Six Simple Ways To Keep A BBQ From Becoming A Dieter's Nightmare

Introduction

Summer is synonymous with BBQs, but for those on a diet, it can quickly become a nightmare. The average BBQ diner consumes more than 3,000 calories in a single sitting, according to the Daily Mail. That’s equivalent to a day and a half’s worth of food for the typical woman. So, how can you enjoy a BBQ without compromising on your diet? Here are six simple ways to keep a BBQ from becoming a dieter’s nightmare.

Skip the Chips

Chips, pretzels, and other salty snacks are a common sight at summer BBQs. They’re convenient, tasty, and undeniably addictive. But these foods are also high in calories and low in nutrients. Instead of giving in to the temptation, why not replace these snacks with healthier alternatives?

Consider serving salty kale chips or strips of bell peppers for guests to dip in spicy hummus, guacamole, or sour cream. Other crunchy and nutritious options include broccoli florets, carrots, jicama, cherry tomatoes, and baby cucumbers. Not only are these snacks healthier, but they’re also just as satisfying.

H2O Isn’t Just for the Pool

Juices, sodas, and sweetened teas are often loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and other harmful additives. Instead of serving these sugary drinks, why not offer healthier and more refreshing alternatives? Sparkling mineral water, unsweetened tea, and fruit-infused water are all excellent choices. For a touch of sophistication, try serving chilled cucumber-mint or berry-citrus-infused water.

Banish the Bun

Bread products can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, similar to consuming pure sugar. And while they’re a staple at BBQs, there are plenty of healthier alternatives. One simple way to cut down on calories without compromising on taste is to go bun-less.

Instead of using a bun, why not eat your grilled goods with a fork and knife? This will slow down your eating and make you feel fuller, faster. If you still crave the convenience of a bun, try using a lettuce wrap instead. Or, better yet, serve your grilled foods on top of a hearty salad.

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Eat Your Hotdog Naked

Condiments may seem harmless, but many are loaded with unhealthy additives. Instead of relying on store-bought condiments, why not make your own? Fresh or dried herbs, spices, and dry rubs can add plenty of flavors without the extra calories. For a healthier burger or hotdog, try using fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or hearty mustard as a topping.

Make Faux Salads a Faux Pas

Traditional BBQ sides like potato salad, macaroni salad, and pasta salad are often high in calories and low in nutrients. Instead of serving these faux salads, why not offer healthier alternatives? Roasted vegetable salads and lightly-dressed coleslaw are nutritious and delicious. And if you still crave the creaminess of a traditional salad, try using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or sour cream.

Don’t Chase the Ice Cream Man

Finally, let’s talk about desserts. It’s hard to resist the allure of colorful ice pops and gelatin desserts, especially on a hot summer day. But these treats are often loaded with artificial coloring agents and other harmful additives. Instead of serving these desserts, why not offer healthier alternatives? Fruit kabobs, frozen berries with heavy cream, and homemade real-fruit popsicles are all delicious and nutritious options.

Remember, enjoying a BBQ doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your diet. With these six simple tips, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy BBQ without the guilt.

Healthy BBQ Tips Description
Skip the Chips Opt for healthier crunchy snacks like kale chips, bell peppers, or other fresh vegetables.
H2O Isn’t Just for the Pool Instead of high-sugar drinks, choose sparkling mineral water, unsweetened tea, or infused water.
Banish the Bun Try going bun-less or use lettuce wraps to avoid spikes in blood sugar.
Eat Your Hotdog Naked Limit use of condiments with additives. Instead, use fresh or dried herbs and seasonings.
Make Faux Salads a Faux Pas Replace traditional potato salads and pasta salads with roasted vegetable salads or lightly-dressed coleslaw.
Don’t Chase the Ice Cream Man Choose healthier dessert options like fruit kabobs, frozen berries with heavy cream, or homemade real-fruit popsicles.

Why Chips Are the First Casualty

Chips are a common sight at BBQs because they’re convenient to serve and eat, and they taste great. But, they’re also high in sodium and can cause bloating and water retention. Plus, they’re typically fried in unhealthy oils which can lead to weight gain. Swapping these out for healthier options can significantly reduce your calorie intake.

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Instead of chips, try serving kale chips which are packed with vitamins and minerals. Bell peppers are another great alternative as they’re low in calories and rich in vitamin C. These can be served with healthy dips like spicy hummus or guacamole which are high in protein and healthy fats respectively.

The Thirst Quencher – H2O

Drinks are another area where calories can sneak up on you at a BBQ. Sugary drinks like sodas and juices can contain up to 150 calories per serving. Instead, opt for healthier alternatives like sparkling water or unsweetened tea. These are low in calories and can help keep you hydrated.

For a touch of sophistication, try serving fruit-infused water. This not only adds a burst of flavor but also provides additional nutrients. Some popular combinations include cucumber-mint or berry-citrus-infused water.

The Bun Dilemma

Bread products, especially white bread, can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. This can lead to weight gain and other health issues. Instead, consider going bun-less or using healthier alternatives.

Lettuce wraps are a great low-calorie option that also adds a nice crunch. You can also serve your grilled foods on top of a salad which not only cuts down on calories but also boosts your nutrient intake.

Condiment Conundrum

Condiments can add a significant amount of calories to your meal. Many store-bought condiments are high in sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats. Making your own condiments can help you control what goes into them and cut down on unnecessary calories.

Herbs and spices are a great way to add flavor without adding calories. Salsa is another great option as it’s low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. Guacamole and sour cream can also be used in moderation as they’re high in healthy fats and protein respectively.

The Truth About Faux Salads

Traditional BBQ sides like potato salad and pasta salad can be high in calories due to the high-fat dressings used. Instead, opt for healthier alternatives like roasted vegetable salads or lightly-dressed coleslaw. These are high in fiber and other nutrients, making them a healthier option.

For a creamy dressing without the extra calories, try using Greek yogurt. It’s high in protein and calcium, and can add a tangy flavor to your salads.

Chasing Away the Ice Cream Man

Ice cream and other frozen desserts are a popular choice at BBQs. But, they’re often high in sugar and fat, and can lead to weight gain. Instead, opt for healthier alternatives like fruit kabobs or homemade real-fruit popsicles.

Fruit kabobs are a great way to serve a variety of fruits in a fun and appealing way. They’re high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and low in calories. Homemade real-fruit popsicles are another great option. They’re made with fresh fruit and can be sweetened with a touch of honey or maple syrup for a healthier treat.

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Conclusion

BBQs don’t have to be a dieter’s nightmare. By making some simple swaps and changes, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy BBQ without compromising on your diet. So, next time you’re planning a BBQ, remember these tips and enjoy a guilt-free feast.

FAQs

What are some healthy alternatives to chips at a BBQ?

Instead of chips, consider serving salty kale chips or strips of bell peppers for guests to dip in spicy hummus, guacamole, or sour cream. Other options include broccoli florets, carrots, jicama, cherry tomatoes, and baby cucumbers.

What are some healthy drink options for a BBQ?

Instead of juices, sodas, and sweetened teas, offer healthier and more refreshing alternatives like sparkling mineral water, unsweetened tea, and fruit-infused water. For a touch of sophistication, try serving chilled cucumber-mint or berry-citrus-infused water.

What are some alternatives to using a bun at a BBQ?

One simple way to cut down on calories without compromising on taste is to go bun-less. You can eat your grilled goods with a fork and knife, use a lettuce wrap instead, or serve your grilled foods on top of a hearty salad.

What are some healthier alternatives to traditional BBQ condiments?

Instead of relying on store-bought condiments, make your own using fresh or dried herbs, spices, and dry rubs. For a healthier burger or hotdog, try using fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or hearty mustard as a topping.

What are some healthier alternatives to traditional BBQ sides?

Instead of serving traditional BBQ sides like potato salad, macaroni salad, and pasta salad, offer healthier alternatives like roasted vegetable salads and lightly-dressed coleslaw. If you still crave the creaminess of a traditional salad, try using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or sour cream.

What are some healthier alternatives to traditional BBQ desserts?

Instead of serving traditional BBQ desserts like ice pops and gelatin desserts, offer healthier alternatives like fruit kabobs, frozen berries with heavy cream, and homemade real-fruit popsicles.

Table: Healthy BBQ Alternatives

BBQ Item Healthy Alternative
Chips Kale chips, bell peppers, broccoli florets, carrots, jicama, cherry tomatoes, baby cucumbers
Sugary drinks Sparkling mineral water, unsweetened tea, fruit-infused water
Bun No bun, lettuce wrap, serve on top of salad
Condiments Fresh or dried herbs, spices, dry rubs, fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream, hearty mustard
Traditional sides Roasted vegetable salads, lightly-dressed coleslaw, Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or sour cream
Traditional desserts Fruit kabobs, frozen berries with heavy cream, homemade real-fruit popsicles

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