10 BBQ Survival Tips from a Weight Loss Expert

Article posted in: Lifestyle
healthy meal for bbq

No matter when you started your weight loss journey, you’ve likely faced many challenges to your healthy eating plan. And since summer is here, chances are you will be challenged yet again. In addition to dishing out 23 Awesome Recipes You Can Take to the BBQ, we asked Chelsea Lovell, a Nutrisystem Weight Loss Coach, to share her top 10 tips for enjoying summer BBQs without sabotaging your slim-down.

1. Don’t skip breakfast.

It’s always important to eat a healthy breakfast but perhaps even more critical on days when you know you’ll be surrounded by the unhealthy choices. If you skip breakfast, you will be more likely to overeat once at the party. However, if you’re satisfied upon arrival, you will have fewer cravings and be less likely to choose unhealthy options.

2. Drink lots of water.

Water will not only keep you hydrated on a hot summer day, but will help you stay full and prevent overeating. Thirst can sometimes manifest itself as hunger so always reach for the H20 first. That just may be enough to satisfy you.

3. Be careful what you drink.

If you absolutely must have something other than water, opt for a small glass of wine or a light beer. Wine coolers, soda, mixed drinks or regular beer all pack in a ton of extra calories.

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4. Use small plates.

Grab an appetizer or salad plate to fix your food so that you are automatically forced to put less on it. You may be surprised to find that you’re fuller than you realized with just small serving sizes. We tend to overeat when the food is in front of us instead of paying attention to that fullness feeling.

5. Socialize.

Don’t let the food take center stage. The reason you’re at a barbecue is to spend time with family and friends. Focus on the conversation and the good times rather than the food.

6. Avoid temptation.

Sitting as far as you can from the food table is an easy way to avoid reaching for seconds or grabbing an unhealthy snack. Do your best to avoid walking by the table as it’s too easy to mindlessly grab an appetizer or handful of chips.

7. Choose a healthy main dish.

When it comes to choosing your main meal, be selective. Avoid hot dogs, sausages and other processed meats—and definitely steer away from high-fat options like ribs or fried chicken. Instead, opt for grilled meats like chicken breast or kebabs. Burgers without the bun—or better yet, a turkey burger—also make healthier choices.

8. Be selective about sides.

Mayonnaise-saturated main dishes like pasta or potato salads are staples of a barbeque. But they also happen to be packed with fat. Instead, look for grilled or fresh vegetables, corn on the cob, or bean dishes without added barbeque sauce as traditional baked beans contain an excess of sugar. Or, go ahead and make a potato salad. Just make it healthier by employing these tricks.

9. Pass on the dessert.

You can save a lot of calories by passing on dessert—or just choosing some fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. But if you absolutely must try a dessert, stick with one option and have a small portion—such as a sliver of cake or just one cookie.

10. Bring something healthy.

If you’re worried that there won’t be a lot of healthy options at the BBQ to choose from—be the one to bring it. Whether it’s a salad or a side dish, you’ll know you have at least one healthy dish available.