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Summertime BBQ’s Can Lead To Weight Gain

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Summertime means backyard barbecues and plenty of good times. But it also means your waist line will expand if you don’t watch yourself.

Think about it… the beers, on top of the hot dogs, on top of the potato salad, on top of the cookies and cakes on top of the ice cream – that can run over 2000 calories! That’s more than you need in a whole day!

You add on the heat outside and who wants to go for a walk in this kind of weather? The pounds can start to pack on quickly. But they don’t have to. You can actually enjoy a barbecue without battling the bulge!

JR Burgess from Rejuv Medical offers these tips to help you grill and not have to worry if your sweatshirt is going to fit at the end of summer!

On the Grill: Believe it or not, grilling is actually a very healthy way to cook meat. Of course the type of meat that you choose will make all of the difference. Burgers and hot dogs are traditional barbecue meats, but they aren’t the healthiest. Try the following:

  • Choose lean cuts of beef, pork or poultry
  • Marinade with low fat dressing
  • Make hamburgers with extra-lean ground beef
  • Take the skin off chicken before grilling
  • Replace beef patties with ground turkey patties
  • Grill up salmon or cod
  • Forego the meat and grill veggie burgers

Side Dishes: This is where most people run into trouble. Barbecue side dishes are typically filled with loads of fat. Creamy coleslaw and potato salads can hold as much as 15 grams of fat per serving. Try the following instead:

  • Make veggie kabobs and grill them
  • Grill bok choy (see recipe below)
  • Replace the mayo in your salads with low-fat mayo
  • Serve fresh salad with light vinaigrette
  • Try whole-grain macaroni for your pasta salad
  • Grill up corn on the cob (pass on the butter)
  • Put out a veggie tray with low fat dip

Drinks: Most people don’t realize that beverages play a big role in summer weight gain. Margaritas, beer, soda pop and punch all contain lots of empty calories. Try the following:

  • Drink water, it is always your healthiest option
  • Stick with light beer
  • If you have to have a soda pop stick with diet
  • Brew unsweetened ice tea and serve with lemon

Dessert: Yes, there are ways to satisfy your sweet tooth while getting lean. Think outside of the box instead of turning to the typical fattening options like ice cream, pie, cake or cookies. Try the following:

  • Grill mango, banana and pineapple on kabobs
  • Stick with sorbet instead of ice cream
  • Replace peach pie with grilled peach halves
  • Choose light ice cream over regular

Remember, it’s ok to splurge every once in a while. Enjoy yourself. Just keep in mind that by taking a few of the above suggestions you can enjoy great food while getting back into great shape.

With those tips from JR, you can invite friends over for a delicious cookout and they will never know they are eating “healthy”! Happy Grilling!

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