BBQ, Picnics and Grilling- Tips on How to Outsmart the Summer Cookout

Don't let a summer cookout take you off track. Check out some tips to outsmart those BBQ temptations!
CrossFit Threefold
June 29, 2024
BBQ, Picnics and Grilling- Tips on How to Outsmart the Summer Cookout

Summer Temptation- What to do?

BBQ. Picnics. Grilling. Three little words that seem to define summer. It’s all about getting outside, soaking in some sun, eating well and being with friends and family. A classic bbq is filled with burgers, hot dogs, pasta salads and indulgent desserts. All the things you know aren’t the best for your health, or waistline. 

In an ideal world you’d be able to say no to those treats without hesitation. But we all know how tough that can be, especially if choices are limited. We also know this. Life is about living. It’s about having fun and doing things in moderation. But when your calendar fills up with picnics, bbqs and get-togethers it’s tough staying on track. Or is it? When those invites come rolling in, the last thing you want to do is decline an invitation because you’re worried about temptation. Summer BBQs are meant for relaxing, enjoyment and good company. They’re not defined by how much you eat, or what you put on your plate (or in your cup for that matter). All you have to do is take things in stride and follow a few simple tips to outsmart the summer cookout and leave feeling your best. 

Stick to Your Routine

If you know a barbeque or picnic is coming, do yourself a favor and stick with your regular routine. Don’t skimp or skip things because you’ve got a full day ahead. It’s easier to fall off track and make unhealthy choices if you stray away from structure and routine. Make it a point to hit your workout hard and early in the day. Sure your schedule is busy, but making time for yourself is the most important thing you can do. 

Rule 1- Get your workout done. If a picnic’s on your schedule, make sure to rise and shine earlier than usual to get it done. Busting out some exercise first thing leaves the rest of the day wide open. Not to mention you’ll be energized and more productive as the day goes on! Working out early is a great way to start your day. Think of how motivated and invigorated you’ll feel after crossing a strong workout off your list! Get in, get out and get things done. Then the rest of the day is yours. You’ll have plenty of time to shop for your favorite pot-luck picnic dish, prepare it, and then get yourself party ready. All you have to do is prioritize and think ahead. 

Rule 2- Think intently about your meals. One thing you don’t want to do is skip meals to “save” calories for later. You need energy to make it through your day and function your best. Even with a barbeque later on, eat as you normally would. This way your nutrtion stays on point and your body is getting what it needs to sustain energy and strength. Lean protein, fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Everything you need to rock it.

Midday picnic? No sweat, just prepare a high protein breakfast that’ll keep you full all morning long. Breakfast is a meal often skipped if a “big” lunch or picnic is coming. But don’t fall into that trend. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gets your metabolism going and gives you energy for the day. Some great breakfast ideas include:

Starting your morning off right sets you up for the rest of your day. And don’t forget about hydration! Hydrating your body is so valuable. Your body needs water to stay alert, focused, productive and looking great. Sipping enough H20 also prevents headaches. Think about it. How many times have you gone to a picnic, mid afternoon sun a-blazing and developed a headache? Probably more than you’d like to admit. And that’s probably because you were drinking too much alcohol (or sugary drinks like lemonade) and not enough water. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Just like you do during a regular day. Visualize that water jug you tote around and remember to alternate any drink you may be having with some ice cold water. Your body and mind will thank you, trust us! 

Bottom line, stick with your routine and make sure to hydrate before heading off to your barbeque. Healthy choices, mean a happier you.

Bring Along Your Favorite Dish

Although you can’t control everything served at a barbeque, you can definitely control what you bring. Chances are, even if the host declines your offer to bring a dish, you’ll bring something anyway- you’re just good like that! When picking your dish, go for fresh and colorful! Farmer’s markets are at their prime now. A quick visit to your local market is a great way to prep a seasonal plate no one will turn down. Not only will your body thank you, but you’ll also be supporting local vendors and farmers.That’s a win, win in our book. And while you’re at it make sure to pick up some fresh fruits and veggies for your weekly menu. Incorporating seasonal fruits and vegetables is always a good idea. You’ll fill your plate with amazing taste, color and nutrition. 

Ok back to planning for that barbeque. Bringing your go-to healthy picnic dish or fruit and vegetable platter is also a great way to promote healthier eating for everyone. We always try to spread the wealth when it comes to  good nutrition. So by toting along a refreshing and healthy option, you’re also showing others the importance of good, clean foods . 

Now, let’s talk drinks. This is one area many slip up on. If you plan on drinking alcohol go light! Don’t be shy about it either. Light beers, seltzers and lo-cal drinks are really popular. It seems like everywhere you turn, there’s a new ad for low carb, light beers and other drinks that’ll help you avoid that extra calories and a sugary crash. Summer drinks  look pretty, but are usually  recipes for disaster. They’ll give you headaches, feeling dehydrated and down right sluggish. The lighter the better and luckily for you many companies pride themselves on losing the junk, not the taste. Cheers to a better you!

All in all, there’s no denying a good old-fashioned summer barbeque is a great time. You just have to keep things under control. We all deserve a break and a little indulgence now and then. Too much restriction has the tendency to lead to overindulgence.That’s not good either. Everything in moderation. 

Keep your health goals in mind and remember why you fuel your body with healthy foods all year long. You want to be your best, feel your best and look good too. With these quick and easy tips you’ll outsmart any cookout- mind over matter and a whole lot of fun.

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