Summer is all about pools, ice cream, skimpy clothes and…BBQ!! There’s nothing better than walking through a neighborhood and smelling the sweet aroma of grilled meat in the air. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel extremely patriotic!
The only downer is when you get invited to a BBQ party after weeks of working on your summer beach body. Instead of being thrilled, you begin to panic. Do you know what to do when faced with eating someone else’s barbecue?
You don’t want to be rude to your hosts but at the same time you don’t want to destroy all your progress. The typical BBQ party gang will be there in full force:
- BBQ ribs
- Hot dogs
- Potato salad
- Baked beans
- Corn on the cob
- Strawberry shortcake
With such a list of foods, who cares about the last couple of workouts!
You EARNED the chance to let loose! You desire to Release The Beast on that BBQ party’s delicious foods!
Slow down amigo!
There’s no need to go to that extreme. You can still achieve your body goals and have a good time as well at the BBQ. Let me show you the way.
Here’s MicVinny’s guide on surviving summer barbecues:
Reduce Calories Before The BBQ
Most likely the BBQ will be during the late afternoon/evening hours. That means you will be having a late lunch or early dinner. Given that you don’t know the exact calorie count of what’s at the bar-b-que, leave some extra room for those excess calories by eating less for breakfast.
I personally perform intermittent fasting on a daily basis. It’s the art of fasting for 14-20 everyday before eating your first meal. Some folks jokingly call it “Skipping Breakfast”.
Intermittent fasting allows me to eat bigger sized meals 2-3 times a day instead of a bunch of smaller ones. By reducing (or skipping) breakfast, it will allow you to eat more calories while at the BBQ.
Eat Green Veggies
The first food you should stack onto your disposable plate is vegetables. Seek green vegetables first. If there is no green vegetable, reach for any other vegetable that is not drenched in oil or butter.
You can never eat too many green healthy vegetables. If all you see is salad, go for it. Just make sure it’s more vegetable than cheese, dressing or other. We want to get our vitamins in, and veggies are how we do it!
Note: Corn should be treated like a starch source on this day (as well it should be on other days if you’re not already doing so).
Eat That Grilled Protein
There’s nothing quite like the smell of grilled meat fresh off the fire. Just the thought of it makes me want to jump around and yell like captain caveman!
Speaking of cavemen, this is a day in which I would go with my Paleo practitioners and try to emphasize eating some meat!
The best tasting barbecue foods are composed of fatty cuts of meats. If all you see is ribs, steaks chops, brisket, burgers, dark meat chicken, wings; then embrace this as a high protein, higher fat meal.
If you see grilled chicken breast, white fish, or turkey then you can possibly make this BBQ into a high protein, high carb meal. Either way it won’t be perfect.
If it’s a higher fat day that just means all your other carb sources will need to go down for this day. If you’re eating leaner meats, that means you can empathize carbs as your energy source and avoid adding fats to your meals.
Oh yeah, please make sure you eat meat that looks like it’s from a real animal. You should try not to eat processed meats like hot dogs, sausages and brats. Those foods are mostly fat with barely any protein value so those are not your top dog choices for this day.
Heck, even a dachshund “hot dog” has more protein in their tiny bodies…but let’s not get any crazy ideas while at our friend’s house ok?
Go Easy on That BBQ Sauce
Hopefully the grillmaster is skilled in their craft and knows how to season their protein properly. Well-seasoned protein sources equates to you needing less barbecue sauce. The majority of barbecue sauces on the market contain lots of high fructose corn syrup.
You should not need more than one tablespoon of barbecue sauce. Try to eat pieces with as little as possible so you can control the sauce.
Go Easy On Other Condiments As Well
Your lowest calorie choices are mustard, salsa, hot sauce, & vinegar. When faced with other condiment choices, try to eat less than a tablespoon.
The problem is that you don’t know what’s in most of those condiments. Too many contain lots of sugars & additives. We don’t need all that garbage in our system!
Avoid Processed Carbs
Due to the high fat content of your grilled main dish, there’s no need to go crazy with your carbs. If there’s baked potatoes, plain white or brown rice available, go for it.
The processed carbohydrates we see at barbecues are just wasted calories that add no nutritional value. We’ve been brainwashed to think that we have to have these cheap goodies with our main meals at BBQs.
You don’t need them!
Whether it’s a pastry, cracker, chips or bread, they’re not worth the cheap temporary thrill they will give you. You’ll be happy the moment they touch your taste buds, but in the land of sorrow and regret by the time you swallow.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
The weather is hot so you should be getting some fluids in your body. Drink water and not sugary drinks. You already will be getting sugar from the BBQ sauce. Embrace water and unsweetened tea.
If you are just a sugar monster, then bring your own sugar free liquid drink mix to the party. Add to your cup as many times as you please during the BBQ. Just make sure that once the party is over, you write down that you’re still a recovering sugar addict and today was a win!
Eat Fruit for dessert
If you still crave sugar, reach for some fresh fruit! Feel free to devour watermelon, peaches, pineapple or whatever fresh fruit is served. Fruit is always a better option then engulfing half a pie.
Fruit is nature’s candy right?
Trying to be Mr. and Mrs. Perfect can be stressful and time consuming. If you’re stressing about every detail on this list then you’re missing the grand picture. You should be living your life to it’s fullest.
If all you do is dwell on the foods you can’t eat, you’re going to make life miserable for yourself. The food selection process becomes much easier if you arrive at the BBQ with the mindset that you will talk with your friends and family. You’re just changing your eating not your entire social status.
Laugh and have fun!
What you eat is only a minor part of this human experience!
How do you handle summer BBQs? Leave a comment below.