It is that time of year - tis the season for barbecues!! Although barbeques are great for the whole family, BBQ foods can be high in saturated fat, low in fiber and packed with calories. If you are trying to maintain your shape or lose a few pounds for bikini season, don't fret, there are so many healthy and delicious foods to substitute.
1) Simply grill it:With barbeques comes barbeque sauce. One tablespoon of sweet barbeque sauce has 20 calories, 4 carbohydrates and no fiber. Although this doesn't seem like a lot of calories, who only uses 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce? Eliminating sauces can be an easy way to cut calories.
2) Choose lean protein:Lean meats, such as, chicken, fish, turkey, and sirloin provides less calories, saturated fat and cholesterol than high fat meats, such as dark meats, hot dogs, and full fat hamburger meat. One ounce of lean protein has 45-65 less calories and 5-8 grams less fat than high fat meat. Opt for chicken or shrimp skewers but if your hamburger craving is a must, choose USDA Select or Choice grades of lean beef trimmed of fat, such as ground sirloin.
You would be surprised to learn that dark meat chicken with skin contains more calories and fat than a hot dog and hamburger:
BBQ chicken (2 pieces) 390 calories, 20 grams of fat Hot dog contains 260 calories, 17 grams of fat Hamburger contains 245 calories, 10 grams of fat
3) Choose whole grain buns:Whole grain products have more fiber than white bread. Remember fiber is the indigestible part of carbohydrate that provides bulk without any calories. Fiber fills you up without filling you out.
4) Skip the potato and pasta salad:Traditionally made potato and pasta salad are loaded with calories and fat. They provide excess calories in the form of carbohydrate without any fiber, which may cause drops in blood sugar, making you feel lethargic and irritable an hour after you eat them.
Cole Slaw, 1 cup: 400 calories, 20 grams of fat Potato Salad, 1 cup: 430 calories, 24g fat
Instead, make a big salad mixed with all your favorite veggies. Spinach and rocket lettuce are in season. Or throw some sliced vegetables on the grill - asparagus is also in season and grilles very nicely.
5) Choose your alcohol wisely:When it comes to alcohol, some choices are better than others. So, if you want to have a drink in the shade and you are a beer -lover, try low-carb beer. Otherwise, chilled white wine is always yummy or vodka and crystal light tastes great, especially when it is blended with some ice!!
6) Don't forget to hydrate:Alcohol plus sun can equal headache and dehydration. Therefore, it is important to drink adequate water when the sun is hot, especially if you are drinking alcohol. Drinking 6-8, 8oz glasses of water every day is great for your skin, helps regulate bowel function and will prevent dehydrations, so don't forget to DRINK UP!
Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and founder of
. She is also the creator of The F-Factor DietaC/, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto