Labor Day Weekend is here and with it comes lots of grillin’. Barbecue meals tend to fall on the decadent side. Whether you’re enjoying barbecue from a restaurant or a backyard grill, you may thinking there are no healthy BBQ options to keep you on track. However, by following these tips, you can maintain your meal plan and satisfy your cravings.
Healthy BBQ Options:
When it comes to barbecued meats, be very selective. Brisket, burgers, steaks and beef are high in nutritional content, but they are also very high in fat and saturated fats. If you do indulge, stick to a few bites to maintain your healthy eating habits the rest of the week.
Better options are smoked turkey or skinless white chicken meat. Fish and veggies also make good entrée options, if you’re not eating meat.
If the meat your eating is covered in sauce, scrape it off. Many premade and homemade sauces and rubs have added sugar.
Collard greens are often made with lard or other animal fat and scraps. They still pack a really powerful nutritional punch, just try not eat too much of the juice.
Baked beans often are cooked with meat scraps and a healthy dose of brown sugar. Read the description carefully or eyeball whether or not the beans are mostly beans or have a lot of added and unhealthy ingredients.
Slaw: Coleslaw contains mayo, which is loaded with fat, but vinegar slaw is a great way to get fiber without fat.
Potato salad, fries, potatoes and yams: potato salad is pretty much a no go as it often contains more mayo than potato. Fries also have very little nutritional value. To get your carb fix, stick to yams (unless they’re candied) or a plain baked potato topped with chives and a touch of salt, hold the butter, cheese, bacon, sour cream, etc.
Salads with vinegar dressings: bean salad, lettuce plates, etc are all great ways to get your veggies in without added fat.
Corn: corn is often a no-no for many dieters, but it can be a healthy indulgence as long it’s not part of a creamy/cheesy corn salad or soaked in butter.
Skip heavy beer and sugar-laden cocktails like margaritas and daiquiris in favor of light beer or unsweetened iced tea.
Take a pass on pies and cobblers and opt for fruit.
More tips and tricks:
If you’re headed to a backyard barbecue and bringing something, make it something healthy that you can enjoy. A watermelon or fruit salad is a good option for a dessert because you get a healthy dose of vitamins along with your sugar. If you’re bringing a side dish, make it hearty enough to double as an entrée, just in case the other offerings are off the table for your meal plan. A barbecue chicken salad or simple baked bean dish are perfect solutions. Even deviled eggs, made with Greek yogurt instead of mayo, can do for a healthy hit of protein.
Getting off track at an event is easy to do, as studies have shown that people tend to eat more when they eat with others. Try pre-gaming with a snack before you head out to make sure that you’re not tempted to eat too much. Also try to eat mindfully, slowly chewing each bite to allow your brain time to catch up with your stomach and know when you’re satisfied.
Now go enjoy that BBQ!