When it comes to striking a balance between having the body you want and oh, that thing we call enjoying life, many people get stuck in a conundrum: how to become (or stay) slim and still have F-U-N.
One of the reasons so many people end up being yo yo dieters is because they feel they have to give up their social life (and for that matter life) in order to drop a few lbs. A little FOMO later, they throw in the towel.
But there is a better way. I promise.
Learning how to incorporate healthy eating without sacrificing your life is KEY to long term success, and happiness! No matter what is being served, who you’re with, and where you are, you can make good food choices – or at least the best possible choices for the given situation.
Once you learn how to do this, you’ll finally be able to answer the question of how to become slim and still maintain a social life. And, you’ll be living proof you know what you’re talking about.
Many of my clients find the summer in particular to be the most challenging time of the year to eat clean. Friday nights scream for happy hour Rose, Saturday afternoons are synonymous with lobster rolls and chips and guac and Sundays become decadent Fundays before you’ve finished your first bloody.
This year, let’s do things a little differently.
How to Become Slim and Still Enjoy Summer BBQs
Have a filling food before you go. I always say “ruin your appetite” – eat a snack that provides satiety so you don’t get to the BBQ famished. And don’t “hold out” ! NOT eating all day in prep of a big BBQ is the worst thing you can do. You’ll slow down your metabolism and end up eating fast and furious, likely consuming double the calories of what you would have had you just eaten regular meals throughout the day. Two slices of fresh turkey or an apple with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter can go a long way pre-partying.
Assess the situation when you arrive. Sometimes your whole attitude going in can make or break your cocktail party/BBQ experience… If you see spinach dip when you walk in you may think (even subconsciously), “It’s all over, there’s nothing healthy here, I might as well go hog wild…” Then you notice chicken skewers, shrimp cocktail, crudités. Be patient. Check out the scene. You can usually pull together a perfectly proportioned meal in what appears to be the most indulgent scenario. How does a plain burger with pickles and grilled veggies, crudités and an ounce of cheese sound?
Hold out on the first drink when you arrive. Try to skip that first drink and grab a glass (or Solo cup) of water instead. When you’ve downed your first beer before you’ve even said hello to your hosts you’re probably off to an overindulgent night. You’ll end up consuming too many calories from alcohol and the alcohol will most likely cause you to consume too many calories from food. Slow down. Hydrate. Sip. And, then have a glass of water between each drink.
Fill your plate one time. Have you ever gone back for thirds? I bet if you’d filled your plate one time with 6 ounces of meat you probably would have been satisfied. But going back 3 times for 3 ounce portions somehow is barely satisfying you. Take a serving of meat, chicken or other vegetarian protein that is being served (bbq chicken or fish is usually the leanest option) and then fill the rest of your plate with the healthiest options available such as grilled vegetables, roasted corn, tomato slices, pickles and salad. Enjoy what you put on your plate and then be done. Stop and go enjoy the people (not the food!) around you.
Be prepared at home. Have you ever been really “good” and drank seltzer at a cocktail party, nibbled on crudités, had a bite of a chicken skewer and then gotten home and ATTACKED THE REFRIGERATOR? Often we make the mistake of thinking “I already ate” when our belly is still truly hungry. So, you begin picking and picking and you’ve soon you’ve consumed 1000 calories of who knows what from your refrigerator and pantry. Make sure to have a mini meal ready for when you get home if you’re going to a party where you won’t eat a “real” meal. It can be as simple as sliced turkey and frozen vegetables or chickpeas sautéed with olive and spices and tossed over bagged lettuce.
So there you have it. Learning how to become and still keep your summer weekends jam packed with BBQs is all about being prepared before you go, making the best choices while you’re there, and setting yourself up for success when you get home. Happy bbq’ing.
The Nutritious Life Editors are a team of healthy lifestyle enthusiasts who not only subscribe to — and live! — the 8 Pillars of a Nutritious Life, but also have access to some of the savviest thought leaders in the health and wellness space — including our founder and resident dietitian, Keri Glassman. From the hottest trends in wellness to the latest medical science, we stay on top of it all in order to deliver the info YOU need to live your most nutritious life.
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