Justin’s Corner: 4 Traps and Solutions of Summer BBQ’ing

Attending summer barbecues doesn’t mean you have to abandon your nutrition.  Be prepared, have fun, and still reach your goals these summer months. 

Clients often ask me what I eat when attending these summer events and what they should do to ensure they stay on track.  Going unprepared, these events can be full of nutritional setbacks: greasy cheeseburgers, sauce drenched ribs, mayonnaise based salads, and unlimited amounts of booze.  Here are some dietary traps and my solutions to not falling for them: 

1)  Trap: One Chip Becomes a Bag of Chips 

Solution: I say skip the chips completely.  Your solution could be to bring your own fruit salad or, even better, a veggie tray.  Crunchy celery and carrots can provide a similar crunch to chips without ruining your diet.  

2)  Trap: Overdoing it On Dips

Solution: All those delicious dips, and before you know if you have consumed your total day of calories before dinner is even served.  Steer clear, but if you must indulge, stick to tomato based salsa and guacamole with vegetables. 

3)  Trap:  BBQ are Drinking Parties in Reality 

Solution:  Fortunately for me, I just do not drink.  But for others, this can be the toughest part of getting out of the party without ruining what you have been working for.  Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy adult beverages without drinking a days worth of calories.  Cut out mixers that are loaded with empty calories.  Stick to club soda with fresh lemon and lime to mix with your favorite liquor.  Love wine? Wine definitely has its healthy perks, but the quantity can add up quickly. Stick with red wine and try to avoid the sweeter varieties.

4) Trap: All That Greasy Protein 

Solution: Bring your own – leaner options.  Say no to the greasy burger paties and hot dogs – their protein/fat ratio is typically absurd.  Instead, bring your own lean protein to throw on the grill.  Good options are chicken, lean cuts of steak, and seafood.   

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