Summertime BBQs and Picnics and Parties: Oh My!

Kellie Armstrong, M.S., R.N., C.B.N.

Summer weather means we get to enjoy spending time outdoors. That includes events like barbecues, picnics, and outdoor parties.

If you’re trying to lose weight, or maintain weight loss, don’t let summer eating get you off track!

Check out some easy strategies to keep focused.

1. Continue Healthy Habits. Don’t skip a meal to save on calories. This is usually one way we set ourselves up for overeating.

2. Eat Slowly. When we eat too fast, we tend to eat more than we planned. Try to eat slowly so your meal lasts about 15 to 20 minutes. Eating slowly gives us time to feel satisfied, so wait at least 30 minutes. If you’re still physically hungry, go back for another plate.

3. Walk Away!  Get a plate of food and walk away. Avoid hanging out at the food tables, as that’s where we tend to “graze” or over-eat.

4. Grill Fruit. Two of my favorite items to grill are pineapples and peaches. But other fruits work too – bananas, strawberries, and other small fruit can be cut up and cooked inside aluminum foil or on a grilling tray.

5. Bring an appetizer or side dish. At most summertime gatherings, there's a lot of high-calorie and high-fat foods. Try to bring something different that you know you’ll enjoy. One great idea is a salad made with fresh fruit like watermelon, apples, peaches, berries, cherries, and pineapple. You can also bring a veggie platter with pea pods, cucumbers, carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, and radishes. Skip the nacho chips and bring some salsa, hummus, guacamole, or a bean dip.

6. Stick to a daily exercise routine. Getting regular exercise and sticking with your fitness routine is important for your body and mind. Remember that exercising doesn’t give you the go ahead to overindulge or take in extra calories.

We should all take advantage of the summer weather to maintain a healthy weight lifestyle. You can also use it to boost your weight loss by getting outdoors and exercising more. For your next cookout, enjoy an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. The grill also offers many different, tasty ways to avoid high-calorie and fatty foods. Plus, it’s a healthy way to cook!

If you’d like some other healthy recipe ideas, be sure to check out our newsletters on our website. 

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