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Follow these tips to keep health goals on track during football season


The kickoff to football season is here again, and with it comes pizza, beer, wings and more.

In a poll of 2,000 American men conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Nutrisystem, 37% said they usually gain weight during football season from September to January, with 53% claiming they gain 10 pounds or more.

But football season doesn’t need to wreak havoc on your overall health, wellness and weight loss goals. Just ask pro football Hall-of-Fame quarterback, Dan Marino.

“After playing pro football for 17 years, my knees took a beating and I had to have both of them replaced. Couple that with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I couldn’t exercise or do the things I wanted to stay active, so I put on some weight,” says Marino. “I knew I needed to make a change, turned to Nutrisystem and lost 26 pounds.”

Marino spent all 17 years of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins. He was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, six-time first- or second-team All-Pro, All-AFC six times and the Rookie of the Year. He finished with 8,358 passing attempts, 4,967 completions, 61,361 passing yards and 420 touchdowns.

Marino was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003 and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005 in his first year of eligibility. His No. 13 currently is one of only three former Miami Dolphins to have his jersey number retired, joining Bob Grise (No. 12) and Larry Csonka (39).

To help football fans stay on track this season, Marino shared his best tips to lose weight and get healthier.

No. 1. Make a commitment. It all starts with a commitment. You commit yourself to get healthier and then you find a game plan to do it. When you see results, you’re motivated to keep going to reach your goal.

No. 2. Keep it simple. Men, especially, need things to be simple. If your goal is to lose weight, look for programs like Nutrisystem that are easy, take the guesswork out of dieting and deliver your favorite foods made healthier right to your door. Plus, they have great game day foods like popcorn, pizza and burgers to ensure you’re making good choices.

No. 3. Seek support. Studies show that individuals lose up to 20% more weight when dieting with a partner. Find that teammate who will help motivate you to stick with your wellness goals.

No. 4. Focus on protein. Protein keeps your hunger in check and will keep you from grabbing those not-so-good-for-you game-day foods. Aim to get your protein from foods like meat and fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts and nut butters.

No. 5. Get moving. Get up and off the couch! Call up your friends and organize a game of football or shoot some hoops. I love to hit the golf course and I often walk instead of grabbing a cart. This way, I’m getting in extra exercise.

For more great tips to feel your best this football season and beyond, visit Nutrisystem’s blog at leaf.nutrisystem.com.

The most important thing to remember is keeping up with your health and wellness doesn’t need to be hard. It’s all about balance. If you find yourself over-indulging as you’re watching the game, that’s OK. Commit to getting back on track the next day.