Winter seems to get all of the credit for our weight loss wallows, but summertime can be just as rough on the waist line. As the summer heat approaches, the Chandler air fills with the sweet scent of burgers on the grill and there you are, cooling off with yet another cup of that overly sweet lemonade. If you are not careful, it can be easy to lose sight of your weight loss goals amidst the barbeque buffet line. You can keep up the weight loss in Chandler and Scottsdale by incorporating a few healthy changes into your barbeque plans.
Think of a barbeque like any other type of dinner party. When you go to someone’s home for dinner you don’t set up camp in the kitchen and munch on the leftovers all evening, so why do that at a barbeque? The outside environment can shake up your perception of a traditional meal as the line between snacking and feasting can often blur.
Step Away From the Food and Enjoy the Great Outdoors
You can still smell the woodchips and charcoal when you aren’t standing right next to the grill. So many of us associate the fine smell of an old-fashioned barbeque with great summer memories and easily become lost in a youthful splendor—one that often involves chips and dip on auto-repeat.
Before and after you eat, get out on the grass and play a bit. You don’t need to run in circles to burn calories—you can get the entire party involved in a game of football or soccer, or bust out the Frisbee for a quick came of catch. Even if you aren’t breaking a sweat you are still moving around, and the farther you are from the food table the less calories you are likely to consume.
When it does come times to eat, you can set yourself up for success ahead of time by bringing along a healthy dish that meets your weight loss guidelines. Skip the cobbler and offer a plate of fruit salad or baked vegetables. Healthy, light snacks like these are always delicious in the heat so don’t be surprised when other guests are filling up their plates with your healthy dish, too.
One of the hardest aspects of eating healthily at a barbeque is not overdoing it on the sides. Portion sizes are hard to measure as you are chatting with family members and trying not to hurt anyone’s feelings by accidently forgetting to taste a dish.
Keep these measuring tips in mind to keep your portion sizes under control:
- Clench your fist. The average woman’s fist is about the size of one cup of food. Your side dish consumption should fit into this serving size, so limit your potato salad, pasta salad and coleslaw to one cumulative fist-sized serving.
- Use your cell-phone. While the size of some smart phones are making an upwards trend, a lot of current phones are about the size of a deck of cards. This is a good visual source to measure out three ounces of meat. You can use this as you are picking out a piece of chicken, steak or fish.
- Give a thumbs-up. When you are adding salad dressing or condiments to your plate try to limit the portion to one tablespoon, which will take up about as much room as the size of your thumb from the tip to the first joint. If you find a low-fat salad dressing like oil & vinegar you can probably handle two thumbs, but don’t overdo it.
Getting through the summer with your weight loss goals intact is possible if you take the time to plan ahead of time and hold yourself accountable during all of your scrumptious summer get-togethers.