BBQ Season Survival Guide

Alicia H., St. Cloud Livea,  BS-Nutritional Sciences-Dietetics
Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist

Grilling season is upon us, so it’s time to dust off that grill after a long cold winter! May is National BBQ month, which was founded in 1963 by the American BBQ association. What better way to celebrate a whole month of cooking than in the great outdoors!  I know what you are thinking, “Will this upcoming BBQ get in the way of my weight loss?”  Well, I’m here to say it doesn’t have to! There are many ways to navigate BBQ get-togethers without it affecting your weight loss goals.

Healthy grilling tips

Why grill? For starters, grilling over high heat can release excess fat from meat, making it a lower calorie cooking option when compared to pan frying. Additionally, cooking oils are not necessary when grilling, which also reduces fat and calories.  When choosing meats to grill, always choose lean cuts of beef, pork, or lamb, and find skinless varieties when choosing poultry, like chicken breasts. Another tip to remember is to find the right seasonings and marinades for your BBQ.

Marinades/Seasoning

Let’s talk about spicing up our grilling and adding some flavor! Sauces and seasonings can make a once healthy meal into an unhealthy one, now full of sugar, fat, and sodium. Always check premixed seasonings for sodium content, aiming for 140mg of sodium or less. If you can, purchase seasonings that do not contain no salt. Seasoning brands such as “Mrs. Dash”, garlic powder, onion powder or chili powder, as well as fresh/dried herbs, are all great, options! Make your own marinades for lean meats, tofu, and veggies. This way you can avoid the additional calories found within a pre-made marinade.

Get Creative

Pork was originally the first barbecued meat, other foods then started catching the spotlight. Some popular barbeque foods are seafood, chicken, veggies, tofu, and even some fruits. Want more low carb options? Consider trying cauliflower “steaks” or portabella mushrooms in place of hamburger buns. Can’t decide what to throw on the grill? Try making kabobs with of your favorite protein and a variety of vegetables! Here’s a list of some mouthwatering, healthy options to throw on the grill this season:

Choose this not that:

Choose this:Not that:
Grilled portabella mushroom buns, Lettuce wrapsHamburger buns
Livea chips, Kale chips, Zucchini chips, Radish chipsPotato chips
Creamy Livea Dips: Like this OR thisRanch dip/ cheese dip
Nonfat Greek yogurt, AvocadoMayo
JicamaPotatoes
Livea Peaches & Cream MuffinsPeach Pie

BBQ Drinks

Yummy food, friends, family, music… and drinks? Let me stop you there. As you may know, alcohol can make it harder to achieve weight loss, and may even sabotage all your hard work and progress. Not to mention, alcohol does not provide any nutritional value. Instead, let’s hydrate our bodies without the empty calories with some fun “mocktails.” Grab yourself a fancy glass, pour in some soda water, fresh squeezed lime and some fun garnishes, and you are ready to have some fun in the sun. Check out livea.com and the links below for more delicious mocktail recipes.

Mocktail Recipes

Sunrise Mocktail

Bloody Mary

Jalapeno Berry Margarita with Mint

Mock Mint Julep

BBQ season and our goals

The next BBQ doesn’t have to leave you with feelings of guilt and worry, you now have the tools to navigate grilling season! Enjoy the company around you and have some healthy drinks and food, that will not only taste good, but will help to achieve your goals!

HAPPY BBQ MONTH! 

Resources:

1 Cortes, Jan.Medical Daily, “BBQ Healthy And Good For Weight Loss? Science Has The Answer.” 2021,https://www.medicaldaily.com/bbq-healthy-and-good-weight-loss-science-has-answer-460038

2.National day calendar. “National Barbeque Month.”https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-barbecue-month-may/, 2022.