‘Tis the season for grilling and hanging out with friends… and we love it. However, when it comes to eating light during the summer, some BBQ fare can really weigh you down. Here is our quick-reference guide for what to pick (and what to skip) at your next grill-fest.
Sipping calories is a fast way to exceed your needs without feeling satisfied. Combine that with increased thirst from the heat, and you’ve got a recipe for caloric disaster. Always try to arrive to the BBQ hydrated and sip on water or unsweetened iced tea when you first arrive. If you’re having something booze-y, stick with one or two of our lighter choices.
Pick it: unsweetened iced tea, light beer, or white wine spritzer
Skip it: soda, sangria, and other fruity mixed drinks
The most important reminder here is portion size. Choose your veggie and fruit-based sides first and make sure they take up at least 3/4 of your total plate real estate. Then, use protein rich foods to fill about a quarter of your plate.
Pick it: any grilled seafood (fish, scallops, shrimp, lobster, etc.), skinless chicken breast or thigh, lean pork or beef (anything that has the word “loin” in it), chicken sausage, veggie burgers
Skip it: breaded and fried anything, large portions (over 5 ounces) of anything, chicken with the skin, pork belly, rib-eye or porterhouse steaks, cheeseburgers, pork sausages
Think “fruits and veggies” for this one. The more veggies that lay claim to your plate space, the less room there is for less filling (and higher calorie) fare.
Pick it: corn on the cob, fruit salad, green salad, grilled veggies, coleslaw (especially ones made with vinaigrette)
Skip it: potato salad (especially ones with creamy dressing), creamy fruit and marshmallow salads
Condiments can be major sugar bombs. We’d rather save our sugar allotment for dessert! Opt for these condiments that add flavor, without piling on sugar.
Pick it: mustard, sauerkraut, Sriracha sauce/Tabasco® sauce or other red pepper sauces, salsa
Skip it: BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, teriyaki sauce
Anything that is self-contained will help with portion control. That’s why ice pops or small cones are so great. Steer clear of make-your-own style ice cream bars. Chances are, by the time you’re done building your iced creation, it’s a lot more food than you’d fit in a small cone.
Pick it: frozen fruit bar/pop or a single scoop of ice cream in a cake cone
Skip it: ice cream floats and sundaes
Any tips or foods to add to our list?