25 ways to stay healthy during the BBQ season

Summer is one of the most anticipated seasons for many reasons. One of them is the outdoor cooking method, which fills the summer air on many beautiful evenings – Barbecuing! There are ways to keep this summer favourite healthy. Here are 25 tips to keeping the waistline in check during BBQ season.

The Grill
1. Opt for a chicken burger as a healthier alternative to high fat beef patties.
2. If you must have your burger, create your own from lean beef and add in onions and oats as a healthy way to supplement the size of the burger.
3. Bring your love of seafood to the grill: grilled salmon and shrimp are both great healthy alternatives to the traditional hamburger.
4. Steer clear of the white hamburger buns made from refined carbohydrates and instead select buns that are made with whole grains.
5. If you are having steak, spend an extra few dollars to ensure your steak is made from high quality cut of beef to minimize excess fat.
6. Use the grill to reduce the fat in your burgers steak and sausages. Using the grill allows the fat from your meat to drip through the bars and be burned off, unlike in a pan where the fat settles around your food and can be reabsorbed.

7. Go easy on the sauce – Ketchup, BBQ sauce and mayonnaise can be full of sugar and fat. Just one tablespoon of regular mayonnaise contains 90 calories and 10 grams of fat!
8. Instead, try healthier alternatives like salsa and mustard, which both have less than 10 calories per tablespoon.
9. Load up on healthy toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, onions and peppers. Opt for a low fat cheese.
10. Use herbs and spices to enhance the flavour of your food and keep salt to a minimum

11. Stay hydrated in the summer heat. Often we mistake our thirst for hunger.
12. Limit the number of alcoholic drinks and pop you consume to minimize sugar consumption.

Side Dishes
13. Opt for leafy green salads over pasta or potato salad. The fatty mayonnaise and creamy dressings in these salads make them quite unhealthy.
14. Go veggie. From corn on the cob, to shish kebabs to grilled vegetables, there is no limit to the delicious ways to prepare veggies on the grill.
15.Don’t overcook your veggies. The longer vegetables are subjected to high temperatures the more nutrients they lose.
16. Instead of chips, try roasting whole grain pita bread pieces.
17. Instead of chip-dip use hummus or salsa.

18. For a sweet indulgence, try seasonal fresh fruit like watermelons, berries and peaches.
19. Swap ice cream for a lower calorie treat like a Popsicle or sugar-free Fudge-sicle.

20. If you are attending the BBQ, walk to your neighbour’s house, if possible, to get in some exercise.
21. Get active during your BBQ; organize games of Frisbee, badminton or soccer.
22. Plan your day. If you know you are going to eating a large calorie meal at the BBQ, compensate by eating a lighter lunch.
23. Don’t skip your workout the next day. If you do overindulge, spend an extra 10 minutes on the treadmill and get right back into your normal, healthy routine.
24. Wear sunscreen, there is nothing like bad burn on sunstroke to ruin a great afternoon outside.
25. If you are the host, encourage guests to bring healthy alternatives to your fattening favourites in order to minimize temptation.

And, most of all, enjoy all this season has to offer and enjoy the outdoors!

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