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Hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, pasta salad, chips, soda, beer, cookies… I’m sure I missed a ton of other things, but that’s the general food selection when going to a BBQ. With all those temptations, it’s so hard to stay on track… or is it?

I tell my clients to treat a BBQ like you would any other social event:

  • Eat a small snack such as a protein smoothie, salad or some fruit right before you leave. The fiber and protein are slow-digesting; therefore, you won’t arrive to the BBQ with a growling belly.

  • Stay away from the food tables. Move conversation or activities away from where all the food is. How many times have you had a conversation with a bowl of chips on the table and found yourself mindlessly munching away?

  • Join in on the games! If there’s a game of volleyball or some other yard game going on, join in on the fun and burn a few extra calories!

  • Chew minty gum.

  • Keep your alcoholic beverages to a minimum. It’s much easier for your body to bounce back from over-eating vs. drinking. Keep hydrated with water or even take it up a notch and have some sparkling flavored water such as La Croix or add a few pieces of fruit to plain sparkling water.

  • When choosing what to eat, fill your plate with fruits and veggies (this does not mean covering your veggies with ranch dressing). Go for the healthier, leaner protein options such as grilled chicken. If that’s not an option, your next best bet will be a hamburger, I suggest keeping the cheese off either of these options.

  • If you’re craving a pasta dish or some chips, make sure to keep those portions to a minimum, and even better yet, avoid having a bun with your sandwich to make room for those extra carb calories.

  • Bring your own healthy dish(es). I am always hearing people tell me how “there won’t be anything healthy at this party/BBQ”, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your own healthy foods! Even if the host says it’s not necessary to bring something,

bring it anyway! Hop online and find some tasty, healthy side dish recipes to bring with you, then you’ll know that there will be a couple of healthy options for you at the party! If cooking isn’t your thing, grab a few bags of lettuce, chopped veggies and a healthy balsamic dressing for a nice, big salad, or purchase some pre-cut fruits and veggies from your local grocers produce section.

  • Make sure you start your day off with a solid workout! More times than not, after having a great workout you’re not going to want to ruin all your hard work by stuffing your face full of a bunch of un-healthy food.

Stayed tuned these next couple of weeks for more Surviving the Summer tips, tricks and recipes. Tomorrow I will share one of my favorite summertime BBQ desert recipes!

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