How to Eat Healthy at a BBQ

Happy Independence Day! I thought this guest blog would be perfect since I know we’re all going to BBQ’s today, plus I’m trying to stay healthy so I can lose twenty pounds in three months… I know, right? Wish me luck.

It’s summertime, and that means that you will be frequenting a few family or friend barbecues over the next few months. If you’re on a diet, attending these festivities on a regular basis can hinder your results by tempting you from every angle.

If you want to stay on your diet while you’re at a barbecue, use the following tips to help keep you on the right path.

1. Bring something healthy.

As a guest at a barbecue, you are usually asked to bring an appetizer, dessert or a side dish. Since you’re in charge of what you bring, make sure that it’s healthy. This way, you know there will be at least one thing that you can eat at the party that fits in with the requirements of your diet.

Good choices are anything that involves fruit or vegetables and a healthy dip, such as hummus or yogurt. Or you can even opt for a low calorie dessert to indulge in after the tasty food.

2. Choose the healthy foods first.

When it comes time to eating, whether appetizers or during dinner, always choose the healthy items first, such as fruits, vegetables and salads. Once you’re done eating these items, you can move on to meats and other food options. The nice thing about eating the healthy food first is that you will fill up on these items, which will make you indulge less on the items that aren’t as great for you.

3. Eat slowly.

It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you’re full, so try and make sure that you eat slowly. This way, you’ll have time to digest your food properly, and when you’re about to get up for seconds, you may realize that you’re no longer hungry.

4. Watch your portions.

Just because you’re at a barbecue, do not forget about your portion sizes. Always limit your servings to the appropriate amount. Remember that the size of your fist is about the size of 1 serving, so be sure that you keep your portions under control when scooping them onto the plate.

5. Don’t forget about the calories in liquor.

Even if you stick to eating healthy food and limit your portion sizes, you could still overindulge on calories if you continue to drink cocktails that are high in calories. Frozen drinks such as daiquiris and margaritas can contain a few hundred calories per cocktail, and if you’re sipping on these all night, you could easily exceed your calorie intake for the day. Make sure that after each drink you have a glass of water. Not only will the water fill you up, but it will keep you hydrated to eliminate any hangover the next day.

6. You don’t always have to say no.

If you really want to eat that brownie, eat the brownie. Allowing yourself to cheat in a small way is not going to throw off your entire diet. If you devour the whole plate of brownies, well, that’s a whole different story.

Susanna Watters is a writer and cook.  She enjoys writing about recipes, cooking tips, dieting and kitchen safety.  Susanna recently wrote about her favorite recipes using sunflower kernels.

Photo credit: Bongani