Whether you’re the host or a participant, you can continue to lose weight or maintain your weight while continuing to make summer meals. Here are their calorie-free barbecue secrets.
Nothing says “Summer is here” better than backyard barbecues that fill your calendar, as birthdays, family celebrations and weekends with friends all take place outside.
Of course, no barbecue is complete without a lit grill! And if everyone wants to partake in this delicious summer tradition, then it might be hard to stick to a healthy diet when greasy burgers, creamy potato salad, and sugary drinks are calling your name.
Some tips and recipe ideas so you can enjoy your meals while reaching your healthy eating goals.
1 Choosing the right meat to reduce total fat consumption
Meat often takes center stage at barbecues. But sausages aren’t the only grilling ingredients. Lean cuts of meat are always a good way to reduce the amount of fat. Skinless turkey and chicken are great on the barbecue, as are shrimp and scallops. One sausage has 189 calories and nearly 7 grams (g) of saturated fat. In contrast, a grilled chicken breast contains 73 calories and 0.4 g of saturated fat.
2 Also grill vegetables
Your grill wasn’t designed just for steaks and sausages. Even if you have meat eaters at your table, a few good meat alternatives or supplements will get everyone’s approval. For example, grill mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese and fresh herbs. Eating more plant-based products can deliciously add more fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your diet.
3 Skip the Chips and Eat Vegetables to Reduce Calories and Improve Nutrition
While the grill is heating up, chances are you want to snack on something. Often the host will leave a bowl of chips, but you might want to think twice before grabbing a handful. Ditch the chips and opt for crunchy veggies like bell peppers, carrots and broccoli or cauliflower florets with guacamole.
For the record, a small bag of 28 g of crisps contains 149 calories. In contrast, 20g of red pepper contains around 7 calories. Guacamole has a lot going for it, it’s packed with healthy fats and fiber, which will help you refuel. Avocado contains nearly 5g of monounsaturated fat per 50g serving. And monounsaturated fat is considered a healthy fat that, when eaten in moderation, can help lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
Roast green, yellow, red and orange peppers, then puree them separately for an assortment of sauce for dipping carrot or cucumber sticks.
4 Offer to bring the veggie side if you’re not sure there’s any
If you are attending a barbecue, bring the vegetables yourself. So you don’t have to worry about whether there will be any to enjoy at the party. Just take matters into your own hands and bring one with you.
Bring white bean and cabbage salad or melon-watermelon salad with feta and fresh mint leaves.
You will definitely enjoy all the other delicious dishes that are available to you, but this way you know you can balance your plate with side vegetables.
5 Inevitably, watch out for alcohol
If you want something alcoholic, avoid hard liquor with fruit juice, which is too sweet and high in calories, like planter’s rum or orange vodka. Opt for wines and light beers, if possible, and be sure to hydrate yourself by sipping still or sparkling water between alcoholic beverages.