Summertime is finally in full swing! And you know what that means: it’s time barbecues and cookouts! Unfortunately, for anyone is trying to manage their weight, barbecues aren’t the best place to be. There are so many yummy (yet not-so-nutritious) temptations to choose from! However, that’s no reason to avoid the summer fun! You can mingle at family barbecues while still making smart and healthy choices. Check it out!
1. Make a Nutritious Contribution
Have a healthy dish you think your friends will love? Then bring it along with you! Not only will your hosts appreciate the contribution, but you will also have a healthy option to choose from. Self.com has some great recipes if you need a little inspiration!
2. Know Before You Go
Not sure what will be served? It can’t hurt to ask! If you know that the hosts won’t be serving any healthy options, eat a small snack filled with fiber and protein before you go. That way, you will be less likely to indulge too much once you get to the summer fiesta.
3. Learn Portion Sizes
It’s okay to treat yourself once in a while! Just be careful not to treat yourself too much. An easy solution for this is to learn portion sizes. For example, your protein/meat should be about the size of a deck of cards. When portioning out dishes like pasta salads and potatoes, aim for serving that resembles a tennis ball. This will keep your calories in check!
4. Mean and Lean
Choose lean sources of protein such as chicken and turkey. These options are lower in fat and lower in cholesterol than pork or red meat.
5. Eat Your Fruit & Veggies
Remember – corn is still a vegetable! It’s high in fiber and is the ultimate summer treat (just be careful not to slather it in butter). If the barbecue is serving raw veggies and fruit, stock up on that too! There’s nothing like a fresh piece of summer watermelon – am I right?
6. Enjoy Yourself!
Finally, allow yourself to live a little! ONE meal at a summer cookout won’t ruin your diet. This is a great opportunity to practice the 80/20 rule. Summer only comes once a year – enjoy it while it lasts!