It’s almost Memorial Day, and you know what that means! Barbecues! But, for all of the fun that barbecues can be, they can wreak havoc on your diet. For those of us trying to get (or keep) our bodies looking good for summer, this can lead to all kinds of stress. While a good diet is essential to reaching your goals, one day won’t kill you if you keep your diet somewhat in check. Not only is it difficult to track every single gram of protein, fat, and carbs in the many homemade dishes being served, it’s awkward and you don’t want to become “that guy.” So how do you balance the stress of sticking to your diet and not freaking out when you deviate from it slightly? You compromise. Following the tips below, you’ll be able to eat as closely to your diet as possible without having to bring those dreaded Tupperware containers of chicken and broccoli to your Memorial Day BBQ. If you start to get stressed that you’ve gone too far off of your diet, remember that Memorial Day only comes once a year. Be mindful of what you’re eating but don’t stress!
Tip #1: Eat Your Burgers Without Buns
If your normal daily carbohydrate allowance lets you have the bread, go for it. For many of us who are eating low-carb diets, however, these buns are sure to send our carbs way over our daily allowance. This is why eating burgers without the buns is an easy way to stick closely to your diet. When it comes down to it, burgers are not that much different than the chicken breasts that many eat on the daily. There’s some extra fat for sure, but calories are still significantly lower than they would be for a burger with a bun. It’s an easy change that cuts out a ton of unnecessary calories!
Tip #2: Stay Away From the Pasta Salad
I know, pasta salad can be delicious. However, more often than not there’s a regular salad right next to it being completely ignored. With all of the dressing, pasta, and other ingredients, pasta salad is a calorie bomb waiting to go off. A regular salad is much less calorie-dense, allowing you to eat much more volume at just a fraction of the calories. This will also help to keep you full longer!
Tip #3: Drink Water!
Not only are soda, lemonade, and other beverages packed with calories, they also will not fill you up! Drinking your calories is an easy way to knock your diet off track as you’ll still be just as hungry afterward! Alcoholic beverages are even worse. While alcohol itself contains plenty of calories, you’re also far less likely to stick to your diet when intoxicated. For this reason, stick with water (which is calorie-free) and at least try to limit alcohol consumption.
Tip #4: Stick to What You Normally Eat
While it’s ridiculous to expect every one of the foods you eat daily to be served at the barbecue, a lot likely will be. There is nothing wrong with eating different foods if calories are equated, however, you will likely be more aware of the caloric content of foods you are more familiar with. If you are used to eating watermelon most days, you may be able to better estimate it’s calories than those of another food. Again, don’t stress yourself out, but it is good to be mindful.
Tip #5: Stay Away From The Dessert Table!
Last and definitely not least, this tip is probably the most difficult for me to follow. Desserts are packed with extra calories, fat, and sugar that will likely send you way over your daily goals. You may be able to fit in a dessert or two if you’ve been careful the rest of the day. Personally, I have a serious sweet tooth and if I eat one treat I’m going to eat a lot more, For this reason, it’s best for me to just avoid the dessert table altogether. However, if you are planning on having a dessert, stick to the limits that you set ahead of time and don’t go too crazy.
There you go! Five simple tips for keeping you on track during your Memorial Day BBQ. Now go have some fun, relax, and enjoy showing off your hard-earned beach body this summer!