Whilst summer is usually the source of motivation for those wanting to lose weight and subsequently look good for the hottest time of year, it can also be a source of temptation for many, meaning that they fail to reach their diet goals.
With summer just around the corner, BBQ season is nearly upon us and nothing says summer more than a BBQ with plenty of sunshine, family, friends and good food. However, with a range of foods and sugary drinks on offer, many people give in to the temptation and lose sight of their diet goals during BBQ season. Whilst this is common, it isn’t inevitable - you can stick to your diet goals by enjoying healthy meals on the BBQ.
In this blog, we’ll discuss our tips for sticking to your goals during the warmer seasons, when barbeques become popular. With planning, motivation and the help of our meal prep service, you can enjoy BBQs - either as an alternative to your regular method of cooking or as a social event - without hindering your progress.
Know the BBQ culprits
Sticking to your healthy diet during BBQ season is certainly easier if you’re hosting a social BBQ or have the BBQ out just to cook meals for yourself or a few others. However, if you’re attending a BBQ this summer whilst also trying to stick to your diet goals, being aware of the worst BBQ foods that will hinder weight loss progress is essential. By knowing which foods to avoid and understanding why they should be avoided, you can make an effort to say no to them and find healthier alternatives instead.
Whilst sausages and beefburgers are certainly some of the most popular options at a BBQ, they should be the main foods to avoid if you’re trying to stick to a diet plan. They tend to be high in fat and calories, so if you are tempted by these, it’s wise to limit yourself to just one of each. However, for a healthier alternative, you can always take a leaner option that is lower in fat as your contribution to a social BBQ. Low-fat sausages and burgers made from extra-lean mince are better options. If you’re open to the idea of skipping the beef altogether in the name of diet goals, we think that turkey burgers are delicious on the BBQ.
Sticking to the subject of popular BBQ meat, chicken is also a popular choice. Whilst the breast meat is the best source for quality protein, chicken thighs and drumsticks are popular on the BBQ. These can be high in fat because of the skin, so If you’re cooking chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks on the BBQ, make sure you remove this part. Similarly, with any type of meat, make sure that you cut off any fat to reduce your fat intake. If you’re hosting the BBQ or are helping to prepare the food, avoid marinades that are high in fat and make a conscious effort to avoid oils and choose fat-free marinades instead.
Make a swap and choose alternatives
If you’re in charge of hosting a social BBQ or you’re casually cooking on the BBQ outside instead of in the kitchen at home, it can be a lot easier to make healthier choices and find alternatives because you’re in charge. Many common BBQ foods that are high in fat and responsible for hindering your progress can be swapped for a healthier alternative that is just as delicious. Using fresh ingredients instead of processed food is a great place to start.
As mentioned earlier, swapping beef burgers with a burger made from lean turkey mince makes a great alternative. If you’re following a diet that’s low in carbs or are looking for another way to lower your calorie intake, opting for a bunless burger is a great option. You can still top your burger with delicious salad leaves and low-fat sauces, but skip the bun for a healthy meal. If the patty is well seasoned and enjoyed with tasty sides, we promise that you won’t even miss it! Another delicious meal that uses leaner cuts of meat and plenty of vegetables is kebabs. Chicken breast pieces, for a source of lean protein, with crunchy peppers and red onion on a skewer are a tasty combination and for an extra punch of flavour, why not try adding spices or a low-fat marinade to the chicken?
As for side dishes, popular choices at a BBQ tend to be chips, salads and sometimes rice dishes. When selecting your sides, increase your salad intake and steer clear of sides that may be high in fat, such as chips. Instead, opt for a sweet potato alternative or a jacket potato and if your diet plan allows you to enjoy a rice dish, choose brown rice over white rice. White rice doesn’t contain many essential nutrients and is therefore often considered a source of ‘empty calories’.
A popular condiment at BBQs tends to be dips or even a dip tray where you have a selection to choose from. These dips are often full of calories and contain a high amount of fat because of the oil, soured cream or mayonnaise they contain. Healthier dips tend to be tomato or yoghurt-based, such as a tomato salsa or tzatziki dip. You might be tempted to get out the crisps for these dips, but wholemeal pitta and crunchy veggie sticks - such as carrot batons and red pepper strips - are much healthier alternatives that still provide a great taste.
Drinks can often be a source of temptation at a BBQ, especially if it’s a social event, yet drinks are often overlooked whilst food remains the focus of diet plans. If you aren’t out socialising and are enjoying a quiet BBQ at home, it can be much easier to stick to low-calorie soft drinks or even water. However, if you are out socialising and would like to join your friends or family in enjoying an alcoholic drink, there are still plenty of healthy options, providing you have these in moderation. Making the effort to find low-calorie and low-sugar wines, cocktails and beers can go a long way and with so many choices out there nowadays, you’re sure to find your new favourite drink that doesn’t compromise on taste.
Planning ahead as the key to success
Planning ahead is crucial in staying on track and overcoming any obstacles that are in the way of achieving your diet goals. For example, making sure that you don’t arrive at a BBQ on an empty stomach will minimise the temptation to eat unhealthy foods and overindulge. Instead, consuming a healthier meal - such as one of our nutritious meals - or a substantial snack before you go will help you to avoid eating too many unhealthy foods. If you know you have a BBQ coming up at the weekend, consuming healthy, fresh meals - such as our healthy meal prep - all week means that you can afford to enjoy some treats, in moderation. Balanced meals are the key to sustaining a lifestyle and meeting your goals, whether that's weight loss or muscle gain.
With our meal prep plans, you'll always have a variety of meals available that can be ready in minutes, with no hassle. By having them available whenever you’re ready to eat, you can avoid the temptation of eating unhealthy snacks or meals when you’re low on healthy ingredients or haven’t managed to get to the shops.
Each of our recipes combines taste and nutrition, to bring you tasty meals that are full of flavour and packed with vital nutrients. Your meal packages will arrive labelled with the calories and the macros that each portion contains so that you can track your intake throughout the week, making sure that you’re meeting your goals.
Our meal prep options include meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks in between. We have a range of meals, made with fresh, organic ingredients, to suit all tastes. From chicken curry to fish dishes such as our grilled sea bass, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting your weekly meal prep. We change our menu frequently based on the season, to ensure that the ingredients we use in our dishes are as fresh as possible. Each dish will also undergo quality checks by our chefs before they are sent out to you to make sure that every mouthful is absolutely delicious!
Flexibility is important to us here as we know that each person has different dietary requirements and different fitness goals. We offer vegetarian meals, vegan meal delivery and the opportunity to customise each plan - either by ingredient or by macros - to ensure that it is tailored exactly to your needs and any allergies or intolerances you may have. You can also add extra meals to your plan or remove some each week if needed, to meet your plans. Our customers also enjoy nationwide meal delivery, so you can access our range of delicious meals from wherever you are in the country.
Order your meal prep today to stay on track in BBQ season
With our meal prep service, you’ll be eating nutritious meals that are tailored to your diet goals, helping you to live a healthier lifestyle. By following your meal prep plan consistently all week, attending a BBQ this summer doesn’t have to slow your progress. Having a balanced diet, combined with an effective exercise plan, is the key to forming sustainable healthy habits. So, if you stick to your meal prep plan all week, you can still attend that BBQ you have planned and have a fantastic time! By putting these tips into action by being aware of the foods to avoid, making healthier choices and planning ahead, you can still smash those diet goals during BBQ season.
Place your meal prep order now for delicious and nutritious meals tailored specifically to you and your diet goals. For more information or to speak to a member of our team, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0333 360 0278.
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