1. Eat Smart

Do you have plans to hit any and every BBQ that you hear about this summer? Well, honey, you need some pointers to keep it together! Even the healthiest eaters get overwhelmed by the array of dips and fixings at a typical summer bash. The average BBQ diner eats more than 3,000 calories in a single sitting! Registered Dietician Laura Burbank suggests 6 tips to enjoy BBQ’s without losing your waistline!

2. Banish The Bun

Bread products raise blood sugar as quickly and as much as eating two tbsp of pure sugar, we still seem to fill these picnic staples with anything we can throw on the grill. Try going bun-less by eating with a fork & knife to slow down your eating. Use a lettuce-wrap approach to put some color into your meal or toss your grilled goods on top of a plate of hearty salad greens.

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3. Don’t Chase the Ice Cream Man

Popular summer desserts like colorful ice pops include artificial coloring agents that could just as easily dye our hair, clothing or crafts. Instead, choose to naturally sweeten up your party with fruit kabobs, frozen berries with heavy cream, or homemade real-fruit popsicles.

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4. Eat Naked

Most condiments are packed with unsavory additives to enhance flavor, shelf life, texture, or appearance. Season with fresh or dried herbs and seasonings and try dry rubs for chicken and ribs, pack some fresh herbs and spices into your grass-fed burger patties, or marinate your poultry or seafood with olive oil, citrus, and herbs before searing them on the grill.

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5. H2O Isn’t Just For The Pool

Juice, sodas and sweetened teas are often made with high-fructose corn syrup and may contain brominated vegetable oil, which can wreak havoc on our bodies. Instead, pack coolers with sparkling mineral water, unsweetened tea, or offer a water cooler filled with chilled cucumber – mint or berry/citrus-infused water.

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6. Skip The Chips

Salty & crispy snacks such as chips, pretzels & snack mixes are everywhere at summer BBQ’s. To fight temptation, fill up the buffet tables with healthier foods with a crunch like salty kale chips or strips of bell peppers to dip in spicy hummus, guacamole or sour cream. Produce such as broccoli florets, carrots, jicama, cherry tomatoes and baby cucumbers also make great snacks.

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7. Make Faux Salads A Faux Pas

Potato salads, macaroni salad and pasta salad do not offer our bodies any true nourishment. Replacing these sides with some roasted vegetable salads or crisp, lightly-dressed coleslaw or use Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise or sour cream when making your own side dishes.

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