Make The Best Nutritional Choices At BBQs

Make The Best Nutritional Choices At BBQs

Barbecues don’t have to spell dietary disaster and derail your weightloss. Here’s how to make the best nutritional choices at BBQs.

At this time of year, not a week goes by that someone invites you to a BBQ. Far from being the sort of social party meal which will derail your dietary weightloss efforts, BBQs can be one of the healthiest social meals you’ll enjoy.

Choose Lean Meat

At its most basic level, a BBQ is simply grilled meat. What can be healthier? A great source of protein and amino acids for your hard-working running muscles, barbecued meat is lean, simple and unprocessed. Choose chicken (breasts, thighs or skewered chunks), homemade (or high quality) burgers or sausages, or branch out and try more exotic “wild” red meats. You can also barbecue prawns and cuts of firm white fish. Just avoid sugary marinades and rubs, breadcrumbs and other coatings and additional sauces.

Or Great Vegetarian And Vegan Options

Vegetarians and vegans have a wealth of recipes to choose from at BBQs. How about barbecued slices of aubergine (topped with pizza toppings if you wish)? Or large, flat field or Portabella mushrooms filled with finely chopped summer herbs and vegetables, wrapped in foil and barbecued? Or skewers of your favourite brightly-coloured vegetable mix (add haloumi cheese if you eat dairy).

Watch The Side Dishes

It’s not the main BBQ food which will derail your weightloss, fatloss or healthy eating efforts. It’s the extras, sides, toppings and sauces. So don’t forget to focus on the “little bit of this” and “spoonful of that” which could turn your amazing grassfed 100% beef burger and vibrant salad into a heavy, calorie-laden meal.

Steer Clear Of These Extras

– Sugary sauces and marinades (sugar is often the first ingredients of popular sauces)

– Margarine

– Mayonnaise (unless it’s homemade, in which case a little bit is a great source of healthy fat)

– Cheap and nasty sauces and burgers

– Breaded chicken

– Rolls and bread (they don’t add any taste or nutrition to your meal)

– Pasta salad

– Crisps, breadsticks and other nibbles (so easy to overeat!)

 Load Up On These Instead

– Healthy dressings like olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and chili type seasonings

– Freshly made guacamole or hummus

– Real butter

– Potato salad (unless it’s drowning in mayo or other heavy dressings)

– Rice salad (just watch the mix-ins)

– Side salad, sliced tomatoes, olives and greens

– Crudites

– Extra vegetables and vegetables dishes

What’s In Your Glass?

Don’t make the mistake of making amazing food choices at a BBQ only to wash it down with too much alcohol or glasses or sugary cordial or fizzy pop. Let the food (and company) be the focus of your enjoyment, and stay hydrated with fizzy water, juice (watered down – nobody needs several glasses of pure fruit juice) or plain water. Add ice, slices of lemon or lime, fresh herbs (like mint leaves) or sliced cucumber. If you are drinking alcohol, stick to one or two and alternate with water. And remember, sun and alcohol can be a powerful combination!

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