10 Tips For A Healthy BBQ With Friends & Family

Staying healthy and sticking to your goals throughout the summer months can be a challenge. This is especially true when you have a calendar full of cookouts, vacations & parties! However, it can be simple if you just stick to a few of the tips below.

healthy BBQ with family

Photo by Victoria Shes on Unsplash

Alrighty, here we go – how to eat healthy at your next cookout!

Make friends with dessert

Your cookout doesn’t have to be all hotdogs and burgers! Try brushing some plums, pineapples, and peaches with a little bit of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

These little bites only need 4-8 minutes on the grill depending on the heat. You can serve them with a spoonful of Greek yogurt or cottage cheese and a sprig of mint.

Find new ways to add flavour

You don’t have to add loads of butter or salt to give your food flavor. Everyone loves corn at a cookout however they are usually brushed in copious amounts of butter. Why not try smoking them?

This adds a ton of flavor without any unnecessary fats or oils. If you’re using an electric meat smoker, cook for 30 minutes or until tender, if you like it a bit crunchy try 45 minutes. You can also try eggplant, peppers & mushrooms, all these veggies take on a delicious smoky flavor.

Hostess with the most

If you are entertaining make sure you provide some healthy snacks. You don’t have to win your guests over with fried goodies! Why not try prosciutto-wrapped prawns or watermelon, feta & blueberry skewers? Having two or three of these little snacks will feel indulgent and will keep your guests from feeling too full to enjoy the rest of your meal.

Ensure your meal is satisfying & balanced

Try and load up your plate with lots of veggies, whole grains & lean protein. Then just go light on processed items, like crackers, bread, and chips. Also, stick to a smaller portion of heavy side dishes like pasta & potato salad.

However, don’t deprive yourself, if there is something you want, go for it! It is much better to have it and feel satisfied instead of leaving the cookout with cravings! It’s also important to find the right way to prepare your food. Understanding the medium rare vs well-done burger is a great first step toward mastering the art of grilling and ensuring your meal is balanced. Further, adding a variety of grilled vegetables will not only add flavor and balance to your meal but also provide essential nutrients.

Bring a healthy dish to share

This one is a no-brainer and a top tip. If you bring a healthy dish that you enjoy, you’ll know for sure that there will be at least one healthy option on the offer. Not only that you will be able to introduce your family and friends to some new yummy recipes, like this grilled cilantro lime chicken with avocado salsa

Give yourself time

After your first plate give yourself 20 minutes, it takes that long for your brain to register your meal and send the messages to the rest of your body. If you’re still hungry after 20 minutes, grab some more protein and veggies to make sure you feel satisfied!

Always stay hydrated

Ensuring you drink enough water is important. However, during the summer months, you must stay on top of your hydration. Being out in the sun or drinking might mean you need to drink even more water. Make sure you take a reusable water bottle and remember to keep it topped up.

Rather than indulge in everything, Pick one thing!

A really useful strategy is to pick one indulged component. That might be dessert, apps, or alcohol. If you want to treat yourself to a cocktail or wine relinquish dessert. However, if there is something that is calling your name for dessert, skip the glass of wine.

Don’t loiter around the food table

Try not to continually graze, eat your main meal and enjoy it. If you hang out by the food table you might end up mindlessly munching away just because the food is there not because you are hungry.

Focus on your friends & family

Rather than the food being the main focus of the party try playing some fun games. Some fun lawn games include kickball, cornhole, badminton, volleyball, or croquet. If you’re lucky to have a pool, throw on your swimwear and splash about with the kids like a pool party!

It is important to relax and enjoy all your summertime events! There is no need to get too wrapped up in following rules all the time! If you try to make good choices 70% of the time, you will have some wiggle so that you can indulge but still feel great!

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