Say hello to a healthy summer cookout with these healthy and tasty suggestions!
Summer can be a great time to enjoy outdoor activities like grilling out. However, cookouts can sometimes mean calories galore! Put a light, lean spin on your summer barbeque by swapping traditional dishes for healthier options, without sacrificing flavor.
Eat This, Not That
It can be hard to turn down a traditional burger with all the toppings – but you can easily reinvent that burger with a healthy twist.
- Swap out a beef patty for a lean turkey breast, black bean burger, or grilled chicken. With healthy toppings like avocado slices, tomato, and lettuce, you’ll hardly notice the difference – but your scale will thank you.
- Scale down serving sizes and cut carbs by making open-faced sandwiches or wraps.
- Incorporate more fish, and healthy Omega-3s, into your diet, by choosing a lean seafood option. Try salmon grilled on cedar planks, or kabobs with shrimp and fresh vegetables.
Delicious Side Dishes
The secret culprit of any cookout -side dishes- can quickly turn into a calorie overload.
- Avoid heavier dishes like potato, macaroni, or pasta salad, and serve a large garden salad instead.
- Are you a fan of baked beans? Try black beans for a healthier, lighter option.
- Don’t go straight for the chips and dip. Serve a veggie tray with fresh hummus or guacamole as an alternative.
Sweet, Simple Desserts
Hot summer nights can make ice cream an appetizing idea but by the time you add toppings, you’re also adding calories, and those aren’t so sweet. Desserts are the perfect dish for practicing healthy swaps.
- Instead of a fudge pop, freeze a small glass of low-sugar juice with a popsicle stick. Bring it out for an instantly sweet snack.
- Take advantage of the season to enjoy fresh grapes, strawberries, nectarines, and other fruits. Pair them with a salty snack, like nuts, for a treat that won’t leave you feeling too full.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth by trading a pint of chocolate ice cream for a small serving of yogurt with frozen berries.
Are you ready to make wellness and weight loss a part of your lifestyle? Find out how Dr. Garcia can help by scheduling a no-cost, no-obligation consultation right now!
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on July 1, 2013