5 Tips for Eating Healthfully at a Cookout

By KERI GLASSMAN
May 20, 2013 RSS Feed Print

Keri Glassman
Burgers, potato salad, sprinklers. For many Americans, Memorial Day is the beginning of warm and sunny times ahead. This weekend is also prime time for social events and backyard bashes – complete with plenty to eat. For me, summer seems to be the most challenging time to “go light” with food and maintain weight (let alone lose it, if that’s your goal) because we’re more apt to socialize, eat and drink. We all love summer parties, but they don’t have to wreak havoc on your diet. Here are a few tips to tackle a barbecue the right way:

● Fill up before you go. Go ahead, ruin your appetite before heading to the barbecue bash. You need a snack that provides satiety so you don’t show up half starved. And certainly don’t “hold out” on eating beforehand. Fasting all day in prep of a big barbecue is the worst thing you can do. You’ll slow down your metabolism and wind up overeating – a double whammy!

● Assess the situation when you arrive. Sometimes, your attitude going into the meal can make or break your barbecue experience. If you see spinach dip when you enter, you may think, “There’s nothing healthy here, and I might as well pig out.” Then you notice chicken skewers, shrimp cocktail, crudité and way more. Be patient, scope out the scene and then use what is available to create as proportioned a meal as possible.

● Try to skip that first drink. When you have your first drink before you even say hello to the guests, you’re probably off to an overindulgent night. You’ll end up consuming too many calories from alcohol, and then the effects of said alcohol may inhibit your willpower and make you consume too many calories from food, too.

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