- At Home
For us, the barbecue season officially kicked off on Memorial Day weekend with its usual fun - outdoor games and delicious food.
We each arrived with the platters of food that everyone expects (our vegetable crudité) in addition to something else healthy and also yummy. This year, Lyssie brought a spinach, artichoke, and fennel salad with citrus salsa, and Tammy took fruit kebabs. They were both a hit, if we do say so ourselves!
Our clients have told us that as much as they love the barbeque season, they struggle to maintain their weight with the constant temptation of chips, burgers, hot dogs, macaroni salad, brownies, alcoholic beverages, and other less-than-healthy lures that seem to stare them down at outdoor parties and events.
We always tell them not to worry. They can stay lean and be swimsuit ready throughout the cook-out season! Here are our surefire tricks for keeping slender at the barbeque:
1. Fill up with a veggie “pre-load” before the barbecue.
Before you head to the barbecue, fill up on veggies. In fact, go crazy! Munch and crunch away on bell peppers, celery, carrots, summer squash… whatever floats your boat. You’ll fill up for very few calories and you’ll be stuffed when you get to the barbecue and have a lot less room for unhealthy temptations.
Note: Avoid dipping the vegetables in a high calorie dressing. If you don’t like your veggies on their own dip them in salsa or balsamic vinegar. If you prefer a higher calorie dip, limit it to 50 calories worth.
2. Make fruit kebabs.
If you want to be the hit of the party, you should know that fruit on a stick is the ultimate crowd pleaser -- kids and adults love them, and they’ll go like hot cakes. Simply take wooden skewers (you can get them at most grocery stores) and thread on chunks of watermelon, grapes, and cantaloupe. Watermelon goes a long way and can make upwards of 20 kebabs. Plus it’s hydrating due to its high water content. It’s a good source of vitamin C, potassium (needed to keep you hydrated in the summer heat), and it’s a great source of lycopene, which can help to protect your skin from the sun. Turn to the fruit kebabs instead of the chips and cookies, and you’ll save a lot of calories!
3. Choose the chicken breast instead of the burger or hot dog.
We know you’ve heard this before, but it’s so important, especially if you skip the bun too. You’ll save a couple hundred calories and hundreds of milligrams of bloating sodium, even more so when it comes to the hotdog and hamburger condiments.
4. Avoid the white “salads.”
Unless it’s a green salad, it’s typically best to stay away. The macaroni, pasta, and potato salad are usually so mayo-loaded that a half cup can set you back several hundred calories. You’ll still be full from your veggie “pre-load” so you’ll have an easier time turning it down.
5. Follow our “one-two” rule for alcoholic beverages.
For every alcoholic beverage you have, drink two non-alcoholic, non-caloric beverages. This will certainly slow you down -- how much liquid can one person take before they give up on it? This will also keep you hydrated and prevent a hangover the next day.
6. Be active!
Play Frisbee, toss a football, swim in the pool, play tag with the kids... Not only will it distract you from the food, but you’ll have fun while burning calories.
The Nutrition Twins work with the National Watermelon Promotion Board to help people to improve their health by consuming more vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene by enjoying watermelon.