Summer can be the perfect excuse to splurge and forget all about your healthy lifestyle when at a barbecue. While I do think it is important to have fun to celebrate the start of hot weather and beach season, there are plenty of ways to avoid straying off of your healthy diet. The burger will taste amazing at the time, but I promise you will not feel good about your poor choices the next day if you end up going crazy.
Here are some tips for staying healthy while having a great time at your next summer party:
- Exercise. This one may seem obvious but if you have a barbecue planned, make sure to squeeze in a workout that morning. Take advantage of the warm weather and try an outdoor workout such as a run in the park or a bike ride. You will be happy you worked out when someone offers you a beer at the party.
- Bring healthy food options. If you know there will only be not-so-healthy food options such as beef burgers, potato chips and potato salad, bring your own food. I am sure the party host will be thrilled that you contributed and would be happy to grill up some veggie burgers for you. Bring fruit salad instead of cake. Bring whole wheat rolls instead of white rolls.
- Choose your food wisely. Vegetables and dip may seem like a healthy option but ranch and French onion dips are loaded with calories and fat. Try hummus or fresh guacamole instead. Instead of eating a roll loaded with white flour, eat a whole wheat roll, or no roll at all.
- Drink, but choose carefully. I am all for having cocktails or beers at a barbecue, but some options are healthier than others. A Corona Light with fresh lime has only 6 grams of carbohydrates, while a Blue Moon has 13 grams. A vodka and seltzer with fresh fruit is always a great option, while a margarita is not so great. Remember, the healthier the beverage, the more you can drink!
- Eat slowly. Chances are you will be at the barbecue for several hours, so do not eat two burgers and a hot dog all at once. You will most likely want more food later, especially if you are drinking, so have one hot dog to start and save room for more later. You will not have fun if you feel completely stuffed right away.
Besides eating healthy, why not suggest some activities that involve moving around while at the barbecue? Take a swim in the pool or play a round of volleyball. Turn up the music really loud and get everyone dancing. You will be the life of the party, and you will be ready for bikini season.