Summertime is all about outdoor parties, picnics, and barbeques. The weather is perfect for grilling and dining al fresco. I’ve got a delicious grilled salad recipe to share with you but before you fire up the grill, check out these 7 simple strategies to keep you focused and on track with your healthy weight efforts.
1. Continue to practice your healthy eating habits– especially on the day of the event. Don’t skip meals or save up calories. This is a sure-fire way to set yourself up for overeating.
2. Stick with your daily exercise routine. Do it first thing in the morning to get it out of the way so there is no excuse to skip it. And remember, exercising doesn’t give you the green light to overindulge.
3. Decide ahead of time what and how much you will eat. This will minimize your chances of getting caught up in mindless eating that leads to overconsumption.
4. After you have chosen your food wisely, eat it slowly. When you eat too fast, you can end up consuming more food than originally intended. Make your meal last at least 15 minutes to give your body a chance to feel satisfied. Then wait awhile and go back for seconds only if you are still truly hungry.
5. If you are going as a guest, offer to bring an appetizer or side dish. At most BBQs and parties, there is no shortage of high-calorie, high-fat foods. Do something different and bring a fruit salad made with some in-season delicacies like berries, cherries, peaches, and watermelon. Or prepare a platter of cut-up fresh veggies like cucumbers, carrots, celery, asparagus tips, cherry tomatoes, and radishes. Bring along a few dips such as hummus, guacamole, low-fat bean dip, and salsa. These go great with homemade or baked pita chips, too. This way you are guaranteed some choices that allow you to stick with your healthy diet.
6. Move away from the buffet table. There will likely be a table or two filled with appetizers and other food, drinks, and desserts. Hanging out in this area is almost a guarantee that you’ll overeat. Get yourself a plate of food and walk away.
7. Watch what you drink. If alcohol is on the menu, select a light beer or wine spritzer. Both are refreshing and lower in calories than most other alcoholic beverages. However, be mindful that alcohol is like a double edge sword; it quickly adds extra calories and lowers your inhibitions to eat more. Your best bet is to stick with ice water, sparkling water, unsweetened iced tea, and other non-caloric beverages.
Bonus Tip. If you are hosting the party, try grilling up some fruit. As the natural sugar in the fruit caramelizes, it develops a unique sweetness. Put a little dab of butter on whole, peeled bananas and quartered peaches before grilling. Strawberries and other small pieces of fruit can be folded in aluminum foil so they don’t fall through the grill grates. Sprinkle on a bit of sugar and they will turn soft and smoky. Served over a scoop of low-fat vanilla ice cream, this delicious dessert will surely impress your guests.
Now, go ahead and check out this Grilled Summer Salad recipe. I hope you enjoy it. Happy grilling!
Lorraine Matthews-Antosiewicz, MS, RD
The key to achieving and maintain a healthy weight is developing eating habits you can stick with for the rest of your life. This requires having specific strategies to deal with eating challenges throughout the year.
I can help you find simple ways to get back on track so you feel better again, have more energy, enjoy eating, achieve your personal best weight, and maintain it with ease.
LET’S TALK. I look forward to speaking with you.
If you need help creating a healthy eating plan, give me a call @ 732-494-1149.