Top Summer BBQ Tips (So You Don’t Get Burned)


- By Lauren Slayton, MS RD; Founder of Foodtrainers

'Tis the season for outdoor BBQs with good company and great food. While these summer feasts can be filled with temptation, if you follow these easy tips you can enjoy without the guilt. 

  1. Help your host (and who are we kidding, yourself too). Offer to bring a dish. We’re loving cauliflower tabouli but a fruit plate works if you’re short on time. Try strawberry or watermelon balls on skewers for a festive twist.
  2. Sit away from the chips. Barbecues can go on for hours and grazing is dangerous. Be sure you’re sitting away from any munchy food like chips. In the same, strategic vein, take a plate is a Foodtrainers’ fave party rule. Put everything you’re eating on one plate and skip the second helpings.
  3. Seek out the seasonal. There are so many wholesome summery foods - tomatoes, local corn, watermelon, fresh basil. Pack your plate with produce.
  4. Condiment control. Ketchup and BBQ sauce are generally sugar bombs. Instead, spread mustard, shake on some hot sauce or seek out sugar free and super healthy Avocado Mayo (yup) from Primal Kitchen.
  5. Shun the bun. There's nothing to be gained from these white processed creations. Put your burger on top of a salad or lettuce wrap it instead.
  6. Pre-think your drinks. Give yourself a boozy budget versus drinking the day away. And we suggest a 1-for-1 rule. One tall glass of water per wine or cocktail. This will slow you down and leave you feeling better afterward. **Better yet, be the designated driver.
  7. United we stand. Sure, we can go off the rails with our eating but sitting is pretty bad for us too. The more you sit, the easier it is for your body to store fat. Get involved in any lawn or pool games/help clear the table and/or get in at least 30 minutes of movement pre-BBQ.
  8. One vice is nice. We never want to be a total buzz kill (just a minor one). We have a 1 of 4 no more rule from The Little Book of Thin. Of bread, booze, dinner/meal carb and dessert- pick your pleasure. Pick 1 and skip the others.
About Foodtrainers

Foodtrainers was created by Lauren Slayton M.S., R.D. who is also the author of The Little Book of Thin (Perigee 2014). She received her undergraduate degree from Tulane University where, amidst party central, she first realized the challenge of balancing work and play, healthy and indulgent. She completed her Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition at New York University, worked at St Luke’s-Roosevelt obesity research unit and developed a nutrition program for the Equinox fitness clubs. Since opening in 2001, Foodtrainers has seen thousands of clients in private nutrition sessions at their New York City offices as well as through daily check-ins with their Foodstalking program. 

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