BBQ Survival Guide
With the holiday weekend coming up, I bet many of you will be heading out to a BBQ. There is nothing tastier a steak or burger fresh off the grill. But sitting there for hours surrounded by tempting foods can be problematic – whether you are watching your weight, cholesterol or blood sugar. With a whole season of BBQs ahead of us, it’s time to be aware of potential BBQ Blunders and come up with a healthier plan. Read my tips and download my FREE Comprehensive BBQ Survival Guide at the end of my post.
POTENTIAL PROBLEMS AT BBQS
1. You are often there for many hours. The longer you are there, the more food you
will likely consumed.
2. An abundance of food. Since the grilling can go on for hours, you may feel tempted to have a little “taste” of everything. A burger here, a hot dog 15 minutes later, then some ribs. A hour or so later, the steak goes on the grill, so why not have a little piece? And this is not even counting the side dishes.
3. Too much booze. With the hot weather, the beers or vodka and lemonades can go down very quickly. The calories add up quickly too!
4. Decreased willpower. With increased alcohol, your discipline can fall by the wayside.
5. High calorie choices. Often times, fatty meats such as ribs will be served, along with high calorie side dishes such as pasta or potato salad.
6. Social pressure. It’s kind of expected you overeat at a BBQ. “what – only one burger?Here have some steak and ribs!”
TIPS TO STAY ON TRACK AT YOUR NEXT BBQ
1. First, get in the right mindset. You don’t have to go “hog-wild” at a BBQ. You can enjoy yourself without overeating.
2. Don’t go to the BBQ hungry. Low blood sugar will only lead to overeating. Make sure you have a light meal several hours before the event or a snack right before.
3. Drink A LOT of water during the BBQ. For 3 reasons – it will help you to stay hydrated in the hot weather, it will give you something to drink instead of alcohol and it can help make you feel fuller so you can eat less food. Club soda is even better as it can help bloat you and make you feel more full
4. Plan ahead. If possible, find out what will be served ahead of time. This can help you
prepare mentally what you will eat in advance. If most of the food choices seem on the heavier side, offer to bring a green salad or sliced vegetables ready to be grilled.
5. Survey the options. Once you get to the BBQ, take notice of what the food options are. Plan in your mind what you will eat instead of starting in on the foodfrenzy. You don’t have to have one of everything that is served. Wait for what you really want – even if it something fattening like ribs. It would be better to have a smaller portion of ribs than to load up on burgers, hot dogs and steak – without feeling satisfied.
6. Portion control. I would suggest you limit yourself to 2 small portions of a protein food – but take one without the bun. For example, maybe take a small burger on a bun and then a plain hot dog without a bun. Now if there are side dishes that you want such as pasta salad, I would recommend you avoid the bun.
7. Include healthy options. BBQ’s can be quite healthy. You can grill fish, skinless poultry, veggies and fruit with a side green salad.
Here are some suggested side dishes and recipes:
Tomato salad (omit mozzarella):Foodnetwork
Grilled ratatouille salad: Foodnetwork
Hearts of palm salad: FoodNetwork
Roasted carrots: FoodNetwork
Charred green beans: FoodNetwork
Farro (only use 1/4 cup olive oil instead of 1/2 cup): FoodNetwork
8. Try to include a physical activity at the BBQ to do something besides eat. Maybe a game of frisbee!
Curious to know what the BEST and WORST options are at a BBQ? Download my FREE BBQ Survival Guide here. Take it with you to the BBQ this weekend!
Do you have any tips for eating healthy at BBQs? Share with us!
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I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.