The spring and summer months offer many unique possibilities when it comes to weight management – including the opportunity for an outdoor cookout! With more hours of light, it’s an excellent opportunity for soaking up the sun and spending quality time with family and friends.
However, many people struggle with eating healthy at a cookout because of the abundance of food. Typical cookout foods include cheeseburgers, hot dogs, steaks, grilled potatoes, baked beans and alcoholic beverages. These foods aren’t exactly helpful when you’re trying to manage your weight, so attending a cookout can often seem like a stressful activity.
Eating Healthy at Your Cookout: Practical Tips
You don’t have to forego the fun of a cookout just for your weight and health! All you need is a little strategy and creativity. Consider these healthy, practical tips for making smart decisions when cooking out with your friends and family.
- Choose Lean Grilling Meats – You can be versatile with the meats you choose. Lean proteins such as chicken, turkey and seafood are all excellent choices.
- Pile-on the Produce – Fruits and veggies are awesome on the grill! Consider grilling bell peppers, watermelon, pineapple, mangoes, asparagus, tomatoes and onions.
- Make Kebobs – Trying to avoid cheeseburger and hot hog buns? Make kebabs out of your lean meats, veggies and fruit pieces. They are versatile and easy to eat!
- Be Careful with Condiments – Omit the mayonnaise and sugary barbecue sauces. Try toppings such as low-fat cheese, non-fat Greek yogurt, mashed avocado, fresh salsa, herbs and spices – just to name a few.
- Healthy Hydration – Instead of alcohol, opt for beverages such as flavored water and unsweetened ice tea.
- Emphasize Activity – Trying to kill time while the food cooks? Opt for a game of Frisbee, soccer, football, corn hole or horse shoe. You can even go for a walk or a bike ride!
Cookouts are truly what YOU make of them. So get outdoors, have fun and stay healthy!