Barbecue season is upon us! As grills are fired up around the country, many people are tempted to overindulge. Here are six tips to help you keep a lid on calories and prevent unwanted weight gain this BBQ season:
1. CHOOSE LEAN PROTEINS
Swap high-fat, processed meats for leaner proteins such as fish fillets, skinless chicken breasts, tofu, bean or veggie burgers.
2. ADD COLOR TO YOUR PLATE
Typical barbecue fare (meats and mayonnaise-laden potato/macaroni salads) tend to be brown and white. Maximize your vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant intake by adding more COLOR to your plate. Add leafy greens, grilled veggies, fresh fruit, sweet potato, or corn on the cob to liven that plate of yours.
3. PAY ATTENTION TO PORTION SIZE
Reserve one quarter of your plate for protein (meat, fish, chicken, soy, beans, nuts, or dairy), one quarter for starch (grain, corn, potato, or bread), and fill the remainder with colorful fruits and veggies.
4. SLOW DOWN AND BREAK BETWEEN COURSES
Eating quickly encourages overeating because it takes at least twenty minutes for your brain to recognize that your body is full. When you SLOW DOWN (hint: place your fork down between bites of food), your brain has an opportunity to receive the fullness signal.
Take a ten minute break before diving into dessert. In those ten minutes, you may decide you’re already stuffed. If not, consider a healthful option such as grilled pineapple or fresh watermelon. If fruit alone will not satisfy you, enjoy a small piece of the alternative, and savor each bite.
5. DRINK WATER
Replacing high-calorie beverages with water will keep you hydrated and take up space that might otherwise be filled with unnecessary calories.
6. KEEP MOVING
According to the National Registry of Weight Control, the largest prospective study of long-term successful weight loss maintenance, 90% of people who maintain weight loss exercise about an hour per day.