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Keep your nutrition on track even at cookouts

Fire on grill | Get Gritty Nutrition

What to do when the menu is out of your control

As people begin to get together again for summer cookouts and parties, how does one stay on track with a healthy diet when faced with delicious temptations? If you’re anything like me, the potato salad, chips with dips, cookies and cakes always call my name. Eating these yummy cookout staples in moderation can be easier said than done. Here are some tips on how to stay on track with your balanced nutrition plan while not depriving yourself at your next cookout:

  • Ask the host what he/she will  serve. This way you can plan to eat what is on the menu in moderation and plan the rest of your day around this meal.
  • Don’t arrive starving. It’s the same idea as not grocery shopping while hungry. If you’re moderately satiated when you arrive at the cookout, you are less likely to eat more than you need. Eat a protein-forward snack like chicken breast, a protein bar, protein smoothie, etc before you go.
  • Bring a dish. Make a macro-friendly dish to share with others or bring a single serving for yourself. Think carrots and hummus, veggies for the grill, fresh fruit, black bean salad, etc.
  • Drink lots of water. Drinking water will keep you hydrated, will keep your hands busy and will help you feel full. Increased water intake may help you stay away from mindless snacking as well.
  • Live a little! If there is a dish or dessert that you are truly craving, don’t deprive yourself! Eat it in moderation then skip some of the other dishes you aren’t super pumped about.

Cookouts are an American tradition! If you have a tendency to mindlessly eat when in close proximity to a table of yummy foods (referring to myself), move out of reach of the food area and try to focus on connecting with friends and family. Bon appétit!

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