The days are long and the weather is beautiful! Call your friends and family and have a BBQ. Everyone can bring a dish to share. Let’s celebrate with a feast on the deck. Sound about right? Summer is a wonderful time of year but it can be hard to stay on plan with all the tempting foods at a backyard BBQ. However, it’s not impossible. Here are 9 tricks you can use to keep your bikini body and enjoy all the summer BBQ’s.
1. BRING A DISH that fits into your plan. You can bring salad, a vegetable platter, fruit or a healthy side dish. Now you know you have at least one item that falls into your healthy lifestyle. You can usually find pre-made veggie platters or fruit platters at your local super market. Replace the high fat dressing and sugary dips that come with them with a container of hummus or low fat greek yogurt.
2. SEEK OUT PROTEIN as a way to help from picking all day. Protein will help you feel fuller longer than carbohydrates and fat.* So go stand in line at the grill and grab a piece of chicken or a lean beef burger. Ask the grill master to not put the BBQ sauce on the chicken. Avoid the bun for the burger and save that carb action for something a little more enjoyable like some bean salad.
3. PORTION SIZE will play a big roll. Be mindful of how much you are putting on your plate. I know your not going to have your scale so using your hand as a guide will work just fine. A portion of protein is about the size of your hand out flat. Make a fist to measure the carbohydrate portion. Cup your two hands together for a nice portion of salad/veggies. You also want to pay attention to the sauces and dressings on your food choices. BBQ sauce and store bought salad dressing is typically very high is sugar. Potato and pasta salads made with mayo will not only be high in fat but high glycemic* carbohydrates as well. Use dressing sparingly.
4. CHOOSE WISLEY those foods you want to consume. Yes… temptation is all around you at BBQ’s. You will see a table full of chips and dip, potato salad and macaroni salad, hot dogs, dessert and beer just to name a few. These are not going to help you with your waist line but it is OK to indulge a little. Create a plate that has mostly healthy well portioned choices with a small sampling of your favorite “treat” food. Your plate may look like a piece of grilled chicken, green salad, summer slaw and a spoonful of that creamy potato salad you had your eye on.
5. TIMING of your food should continue to be every 2 and half to 3 hours. It’s easy to do a lot of unconscious eating at parties. Crab a chip then go talk to Sue and have a cookie then walk over to Joe and have a couple more chips. Before you know it you’ve eaten an entire meal that’s loaded with fat and sugar. BBQ’s can usually roll over into multiple meals. Be aware of what your eating and when your eating it. Try and abstain from nibbling all day long.
6. ALCOHOL IN MODERATION is OK to enjoy. Moderation being the key phrase. Alcohol, no matter what kind, is just a bunch of empty calories and can add up over the day. Try some of these tricks….2 glasses of water between each cocktail. Try seltzer water with lime for a more refreshing cocktail feel. Volunteer to be the designated driver.
7. DESSERT options are plentiful at a BBQ. Trays of cookies and brownies. Maybe an ice cream sundae bar shows up! These would fall into #4 above with choose wisely. If dessert is really what you want to indulge on than go for it. But make the rest of your choices healthy ones. Look for the fruit platter or watermelon. Those are always naturally sweet and refreshing on a hot summer day.
8. PLAY and have some fun on the volley ball court. Join the wiffle ball game. Get a bocce ball tournament going. I always like to set up different game stations in the yard. Bring games with you if your traveling. Not only will these get you moving but bring people together in a really fun way. And it’s fun for the whole family!
9. SEND LEFTOVERS home with your guests. Have them take the dishes they brought and a nice little goodie bag of all the “treat” food too. Get it out of your house so the next day won’t roll over into another indulgence. I buy inexpensive to go containers and recycle the grocery bags to make it nice and easy to share the leftovers. Of course keep the veggies and fruit…lol.
These 9 tips can help you stay on track at a BBQ. It’s really about making a conscious decision to make good choices. That being said. If you decided to just dive in head first and completely indulge the entire day…well enjoy it! No guilt, no self judgement. Just make sure you get right back on track the next day. Don’t let it roll over into multiple days before you decide to come back to the plan.
Hold yourself accountable to the TRIBE. Hop off Facebook and check in with the group. Check in with your Team Fit coach to get motivated and refocused. That what they are here for!
Protein, weight management, and satiety1,2,3,4.Douglas Paddon-Jones, Eric Westman, Richard D Mattes, Robert R Wolfe, Arne Astrup, and Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga.© 2008 American Society for Clinical Nutrition Read more!