“You may favor a thick, juicy steak and heaping sides of your mom’s special potato salad at your 4th of July cookout, but your health and figure sure won’t. Here are some easy ways to have a low-cal day while maintaining all of the goodness of a true blue (and red and white) Fourth of July celebration.”
Fitt tip #1: Veg out
Instead of sitting down to a plate of high-calorie ribs as your first course, load up on salad and veggies before you hit the grilled meats. You’ll be less likely to overeat the higher calorie foods later if you fill up with a huge salad or grilled vegetables.
Fitt tip #2: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Drinking a large glass of water before eating a meal will slow you down and help reduce your caloric intake. It can also help you avoid dehydration, which can sap your energy and cause false-hunger signals.
Fitt tip #3: Go skinless
Before eating, remove the skin from chicken and turkey. If available, choose a boneless, skinless chicken breast or a extra lean sirloin burger as your main course. I always show up at a BBQ with a box of Bell & Evans chicken burgers. One for me and 5 to share. Most people will choose a healthy option if there is one available.
Fitt tip #4: Watch your alcohol
Cold beers on a hot day go down fairly easily — but that doesn’t make them calorie free. If you’re indulging in alcohol, it’s important to watch your carbs. To help reduce your alcohol intake, drink a glass of water in between each serving of alcohol.
Fitt tip #5: Don’t let the name “salad” fool you
Avoid potato and macaroni salads — they are loaded in saturated fats, carbs and starches — unless you know they are loaded with chopped veggies and have been made with a low-fat dressing. Even still, don’t overindulge on the carb-heavy fare.
Fitt tip #6: Use whole wheat buns
In addition to choosing whole wheat buns over white, eat your burger open-faced (one half of a bun) to even out your protein and carbohydrate ratio. Or even better, skip the bun altogether and load your burger up with veggies and healthy sides.
Fitt tip #7: Use your hand to determine portion control
Just because your plate is full doesn’t mean you need to eat it all. A serving of protein is usually the size of your fist. Eat about that much and load up on green veggies to fill up!
Fitt tip #8: Think Lean Protein
Grilling is actually a low-fat way to prepare food, but only if you choose lower fat option. Hot dogs and ribs, which are typical barbecue fare, are high in fat and calories. Steaks, bison burgers and chicken breasts, on the other hand, are the perfect pick for lean protein sources.
My FittChick “approved” meal tonight will be…
Appetizers..unlimited veggies and tons of water
Dinner…a huge salad, a burger loaded with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and mustard….and a mound of grilled veggies
Dessert…I will definitely skip the sugary stuff myself, but if your sweet tooth is kicking in, try and satisfy it with a plate of berries. BBQ’s can be extremely diet friendly, just focus on catching up with your friends and having a great time.
Live Fitt!…Be Fitt!
**some quotes and information were taken from Michele Borboa, MS**