Eight top tips for enjoying barbecues – the healthy way

The great British weather may be its usual changeable self, but it’s June, which can only mean one thing – barbecue season!

In between the cloudy, wet and windy days, people have been making the most of the warmer temperatures and sporadic appearance of sunshine by firing up their barbecues.

Sounds great, does it? Stacks of sizzling meat all being cooked to perfection in the heat of the midday sun and served up with fresh crusty rolls, bowls of potato salad, crisps and other nibbles and treats.

But hold that thought…

While it all may sound very tasty (and we’re sure it most certainly is!) where does the healthy diet fit into all of this?!

In most circumstances, it doesn’t. Especially if you’re a guest at somebody else’s barbecue, as you wouldn’t want to dictate what they do and don’t cook at their barbecue!

But that doesn’t mean you still can’t be healthy. There are lots of things you can do to make sure you stay on track, like following these eight, easy-to-follow tips, for example:

TIP 1: Don’t leave the house on an empty stomach

The hungrier you are when you turn up to a barbecue, the greater the chance of you a) eating more and b) treating yourself to food that you most definitely should be avoiding. To prevent this from happening, make sure you eat a small meal before you go, that way, you’re less likely to want to eat anything and everything!

TIP 2: Think small

There’s lots of research out there that’s revealed that if you use a smaller plate, then you’re more likely to eat less. So, next time you’re in the queue waiting to grab your beef burger or hot dog, make sure you choose the smallest available plate or bowl to put it on. It’s a no-brainer really, isn’t it?!

TIP 3: Steer clear of condiments

One of the biggest mistakes people make at barbecues, is filling their plates with lots of healthy fruit, veg or salad and then slathering it in ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, salad cream or salad dressing!

While it’s ok to eat condiments in moderation, they’re usually packed full of fat, calories and salt, which is the last thing you need if you’re trying to be healthy!

TIP 4: Take a dish with you

If you’re really committed to making sure you eat healthily at barbecues, then there’s nothing worse than when you struggle to find something that’s healthy for you to eat! Why not offer to take a healthy dish with you? That way, you don’t have to wind up eating food that you shouldn’t be.

TIP 5: Fight your hunger pangs with fruit and veg

While they might not look or smell as appealing as the food that’s sizzling away on the barbecue, fruit and vegetables will fill you up quickly if you’re still feeling hungry. And, you don’t have to feel guilty for snacking on them either.

TIP 6: Get on your feet!

Most people tend to sit around in deck chairs or on the grass at barbecues and aren’t very active at all. If there does happen to be any activity taking place, such as a game of catch, then make sure you get involved! It’ll help you burn off the calories you’ve just consumed in no time at all!

TIP 7: Think before you drink

Drink, such as fruit juices and fizzy beverages, are packed full of calories and sugar, which means you’re essentially drinking hundreds of calories whenever you consume them! Where possible, try to stick to water or unsweetened tea instead.

TIP 8: Be lean

Try to go for lean cuts of meat, such as chicken breasts or turkey skewers, rather than hamburgers, steaks, sausages or hot dogs, which tend to contain higher levels of fat.

So, next time you’ve got a barbecue to go to and are worried about your healthy eating regime going out the window make sure you bear these practical tips in mind!

Got any questions or want more practical advice on staying healthy and in shape this summer? Get in touch by emailing us at nicolacarless@aol.com.