4 Tips for Healthier Summer BBQs

By Mairead Rodgers, RD PHEc

We are heading into the Canada long weekend, which means for lots of us there are tons of BBQs and other fun weekend events going on over the next few months. We’ve probably all had a few already this summer too. Summer BBQs are a ton of fun, but if we’re throwing our healthy eating habits completely out the window every single time we’re at one, it can take a toll on your fitness goals over the summer. Luckily, we’ve got some easy tips for you!

  1. Fill half your plate with veggies if you can! If you’ve ever worked with me on your nutrition, you know this is a common strategy for pretty much any situation. Here’s why: veggies pack in a ton of nutrition, including fibre, vitamins and minerals, and some extra water for those hot summer days, which are all important. If you’re someone who’s likely to load up on less healthy foods like potato chips, these veggies physically take up space on your plate to remind you to keep portion sizes in mind. If you don’t think there will be any veggies at your BBQ, you can offer to bring a salad or veggie tray to give everyone some healthy choices. 
  2. Get some protein! Protein helps keep us full, which can ward off munching on less healthy choices later on in the party. Healthier choices can include leaner proteins like chicken or turkey, but burgers, hot dogs, and all your other BBQ favourites are fine in moderation. If you’re the one BBQing, try throwing on an extra portion or two and having it for lunch the next day. Wait, did you just meal prep while BBQing!? We won’t tell. 
  3. Guzzle some water! As we all know, water is always the best drink for us, especially for those of us who get hot and sweaty during summer workouts. If you’re having an alcoholic beverage, or a few, try having a glass of water between drinks to keep you hydrated (you’ll feel better the next day too!). If plain water isn’t your thing, try unsweetened flavoured soda water; you can even add a small splash of juice to it for more flavour if you’re feeling fancy.
  4. Have some dessert! Wait what? Yes really, have a bit of dessert if you want it, and here’s why: have you ever gone to a BBQ, ate all your veggies and lean protein, only had water to drink, and then gone home and inhaled chips or cookies or ice cream? Odds are you weren’t satisfied with what you ate and felt deprived. The solution? Have a bit of dessert if you want it. Eat enough to feel satisfied and happy, but not so much that you feel overly stuffed. Eating a scoop or two of ice cream at a BBQ is going to have less of an impact on your goals than eating 3 times the amount when you get home. 

Need more help navigating nutrition this summer? Let’s chat! Click here to book your FREE 15-Minute Bite-Sized Nutrition Chat to go over your goals and find out how we can help, or email maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com.

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