Beat Summertime Weight Gain by Planning Ahead
CalorieKing’s Healthy Summer Eating
Even though it is sunny and bathing suit season, sometimes summer time weight gain can sneak up on us. It’s so frustrating and can be hard to figure out why we get stuck at this time of year.
Often we can forget that summertime is filled with as many celebrations as we have during the winter. And food is always part of any gathering.
We have Memorial Day, Fourth of July, weddings, BBQs, picnics, fairs, sporting events and of course our yearly vacations. As we snack while we have fun in the sun, it’s easy to see why we can pack on extra weight.
The CalorieKing Difference
It’s ok …we all do it. We love good times with friends, family and food as much as you do. The CalorieKing difference is we believe in having a good plan for our food intake to go along with our preparation for a party. That way we can enjoy the good times without feeling guilty afterwards.
Advance planning – whether you are throwing the gathering or just attending – helps us keep track of the practical things like our daily calorie allowances, menu planning and choices. It also helps us prepare to navigate group settings where things like portion control and saying no to seconds can be difficult.
Here are some easy tips to help you prepare for a summer BBQs.
Staying Smart About Food Choices
These tips work for you whether preparing food for the gathering or just making your way through the buffet!
Go skinless! Choose skinless chicken breasts when cooking or if you receive a portion that has skin, just remove it!
Use the lowest fat cuts of meat. If you have to, trim off the excess fat or ask your supermarket’s butcher to do it for you. Avoid fatty portions and dark meat as you fill your plate.
Stay away from processed meats. Hot dogs, sausages and brats… they are high in chemicals, salt and who knows what else? Choose skinless chicken, turkey burgers, fish and grilled veggies as better alternatives. If these aren’t available choose lower fat side dishes.
Marinade well and use oils sparingly. Marinades provide maximum flavor with fewer calories. Look for marinade recipes lower in sugar; add vinegar, herbs, citrus and other natural flavors instead. If you add oil, use just enough to emulsify the marinade.
Ask for Sauces on the Side. If you can, ask the cook to cook your meat without the sticky or calorie laden sauces – no doubt they’ll be happy to help. Either eat your meat plain or with just a teaspoon of sauce on the side.
Go for whole grain breads. The added grains and fiber in whole grain buns are better for your diet than processed white bread. If whole grain buns aren’t offered consider eating your meat solo or with a lettuce wrap.
Grill up fruits and veggies! Fruits and veggies are amazing on the grill. You lay them directly on the grill with a light marinade, skewer in kebabs or wrap in aluminum foil. It all tastes good!
Skip the chips -potato or otherwise. We start snacking before the food hits the grill. Your best choice is to avoid chips and dips and go for raw vegetables and low calorie dips, salsa or hummus.
Avoid the mayonnaise in potato or pasta salads. Look for recipes that have vinaigrettes or marinades with small amounts of oil. Or, try using plain low-fat yogurt or mashed avocados in salads for a twist!
Don’t forget portion control. Just because there is a huge spread you don’t have to eat everything. Some easy tips are to fill your plate with green salads, leaving a smaller place for heavier foods. Try smaller plates or confide in a “BBQ Buddy” who can help you remember your goals.
If you’re thirsty, drink plenty of water. BBQ foods can be high in salt. Combine that with being out in the sun and heat and you can develop quite a thirst. Limit sugar-laden sodas, energy drinks and lemonades. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation and alternate with water.
Remember, a family party or outdoor BBQ with friends and coworkers doesn’t have to be a diet nightmare!
Use our food database to help make your practical plan. We also have a healthy swap guide to make it easier to focus on the enjoyment of being with others and having fun!