5 ways to eat healthier at a Summer BBQ

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With summertime here, BBQs and summer potlucks are a frequent event! It can be easy to get carried away with all of the different food options and forget about our health. We have some tips and tricks to follow so you can enjoy a BBQ with friends and family without feeling guilty!


Eat before you go

I used to have the mentality that if I didn’t eat before a big meal, I was doing myself a favor by saving calories. But, I have learned that going to any event with a variety of food on an empty stomach turns into a disaster for my healthy eating plan. I tend to have less self control when I’m starving and there is a spread of delicious food in front of me. A golden rule to any BBQ or potluck is to eat before you go! Try consuming a filling protein snack before your event to make it easier to say ‘no’ once you get there. When you aren’t as hungry, you are able to make a more conscious decision on what you want to spend your calories on and what you are willing to pass up.

Bring your own healthy appetizer

At most potlucks or BBQs, each guest will bring their own dish to share with the group. Bring your own healthy appetizer so you know there will be at least one option that fits within your healthy eating plan! We have shared a few of our favorite appetizer recipes that would be perfect or even a fruit and veggie tray would be a healthy and fresh addition to the typical spread!

Avoid cream

If you are having a hard time choosing what to eat at your event, especially when there is a large selection and you aren’t sure the nutritional content of what you are eating, try avoiding anything with cream. Most times, those dishes are filled with mayonnaise, sour cream or cream cheese (or a combination of those) meaning more calories and fat! Try choosing Greek yogurt based dishes for a healthy substitution or fill your plate with food that is not cream based. You will feel more confident that what you have chosen is better for your health and waistline!

Fill up on color

When eating at a potluck or BBQ, chances are you will likely see two colors: brown (grilled meat) and white (potatoes, chips, dessert, etc). When possible, fill your plate up with color! Not only will you be getting a wider range of nutrients, you can assume that some of the more colorful options available, like grilled vegetables or fruit, will have less calories.

Watch your beverages

There tend to be a large range of drink options at BBQs or potlucks. Although some can be refreshing, the calories and sugar grams can add up quickly. When possible, choose water or unsweet tea for a low calorie option and limit your sugary beverages (lemonade, soda or alcohol) to one glass. Maybe even stick a few pieces of fruit in your water glass to give flavor. It’s all about watching your portion!

Happy BBQ’ing!

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