Need some diet tips to survive the summer barbecue?
Then you’ve come to the right place! Summertime is wonderful. Hearts are just a little lighter, events are just a little more laid back, and family and friends often find more time for each other.
This time spent is often presented in the form of a barbecue! While these barbecues are fun, they can be a source of anxiety for those on a diet of any kind. Never fear; there are strategies you can implement.
These tips will help you focus on the time spent with your loved ones versus feeling anxious about your diet.
Mistaking hunger for dehydration is a common issue with the general population. Staying hydrated not only helps your body function optimally but also helps manage hunger while on a diet.
Opt for 6-8 oz of water in between each alcoholic drink to stay hydrated. You’ll also avoid filling up as much on empty calories from yummy summertime beverages!
#2: Protein UP
The summertime barbecue is usually filled with so many delicious treat options! FYI: it’s totally OK to indulge and sample some of these snacks in moderation. Your best option is to fill up on protein first, veggies second, and then go back for some of those tasty treats.
If you are already filled up on protein and veggies, you are less likely to stuff your face quite so much.
#3: Eat Before!
Pro Tip: Eat a balanced snack before heading into a social situation while on a diet! This is similar to the concept of never going to the grocery store while hungry. Opt for something that has a good balance of proteins and carbs.
One option is to have protein shake and some high fiber fruit like mixed berries or an apple about 30-40 minutes before your event. This way, you are already partially satiated.
You’ll be less tempted to fill up on other items and focus less on the food and more on your friends and family.
If you know your Aunt Karen is going to be making her famous peach cobbler and you really want a piece, then eat it! Track your chosen treats before the day starts, then track all of your other food for the day around it.
Using this strategy while on a diet allows you to fit in your treats and stay on track.
Bonus: avoid the dreaded “but just have some, one day/bite/taste won’t hurt you” comment from your family and friends. Alternatively, pre-track some meals and leave extra wiggle room in your macros to make decisions while there.
Focusing on lean proteins and lower carb sources for the majority of the day will leave you with some room to make some other choices later on.
#5: Bring your own!
Offer to bring a dish that you made that you know fits within your diet goals.
Maybe it’s some kind of fruit salad, a healthy version of a sweet treat, or your choice of beverage, bringing your own items to a get-together helps you find the balance of enjoying yourself and still enjoying the food.
Who knows, someone may even ask you for your healthy recipe!
#6: Prepare your responses
Inevitably we will always face those friends and family who don’t value our diet efforts as much as we value them. This means you’ll need to come in prepared with some responses and options to handle the peer pressure our loved ones can unknowingly exert up on us. Here are some options…
“I’m watching my calories right now, but I’ll take some home to eat later! Thank you!” (Taking home a plate is a great way to fit in some foods later that you didn’t want to eat that day)
“I ate a snack before I came, but I’ll try some later” (then you don’t try some or take it home)
“No, thank you.” And leave it at that.
It is NOT easy to say no to loved ones! But, in the long run, you will be grateful that you valued your health and progress. Implementing some of the tips listed up above that will help!
When it is all said and done…
…being on a diet of any kind can make summertime barbecues a source of stress and anxiety.
And who wants to be worried about food, when you want to be enjoying the time with your family and friends?
Luckily with some intention and planning you can alleviate that anxiety. You can diet and make memories without feeling like you derailed your plan.