When you think of summer parties, what’s the one word that comes to mind? For most of us it’s “grilling”. There’s nothing like chatting in your backyard while flipping burgers and steaks on the BBQ as you celebrate a birthday party, holiday, or just a beautiful weekend with your friends and family.
The problem is that most of us load up on unnecessary calories as we consume double, or even triple the amount of calories we normally would. But even though we want to celebrate with food, there are easy ways to avoid the unhealthy choices and still enjoy eating from the BBQ.
1. Buy lean meats: Lean meats have less fat and therefore less calories. When shopping for beef and pork, look at labels to determine the percentage of lean to fat. You should see very little visible fat on lean cuts. After meat is grilled, covered with condiments, and thrown on a bun, you will never be able to taste that your lean meat contains less fat. That brings me to my next tip.
2. Slather on yellow mustard: Did you know that one fourth of a bottle of regular ketchup is sugar? Yep, that’s why it tastes so good. When you want to grab the ketchup bottle, try using mustard instead. It has zero fat and basically no sugar. That is why it contains very few calories. But if you must use ketchup, Heinz makes a reduced sugar ketchup that tastes pretty amazing. Stock up before you start grilling the burgers!
3. Prepare fresh fruit: It’s so easy to buy fresh fruit in the Hamptons, and it always tastes great. Instead of setting up snacks like bowls of chips and dip (ranch dressing is full of mayonnaise and sour cream!), put out trays of fruit. Make sure to cut fruit properly and use plastic forks or toothpicks in fruit so they are easy to grab and eat in one bite.
4. Pile the veggies on the grill: Grilled vegetables taste wonderful. They are full of fiber and you never have to worry about eating too many as they are very low in calories and extremely healthy.
5. Eat whole wheat: Whether you like bread, buns, rice, or pasta with your grilled meat, always try to eat the ones that are whole wheat. Carbohydrates made from white starches spike your insulin levels and cause your body to store fat. Whole wheat and whole grain take longer to digest and have a lower glycemic impact.
Once you’ve gotten through all the eating, how about burning some of the calories? I’m sure your party will have some music, so grab a friend and finish your day with some dancing.