Our Top Tips To Enjoying Your Summer BBQ Without Guilt


Summertime is quickly approaching for many of us! With the anticipation of summer comes more socializing and activities, which often revolve around food… more specifically cookouts and BBQs. Barbecues are a great time to gather, enjoy the nice weather, and relax!

Don’t let those Summer BBQs stop you from reaching your nutrition and fitness goals! Discover our top tips to enjoying your summer BBQ without it breaking your “macro bank”.

Top Tips To Enjoying Your Summer BBQ

We chatted with some of our coaches here at Macros Inc and gathered some of the best top tips to enjoying your summer BBQ with your goals in mind.

1. Find Lean Protein Options

Instead of going for fattier cuts of meat such as ribs, chicken legs or wings, high fat ground beef, and others, you can swap it out for leaner options. You can use 96% lean 4% fat ground beef or 99% lean ground turkey for burgers. For hotdogs you can use brands such as Hebrew National 97% fat free hot dogs and Oscar Meyer “lean” beef hot dogs. Or you could opt for chicken by grilling some marinated chicken breast, thigh, or tenders. If you want to get really fancy then try out a grilled chicken kabob. That will not only help impress your guests but also give you some vegetables as well!

2. Focus on Fruit and Veggies

When filling your plate try to make the majority a selection of green veggies, and then fruit. Watermelon, raspberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries are all good choices, these are higher in volume with lower calories. If you are at home, you could grill some zucchini, asparagus, squash, or even make a delicious side salad!

How To Build a Plate at a Summer BBQ

3. Be Picky and Use Portion Control

Make sure you browse all of the food that is being offered before you start creating a plate. If it is a buffet style, aim to stick to the one-plate rule. After you’ve finished your one plate, turn your attention to conversations, quality time with those around you, and spending those moments feeling fully present.

4. Choose Your Dessert Wisely

There are plenty of desserts that can fit into your macros for the day. Edy’s Slow Churned Ice Cream is low in fat and decent on carbs, top it with some fruit and lower calorie chocolate syrup like Walden’s Farms. If low calorie ice cream isn’t your thing, then try creating a fruit based dessert like fruit pizza, fruit kabobs, or angel food cake topped with berries. A fruit based dessert is filling, full of fiber, and can help keep you feel satisfied.

5. Avoid Arriving Hungry

You might think saving most of your calories for the BBQ is a good idea. However, not eating all day can lead to overeating higher-calorie foods at the event. Instead, try eating some high protein, lower fat meals during the day leading up to your cookout. Bonus points if you can get in some fruits and vegetables beforehand!

6. Use Lower Calorie Drink Mixers

Alcohol adds up quickly! Not only does it add up in calories, but it can also lead to less than ideal nutrition choices as well. To avoid extra calories from drinking, use lower calorie drink mixers like La Croix, Mio, Crystal Light, Sprite Zero, or juice from a lime/lemon. Don’t be afraid to bring some of that with you. Things like zero cal drink powders are easy to put in your pocket. If you are going with a pre-made alcoholic beverage then try to stick with a light beer or a lower calorie seltzer such as White Claws or Truly.

If you are someone that struggles with moderating your alcohol intake then it might be beneficial to set a drink limit before you go to the event. You can tell your coach, a trusted friend, or spouse about your drink limit so you have some extra accountability. You are going to be more likely to follow through with your drink limit if you have a plan in place for when you reach your drink. For example “After I hit 2 drinks then I am going to switch to diet soda”.

7. Get Active

Find something to do outside with your family or friends before or afterwards. You could go rollerblading, ride bikes, walk, swim, play basketball or pickleball, etc. Staying active will not only help you expend some extra energy, but it’s also going to help you move away from the food and drinks.

8. Drink Plenty of Water

Sometimes it is easy to forget to drink water when there is beer or alcohol everywhere you turn. Make it a point to have water in between your meals and drinks. This will help you stay full and hydrated.

Wrap Up:

The most important tip of all: if you overeat then get right back to your goals with your next meal. There’s no need to feel guilt about eating a little more than you anticipated. Instead, learn from the experience, find areas to improve for the next event, and move forward with your goals. Summers aren’t stopping and neither are our goals.

If you need a little help with navigating all of the summer activities then check out our 1:1 Nutrition Coaching services!

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