How to Stay Healthy During Summer BBQ Season!

It’s that time again! Summer calls for laying in the sun, enjoying warmer and longer days. The prime component of summer is usually all the social gatherings that it entails – brunches, happy hours, and the best part, barbecues! Unfortunately, attending all these events starting now until September can pack a punch on your health (and wallet). Because of this, we decided to share some tips on how to stay healthy during our favorite time of the year.

1) Portion Control.

Naturally in the summer, our body will crave lighter foods that are refreshing in order to combat the heat and keeping your energy high. Because of this, it can be a lot easier to pick up one chicken wing instead of two! When attending any event where there will be food, make sure you are paying attention to how much you are putting on your plate, rather than just trying to fill it up. Have a fistful size of rice OR Mac and cheese. Have one burger and then enjoy some veggies along with it. Paying attention to how much you’re eating and what you’re eating can help in combating unwanted weight gain and bloating.

2) Sourcing Out Options.

One thing about grilling is that it actually can be healthy and still taste good! If you there are BBQ staples that you cannot leave without, try substituting for healthier options. Have a turkey or tofu burger instead of beef. Make a non-dairy mac and cheese.  Try creating your own sauces and dips and substituting where you can for additions that may be lower in sodium or fat. Add a refreshing summer salad to the menu, or try hosting a meatless grilling party! Furthermore currently has a series where they share different meatless grilling options for you to enjoy.

3) Eat Before You Head Out.

If you don’t have so much of a say so in terms of what you’ll be eating when you get to these events, then eat before! Breakfast is always a must have to start your day filled with both protein and fiber. If you’re attending a BBQ or event early in the day, eat something like avocado toast (millennial much?) with eggs whites. If it’s much later in the day, eat stuffed sweet potatoes with baked chicken, black beans, spinach, carrots, and peppers. Carry healthy snacks with you throughout the day like unsalted nuts or grape tomatoes drizzled with some olive oil and black pepper and iodized salt. Eating before will keep you full and having snacks will keep you from over stuffing yourself.

4) Be Aware of Your Alcohol Intake.

If the food won’t catch you, the alcohol will. Mixed drinks can contain sugar that  will add up. Of course you can still enjoy cocktails, but keep some things in mind. Stay away from pre-made mixers that contain a lot of artificial sweeteners. Stay away from the craving of fat or fried foods after drinking a whole lot and eat healthy like veggies instead. Factor in the calories of each drink you may have into your overall calorie intake for the day. Overall, keep the alcohol and sweet beverages to a minimum – you can be sober and still have fun!

5) Stay hydrated.

Water, water, water! It is crucial that you are keeping yourself hydrated during these warmer months. A cool trick to remind yourself of how much water you should be drinking is to divide your weight by your age. Let’s face it, 8 glasses of water a day may be ideal, but depending on our bodies needs and our abilities, may be highly unrealistic. You can also eat your water too!There are lots of fruits and vegetables that contain water. Cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, and pineapples are just some fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season and contain high concentrates of water. Carry a water bottle with you to any event you attend this summer.

6) Exercise/Stay Active.

After all the fun of turning up, make sure you’re staying active! Maybe cancel a brunch one weekend and take a class with your closest friends. Incorporate early morning runs or an after work bike ride when the sun isn’t too high in the sky. The benefits of staying active surpasses the want or desire to stay a certain weight!