Summer BBQs Are Coming, Are You Prepared?
I’m sure you’re starting to smell the grills firing up in your neighborhood. BBQs are one of the surest signs winter has finally ended and the comfortably warm weather is here to stay. Don’t you just love being invited to a cookout or maybe crash one? Either way it’s a time to share memorable times with family and friends.
It can be challenging at this time because of all those tempting foods, all those BBQs can sabotage your healthy habits if you don’t tread correctly. Do you believe this means you have to turn down every invitation for juicy food?
Not in the least! Feel free to go to all the BBQs you want as long as you follow a few key practical tips to ensure you stay on track. If you’re worried because you’re trying to lose that unwanted weight, making sure your nutrition is optimal for recovering from an injury, or even decreasing your performance…don’t! This works equally well across the board.
- Eat before you go. You don’t have to be me to know the hungrier you are the less willpower for food you will have. One thing you can count on is if you show up at a BBQ hungry, you are going to fill that plate up and sometimes multiple times. Eat a small compliant meal before you head out and you will have more self-control.
- Stick with your portion sizes (if you’re my clients) or use a small plate. Following your habit based nutrition has it’s benefits, you can take it everywhere. If you haven’t learned about the right portion of food for “you” stick with 1 small plate. Research demonstrates that if you use a smaller plate, you will typically eat less (unless you were me years ago going back for seconds or thirds).
- Fill up on the right type of carbohydrates. Raw produce and veggies are juicy, crunchy, and will fill you up quickly. It’s a smarter choice on those hot summer days and will leave you feeling more comfortable than having potatoes, rice, pasta, etc.
- Be careful of those condiments. Raw veggies are great, but if you’re slathering it with ranch dressing, you’re not cutting calories and doing a disservice to your body and those poor veggies. BBQ sauce, ketchup, salad dressings and the like are typically loaded with fat, calories, preservatives, flavor enhancers…all to make you come back for more and add inches to your belly. Use them sparingly. (Contact me about how to do this if you need advice).
- Bring a healthy dish. Really, when have you gone to a BBQ and all dishes were healthy? If you offer to bring a dish you ensure there is something healthy for you to pair with the rest of the food. That way you have control over at least one item, the rest is just portion control.
- Drink lots of water. High calorie drinks such as soda and beer are a staple of any successful BBQ, however, you can pack on hundreds of calories in just a few drinks. Try to keep the calories to the delicious food you’re about to eat instead of going for that sweet tea.
- Stick with lean meat. Grilled chicken breasts and fish are much better choices than hamburgers, steaks, and sausages…let me not get into hot dogs. Those other options tend to be more fat and calorie dense.
- You’re fit, don’t just sit. Keep standing, move around, why not get some people together and start a game of Frisbee or badminton. Why not start burning some of those calories immediately while making the party more fun.
Enjoy your BBQs this summer, and don’t forget to invite me, you know how much I love food. Enjoy what the summer has to offer!
Also stay tuned for blogs and upcoming changes to Palmer Fitness Dynamics!
To your best body and your best health,