Grill Your Way to Lean
The days are getting longer and the weather’s getting warmer (and hopefully no more rain!). Grilling season is here!
While outdoor cookouts are a great opportunity to relax and visit with friends and family, did you know that the average barbecue meal exceeds 1500 calories? Even though grilling has long been associated with being a healthier way of cooking. For some, that’s almost an entire day’s worth of calories in one meal!
That type of eating will do some serious damage to your waist over the course of the summer. The good news is that barbecue season doesn’t have to be fattening. In fact, with a few small changes to your barbecue menu, you can turn summer into the perfect opportunity for weight loss.
So before you slather on the sunscreen and fire up your grill, read the following tips to grill your way lean as summer approaches:
On the Grill
Grilling is a healthy, preferred way to cook up some healthy meat (protein). Of course, the type of meat that you choose will make all of the difference. Burgers and hot dogs are traditional barbecue meats, but they aren’t the healthiest option for that nutrition plan. Try the following:
- Choose lean cuts of beef, pork or poultry
- Marinade with low-fat dressing
- Make hamburgers with extra-lean ground beef
- Take the skin off chicken before grilling
- Replace beef patties with ground turkey patties
- Grill up salmon or cod
- Forego the meat and grill veggie or black bean burgers for some variety
This is where most people run into trouble. Barbecue side dishes are typically filled with loads of fat (the likely culprit being mayonnaise). Creamy coleslaw and potato salads can hold as much as 15 grams of fat per serving. Try the following instead:
- Make veggie kabobs (tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers) or bundles of asparagus to add to the grill
- Replace the mayo in your salads with olive oil based mayo or avocados (healthier fat alternative) OR make your own! Plenty of healthier recipes out there.
- Serve fresh salad with light vinaigrette
- Try whole-grain or gluten-free macaroni for your pasta salad
- Put out a veggie tray with homemade ranch or dill dip made with greek yogurt
- Slice up fresh zucchini, squash, eggplant and red onions- lightly brush with olive oil and grill
Want to shape up even more this summer? Sign up for a FREE WEEK Membership HERE to get access to Unlimited Boot Camp classes for a full week!
Most people don’t realize that beverages play a big role in summer weight gain. Margaritas, beer, soda and punch all contain lots of empty calories. Try the following:
- Drink water, it is always your healthiest option
- Brew unsweetened ice tea and serve with lemon
- Opt for healthier mixers for adult beverages- seltzer water, lemon and lime juice, 100% fruit juice to avoid added sugar, ready to pour cocktails made with agave nectar or other natural sweeteners, limit soda as a mixer when you can
- Blend fresh or frozen fruit to avoid the juice and simple syrups all together for an adult smoothie
- Try and keep most drinks 8oz or under to watch calories
Yes, there are ways to satisfy your sweet tooth while getting lean. Think outside of the box instead of turning to the typical fattening options like ice cream, pie, cake or cookies. Try the following:
- Grill mango, banana and pineapple on kabobs
- Stick with sorbet instead of ice cream
- Replace peach pie with grilled peach halves
- Slice up some fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries) and use Reddi Whip (real cream, no sugar, 15 cals per serving) over the top for a light and sweet healthy treat
Remember, it’s ok to splurge every once in a while because you’re kicking butt in Boot Camp class. Enjoy yourself! Just keep in mind that by using a few of the suggestions above, you can enjoy great summer food and stick with your overall goals.
Hope you enjoyed this Tips from the Trainer Grilling Edition. Now don’t forget to put steak on the barie for me!!!