Summer barbecues and parties are unavoidable… and they’re fun!
No matter how dedicated you are to getting a ripped six pack, lean arms, or just a healthier body – you aren’t going to give up your social and family life… nor should you have to.
Here are 4 ways to enjoy yourself at summer parties without undoing all of the hard work you’ve put in the gym and towards your diet.
#1 – Limit Yourself to 1 or 2 Lower Calorie Alcoholic Drinks
One of the easiest ways to keep your overall calorie intake down is to reduce your alcohol intake. Most people don’t want to give up alcohol completely because of its social component.
If you’re going to a barbecue and you don’t want to feel left out by abstaining from drinking, stick to something low calorie like a light beer (look for it to be 120 calories or fewer per 12 oz), a glass of wine, or 1.5 oz of liquor. Limit yourself to 2 drinks to keep your calories reasonably low.
#2 – Choose Green Salads Over Those “Other” Salads
Choices like pasta and potato salad are favorite options at summertime barbecues. The problem is they are usually filled with fatty ingredients like oil and/or mayonnaise. A pasta or potato salad is probably going to cost you as many (if not more) calories than a dessert would!
Instead, fill your plate with a traditional green salad and apply a low-calorie dressing of your choice.
#3 – Have Low-Fat/High-Protein Meat Choices
The stars of most summer barbecues – burgers and hot dogs – are packed with fat and offer little else nutritionally. Luckily for us, there are plenty of available alternatives that offer better nutrition and for a similar taste.
If you’re hosting the gathering, throw some low-fat hot dogs and 90% lean burgers on the grill. If you’re an invitee to the festivities, you can be a good party guest and bring some for the host to cook up.
A good rule of thumb to look for is a serving size that has at least a 2:1 ratio of protein to fat.
#4 – Stick with Fruit for Dessert
No matter whose barbecue you’re attending, you can almost guarantee there will be some watermelon and other fruit choices served with dessert as the day winds down. Here’s a perfect opportunity to eat what everyone else is eating, without straying from your healthy eating!
If you want to be healthier than the average person, than you need to EAT healthier food choices than the average person – it’s as simple as that! But this doesn’t mean you’re destined for a life of little enjoyment.
You can still go out and be a normal person, you just need to be more mindful. If you want to stay lean during the summer, you can! It’s entirely up to you.