly. Better menu items include grilled lean meats like sirloin steak, filet mignon, fish, chicken breast or pork tenderloin. Keep the wings, ribs and other high fat meats to special occasions like the bowl games or playoffs. Choose veggies with low fat ranch or hummus as appetizers or even low fat popcorn. Soups and stews in the crock pot are easy and can be light but filling if you include veggies and beans. And don't forget to exercise after sitting through that entire game (unless you stay on your feet in front of the TV coaching from your living room).

Anna Key, RDBy Anna Key, RD
Huntsville Hospital Wellness Center dietitian