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Holiday and weekend barbeques can be dangerous for those watching their macros, but with a little planning, they can also be very healthy and balanced. Then again, if you’re not planning the barbeque, what do you do? Well here are some tips to make sure your hard work does not go to waste!
1. Bring something healthy to the table!
Most unhealthy barbeques include fatty meats, high calorie and fat potato or pasta salads, high calorie sides and then don’t get me started on dessert! Ask in advance what is being served and ask if you can bring a dish for everyone! If you realized there are not going to be any salads or vegetable not covered in mayo or dressing, bring one. Or maybe prepare a fruit salad for dessert. Don’t forget it can be as simple as bringing some water or diet soda.
2. Try to get up and be active!
If you don’t want to get up and start playing tag with the kids, try to at least walk around, talk and be social. This will also help to keep you away from the food table and the temptation. BBQ’s are supposed to be fun, after all!
3. Go with a plan
Before serving yourself, walk around and make sure to scout out all your food options. Find out if there is something you REALLY want to have. Maybe you want a burger with cheese and bun… then you might want to add just a green salad or veggie. Perhaps you can skip the burger but love potato salad, then I’d suggest going for the grilled chicken and green salad with a side portion of the potato salad. It is all about balancing it out and not over doing it!
4. Start with a small plate
Don’t grab the largest plate and start loading up the food. The smaller your plate, the less likely you are to overeat on the first serving. The smaller plate also makes it easier to get up and be social – remember tip 2!
5. Fill up on greens and lean protein
When in doubt, go for green salad with dressing on the side or even some raw veggies. Then find the leanest piece of protein you can; grilled chicken, grilled white fish, or even leaner steaks. These will help keep you full and not over indulge.
6. Don’t be afraid to say “no thank you”
You are not being rude if you do not try everything or finish all the food on your plate. Stay true to your plan and what you are allowing yourself that day. Let others know your plan as well so that they can hopefully help support you – and maybe they won’t go in for seconds either!
7. Eat ahead of time
If you know there will not be much or maybe anything remotely healthy, then eat ahead, and just have a small treat while at the barbeque.
You don’t need to say no to a fun social gathering just because you’re trying to be healthy. Just keep these tips in mind and always have a plan to help you make your best decisions. This way you have can fun and no guilt! Need help? We’re available for 1-on-1 coaching!