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6 Sure-Fire Ways to Eat Healthy At A BBQ [Tips From Fitness Experts]

6 Sure-Fire Ways to Eat Healthy At A BBQ [Tips From Fitness Experts]

It’s summertime and BBQs are a summer tradition. We all love having a good time with friends, family, and all of the food that is usually available. The problem is that many of us end up going overboard with our eating. It all looks so yummy, and we tend to forget about all of the healthy eating we’ve been doing for weeks, months or even years.

To help all of us stay on track while having a good time during a BBQ, here are some tips from nutritional experts.

#1: Remember the 80/20 Rule

Jillian Michaels recommends, “Make 80 percent of the food you eat healthy and take 20 percent of your daily calories and make them fun.” We love this idea because it’s easy. For every meal, simply make most of your plate healthy and then have small portion of not-so-healthy food. This is easily achieved at a barbeque. You can load up on some salad, raw veggies and fruits, a hamburger, and then a cupcake. By the time you get to the cupcake, you’ll likely be stuffed and you wouldn’t have gone overboard.

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#2: Calorie Count It

We usually throw out the calorie counting when we go to a BBQ because we figure there’s no point. However, there is a point to it – you’ll eat less. Kim Dolanleto is the Director of Family Health and Wellness for the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and she recommends, “Learn the math behind your weight loss goal. Educate yourself on what portions should look like. Count your calories until you are familiar with them.”

So, pay attention to the number of calories you’re putting on your plate. The average calorie count for a hamburger is 200 calories, and a cup of salad is just 11 calories. Pay attention to the amount of salad dressing you put on the salad keeping it at about a tablespoon and you’re at about 300 calories for all of it. Research the calories for other traditional BBQ foods before you go and have a plan for what you’ll eat, so you can remain within your calorie goal for the day.

#3: Choose Smaller Plates

If possible, we should always choose smaller plates because it will keep us from consuming too many calories. Studies show people who use smaller plates, bowls, and cups will serve themselves 20 to 40% less food. It’s all about how much we put on that plate. A big plate will look bare if we don’t fill it up, but that same bare amount will look like a lot on a smaller plate. So yes, we do eat with our eyes!

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If the BBQ doesn’t have a smaller plate, try a bowl instead. If there is no bowl, you will have to use what is available. Try to keep food in the middle of the plate and envision there isn’t as much space around the edges. When you can remain in control of what you’re perceiving, you’ll have much more success in limiting the amount of food consumed.

#4: Eat Slower

When we eat while doing something such as talking to friends and family, we’re more likely to eat more, not taste and enjoy your food, and suffer from indigestion, according to the University of Minnesota. Eat slowly to enjoy it. After all, one of the best parts of a BBQ is enjoying the good food, but if we’re not paying attention to it, we miss it.

When eating, take a few minutes to really taste the food. Remember why it’s so good and just appreciate being able to taste it. When we eat slower, we often catch the signs of not being hungry anymore faster than when we’re busy while eating. That’s the secret. It’s not about eating until we are full – it’s about eating until we are no longer hungry.

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#5: Start with Vegetables

We need to focus on veggies. If possible, get a plate of veggies first, recommends Elisa Zied, a registered dietician in New York City. Just be sure it’s unadulterated, meaning it’s not coated in high calorie dressings and dips. Raw veggies are the best.

When we stick with veggies as our appetizer, we’ll be less likely to load up some of the more calorie-rich foods such as the potato salad, macaroni salad, hamburgers, hot dogs, barbeque chicken, and so on and so forth.

#6: Always Choose Mustard

As much as we all love ketchup and mayonnaise, they can be like bombs to our healthy lifestyle. Mayonnaise is loaded with calories and fat, and ketchup has hidden sugar. According to registered dietician Cheryl Forberg, “A tablespoon of Dijon mustard has 18 calories with no added sugar or fat, while mayonnaise has 57 calories and 5 grams of fat.” If we skip the Dijon mustard and choose the yellow mustard instead, we won’t consume any additional calories!

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Eating healthy at a BBQ this summer is possible. Just keep these tips in mind, and you’ll walk away happy and confident that you’ve kept your healthy lifestyle tack while having a great time.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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