Day of football ahead? For a healthier burger—and more fun in the kitchen—perfect your recipe with these healthy eating tips from chef Franklin Becker

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Worried about the effect of football food on your diet and fitness goals? Burgers are an indulgence, for sure, but they don't have to be a calorie-packed, diet wrecker. In fact, a few small swaps could give your go-to meal a complete makeover. We recently chatted with healthy chef and restaurateur Franklin Becker at the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival's Blue Moon Burger Bash and asked him for his best advice for giving burgers a healthy twist. Check out his top tips, below.

1. Rethink the bun. Instead of that fluffy, white (and calorie- and empty carb-packed) bread bomb, Becker suggests using a rice wrap or a corn tortilla. "And if you're really craving that bun, make sure it's a whole-wheat one," he says. You can also try lettuce or cabbage leaves, or simply eating your burger open-faced to save carbs and calories.

2. Ditch the cheese. If you've got good-quality meat, interesting veggie toppings, and amazing condiments, you won't even miss it. And at about 100 calories per slice, this is a way to save major calories. Missing that fat-based texture? Becker says he likes to add avocado to dishes when they need a creamy-yet-healthy textural element.

3. Add in flavorful vegetables. One that Becker recommends: caramelized onion. When they're cooked slowly over low heat, onions get super-sweet and have a concentrated flavor.