Barbecues and diets aren’t things that appear to go hand in hand. When you’re trying to cut back on the calories or even just be a little more mindful of what you eat, a social event that’s centred around burgers and sausages isn’t the ideal situation to find yourself in.
This summer, I’m making a conscious effort to drop down a dress size so I feel a little more comfortable in my clothes. But this definitely doesn’t mean that I’ll be turning down all the barbecue invites that come my way. I simply know that I can make some better choices.
We’re a country known for our love of barbecuing, with statistics showing that last year alone, we hosted over 135 million of them. You don’t have to miss out.
Here are five tips that I’ll be implementing this summer…
PLAN WHAT YOU’LL EAT
Planning is key when it comes to a barbecue. I find that the best approach is to have just one plate of food, and resist going back to graze. Go for lean meats like chicken and steak, and trim off any visible skin or fat. If you’re in control of the preparation, cut back on oil and instead use tasty marinades made with garlic and chilli.
It can be a good idea to skip the bun if you have a burger, but do think about making sure that you have a little of what you fancy. If you feel deprived, then you’re much more likely to make bad choices. A bit of moderation can go a long way.
FILL UP WITH SALADS
The great thing about a barbecue is that you’ll often find plenty of super fresh salads. Make sure that you fill your plate with these to help to satiate your hunger without going crazy with the more calorific options.
A little common sense is sometimes needed when it comes to salads though. If something is covered in mayonnaise or oil, then it’s probably not the light option that you think it is. Coleslaws and potato salads tends to be deceptive, but leafy salads are usually a great choice.
BE SENSIBLE WITH YOUR ALCOHOL CHOICES
Alcohol can be especially tricky at barbecues for a couple of reasons. If you indulge in even just a few beers, you could be really ramping up your daily calorie intake. As well, once you’ve had a drink you’re much more likely to throw caution to the wind and end up overindulging on food.
There are a few things that you can do here to lessen the consequences. If you really do want to enjoy an alcoholic drink, steer clear of the beers and choose a clear spirit with a low sugar mixer. A gin with slimline tonic is a great option. Make sure that you drink plenty of water at the same time, and be mindful of what you’re eating. It’s all too easy to find yourself munching on extra burgers that you don’t even want once you’ve had a drink!
How do you manage to navigate barbecues when you’re on a diet? Leave a comment below and share your tips and advice!