The Great British BBQ!!
Have you tried for the last few months to eat well and get your body looking a little healthier for summer and then “BAM” barbecue season hits and threatens to derail all your hard work and make you pile on the pounds again? If this is a yes for you then read on – this article is your summer guide to enjoying a barbecue without the worry about your health and waistline.
Barbecues are actually, in principle, very healthy occasions. In a nutshell the barbecue is grilled meat and that means it’s full of good protein, it’s tasty and much lower in fat that many other meals. The danger with a barbecue meal is everything you add to your plate from dressing and side dishes to what your chose to drink.
Selecting the best meat:
Not all meats from a barbecue are going to be good for you. If you are hosting, then cook lean meats such as chicken or fish and make the burgers and get the best quality high meat content sausages you can afford. If you are at a friend’s place and you have no control over what’s on offer then avoid the sausages and burgers (unless very good quality) and go straight for the chicken or fish. Have around a quarter of your plate as lean meat or fish
Fill up on a good quantity of green salad, vegetable sticks, tomatoes and beans. If you fancy a dressing then pick one that is made with a seed oil or olive oil. Aim to have half your plate filled with salad type foods
At a barbecue it’s easy to overdo the carbohydrates and send your blood sugar levels crazy which will result in you feeling bloated, low energy just an hour or two after eating and then wanting more foods to perk you up. It is not necessary to have potatoes, pasta, bread and rice on the same plate – very easy to do though if you have a hot dog, small spoonful of rice salad, potato salad and pasta salad as all are on offer! Pick one and just have that. Have around a quarter of your plate as a carbohydrate food
The top things to avoid
- The white squidgy bread rolls – they add nothing to your plate and fill you up with empty nutrients
- Mayonnaise, branded sugary tomato sauces and creamy dressings – liquid calories and very little nutritional value
- Second helpings – you wouldn’t normally eat 2 full dinners if you were sat indoors at the table and the same applies here.
- Pasta, potato and rice dishes – unless you know what is in them and it isn’t creams and you only have a very small portion
- Eating a small bit of everything – a great way of racking up calories without realising it. Chose one or two things and have a small portion of it and walk away!
- Washing it all down with sugary juices, cocktails or copious amounts of alcohol. Don’t undo all the hard work you have put into your meal choice by drinking calories and burdening your blood stream with sugars. Instead have homemade fruit flavoured sparkling water or just stick to one alcoholic drink
- Sampling of every pudding on offer. Again, chose one – that is preferably fruit based without creams; have a small helping and don’t go back to the table.
Using the key pointers in this guide can really help you to navigate your way around a potential meal disaster and make it into something that is nutrient rich and great for your body. Happy Summer!
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