With Australian summer right around the corner, the season for BBQ’s and parties has begun! While I encourage you to enjoy eating the foods you love once in awhile, if you have a BBQ or party on each week, this could seriously derail your weight loss progress. So instead of declining the invites and sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself, here are some of the best ways to eat healthy at a BBQ or party!
Bring a Dish
Most people like to offer to bring a dish to a BBQ, if they aren’t already asked to contribute. This is your opportunity to bring something healthy, so use it wisely! Instead of thinking of the typical BBQ fare such as sweets, mayo loaded salads and burgers and nachos, try to find healthier alternatives to these foods. Stick to lean meats, salads made with vinaigrette, frozen fruit pops and fruit salads. This way you are still making a contribution whilst also giving yourself a healthy option to choose!
Pick Healthy First
If you are super hungry and see a table loaded with a variety of foods, it can be super easy to want to eat everything and anything in sight. Portion control seems to just go out the window at BBQs! To make it easier on yourself, choose the healthiest foods first and LOAD up on them. I’m talking grilled veggies, salads and lean meats, before you attack the cheeseburgers, hotdogs and creamy potato salads. You can still enjoy the latter, but in smaller portions. By the time you are finished with all your healthy options, you should be pretty full.
Salads Aren’t All The Same
BBQs are where people seem to get really creative with salads, and by this I mean putting anything together and calling it a ‘salad’. If it contains tons of macaroni, cream, mayo, nachos or any other sort of refined and heavy ingredients - it probably isn’t going to be the healthiest. This is the part where you can bring a salad to share, and you know exactly what has gone into it. I love grilled corn salads, greek salads and orange and fennel salads. These are all fresh and don’t require creamy dressings. The best bit is they pack a punch in the flavour department and don’t require too much effort! If there is an option of grilled vegetables pick these first, the fibre in them may help to fill you up faster.
Make Healthy Alternatives
If you are at a BBQ where there is nothing but unhealthy food, make the best of the situation. For example, if you are being served burgers on white, starchy buns - replace the bun with a ‘lettuce bun’. Simply swap the bun for two slices of lettuce and load up on burger toppings such as tomato and other veggies. Try to choose eating lean meats before refined carbohydrates, as these are a good source of protein and may help to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Drink Plenty of Water
This is one of the best tips for any event. Drinking water will help to keep you hydrated and reduce the chances of overeating. Sometimes when our bodies are dehydrated it can cause us to feel tired, hungry and lethargic. It can be easy to want to indulge on sweetened fruit juices and fizzy drinks, but these aren’t going to aid in hydration and may cause you to eat even more. Try adding fresh fruit and berries to give your water some flavour.
I hope these simple tips help you to make better choices, girls. Remember life is all about balance! Don’t deprive yourself and don’t feel guilty for enjoying time with your friends and family, appreciate every moment you can.