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Your Summer BBQ Weight Loss Plan: Enjoy Your Food and Eat Healthy

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Your Summer BBQ Weight Loss Plan: Enjoy Your Food and Eat Healthy

During the summer, it seems like there’s a barbecue every single weekend. Do you find yourself getting nervous about your ability to stick to your nutrition plan? You’re not alone. As San Jose personal trainers, we get asked by clients all the time “How can I stick to the plan when I’m away from home or at an event?” In this blog, we share our 6 best tips for surviving summer bbqs and other events so you can keep your food portions in check and stay on track with your weight loss goals.

Eat Breakfast

What most people do on the day of a party or food-related event is “save up” for the moment when they grub out, stuffing themselves until they can barely stand. This is called bingeing, which is neither healthy nor helpful to your weight loss endeavors. Your body can’t process all of that food at once. Can you guess what happens with the undigested food? It turns into fat. So instead of depriving yourself all day, eat a solid breakfast. Then eat moderately once you get to the event.

Munch on Salad First

Let’s face it. More often than not, food at barbecues can be filled with high levels of added sodium (in dry rubs), sugar (in sauces), and fat (cheese, butter, or animal fat). If you want to feel like you didn’t completely run off the radar after it’s over, eat a salad first, something leafy and light. Your body will get a dose of micro-nutrients and fiber that will not only occupy some space in your tummy, but they’ll also contribute to a healthier you. So grab a big plate and munch happily on those greens, knowing that it’s the perfect appetizer to the food you’ll get to enjoy after.

Enjoy Your Burger Open-Faced

We’re not saying that bread is the enemy here, but it’s in the carb category that we call “squishy.” Sue, our Director of Nutrition, likes to say that bread is squishy and it makes you squishy. It has very little nutrient value, but is dense in carbohydrates compared to it’s fruit and vegetable counterparts. Did you know that 1 slice of bread is equivalent to 4 cups of broccoli?? Yikes! So whether you’re enjoying a meatless patty, a chicken burger, or beef, use the bottom of the bun only and top it with a few slices of lettuce.

Keep Dessert Natural

If your family is like mine, dessert is as big as the main course. Platters of cake, pie, cookies, candy bars, and all sorts of other sweet treats are strewn across the table. But all that stuff is filled with preservatives that reap havoc on your body, not to mention your waistline. I know it doesn’t feel the same, but if you’re in the mood for something sweet, reach for the ones that grow naturally. That’s right. I’m talking about fruit. Here are a few great options:

  • 1 slice of watermelon
  • A cup of mixed berries
  • 1/2 a cup of grilled apples w/cinnamon
  • 1/2 a cup of mango cubes

You might be surprised that the fruit satisfies your sweet tooth more than you thought it would.

Choose Your Beverages Wisely

Whether you’re sipping on a wine cooler or a glass of iced lemonade, remember this: there are calories in your drink. They count just like every slice of cheese, every hot dog, or every scoop of chocolate lasagna (yes, that’s a thing) you indulge in. Not surprisingly, water is your best option. It has zero calories and keeps you well hydrated. But if you really, really want your favorite beverage, cut back somewhere else, like the potato salad or the ranch dip.

When In Doubt Plan It Out

The best thing you can do to set yourself up for success before you arrive at any event is to ask the host what’s on the menu. That way, you can make a game plan for what you will eat when you get there. Take some time the day before or the day of the event to write two lists:

  1. Your barbecue fantasy wish list
  2. Smarter, healthier options portioned to fit your needs

If there’s nothing healthy on the list, offer to be the person who brings something nutritious so that you and others can benefit. If you’re a foodie like most of the people reading this blog, you’ll be doing the right thing by not leaving it up to chance.

Which of these tips will you incorporate at your next barbecue?

Stronger for Today,

The Method3 Fitness Team

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The Method3 Fitness blog is updated weekly. All content is designed to improve the way you move, eat, and think so you can achieve your goals and live stronger for today. Check back here each week and LIKE our Fan Page, to stay up to date on the latest tips, strategies and methods to get fit, lose fat, and build confidence. Ready to get started with us? Click here to get a free week of workouts!

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