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5 Ways To Eat at a Summer BBQ and NOT halt your progress.

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5 Ways to Eat a Summer BBQ and NOT Halt Your Progress


The Chicago Summer is a very special time for city folk and suburbanites. The grills are out, bags and horseshoes are all set up, sunscreen and mosquito repellent are flowing, and that pool is begging for a big ol cannonball. The summer vibe is all about enjoying the little amount of sun we get with the ones we love the most. Block parties, BBQs, festivals are happening multiple times a week and we want to hit as many as we can before it gets cold again. Many of you have been working hard during the winter and spring to achieve your summer bodies and it would be a shame to start back at square one in September. Here are 5 bullet proof ways to enjoy summer festivities and keep your progress in check. 


1.) The 1 Plate Rule - The 1 Plate Rule is a fantastic way to exercise portion control and be able to eat some of your favorite summer foods. When hunger strikes at your summer party, grab 1 plate and put a small portion of foods you would like to enjoy. Eat everything on the plate and enjoy yourself. Then end indulgent consumption after that plate. Rely on low calorie beverages and veggies. (Ex. Gatorade Zero and Celery Sticks) to get you through the rest of the party so you can remain social and continue to enjoy yourself.


2.) Trade in Chips for Crunchy Veggies - Before you stop reading after I just said "trade chips for crunchy veggies"...That doesn't mean you still can't have the dip and salsa! Instead of potato chips, opt for sliced bell peppers, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, radish slices, celery sticks. The grill won't always be fired up, which limits the protein sources at some of these events. Sometimes, you will get stuck with a charcuterie board, appetizers, and cake at summer wedding events where you could easily (and unfortunately) fit 2000 calories on plate. In these scenarios, where the options are not as balanced, ditch the chips and appetizers. Stick with the veggies and dip. You can also enjoy some cheese and salami in combination. Opting out of the chips and appetizers will save you hundreds, if not thousands of calories that day. 


3.) Park Far Away or Walk There - Lot's of parties are going on locally and in the city. If you are going to an event in the city, consider taking the train or parking far away from your destination so you can get a couple extra 20 min walks in that day. I recommend increasing your activity slightly on days where you know the menu will be heavier. This will do wonders for keeping body out of an excessive calorie surplus. If the event is local, consider walking there and back from your place. A 20 minute walk equates roughly to 2K-3K steps. If you go there and back, you have added 4K-6K steps to your daily activity!  Win- Win!


4.) Low Calorie Beverage Popsicles - There might be a day at the pool, beach, or sporting event where all you have is concession stand options. Luckily in this scenario you can come prepared as long as you have a cooler and popsicle tray. Is there anything more summer than popsicles? They can get addictive! I remember when I was little, my brother and I would clear out a whole case of popsicles. As we get older, our blood sugar can't handle those spikes. If you still want to enjoy a summer treat without being stopped by portion control police, grab your favorite low calorie beverages and pour them into a popsicle tray. Freeze for a few hours. Voila! You now have delicious low calorie popsicles. These are so low in calories that if you wanted, you could have 10 popsicles. it wouldn't impact your diet at all! Personally I love doing Zero Sugar Mountain Dew, Zero Sugar Sun Kist, and Gatorade Zero. 


5.) Take The Buns Off - When those grills are fired up and you see the entire meat arsenal, it's hard to not want to enjoy them all. Hotdogs, Burgers, Brats, and anything else. A great way to do that is knock the buns off. You can still use same toppings you want and this will keep you from committing carbicide. You will notice the bun will not take away from the flavor of your summer favorites. It's there to hold everything in place so I would recommend doing this with a fork and knife. 

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