Can you have a backyard barbecue and stay on a diet? Yes, you can! You can celebrate with your friends and family and eat a healthy meal. How can you have your barbecue and not over eat? It’s easy — especially since cooking on a grill doesn’t require oils to cook and you can grill practically anything!

Here are our best tips for enjoying a backyard barbecue and enjoying the plethora of food that will be on display!

Planning ahead is key. When you attend any kind of party — backyard barbecue is no exception — you will be faced with temptation. Potato chips and sugary drinks and foods are usually part of the offerings you will find. If you plan ahead and eat a healthy breakfast before you go to the party you may not be as tempted. If you arrive at the barbecue and are already hungry, you won’t be able to resist the lure of chips and dip and you will be more prone to overeat.

Grill Up Your Easter DinnerYou also don’t want to deny yourself everything that looks delicious. Everyone deserves a treat now and again. If you haven’t had potato chips in months you can sample a few — it just might quell that urge.

Know what your temptations are and devise a plan to resist or to give in in a healthy way. Also, know what foods you want to eat and stick to that plan. Bring a healthy side dish or treat that you can enjoy and share with others.

Don’t graze. It is so easy to stand at the buffet table and graze. Filling your plate, then finishing off what’s on there then refilling your plate is a recipe for disaster. Scope out the entire buffet and all of the offerings. Fill your plate with veggies and proteins first, then give yourself the treats. The rule of thumb is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with a protein and the other quarter with carbohydrates or fatty foods.

Fill your plate then sit down and thoroughly chew and enjoy every delicious bite.

Healthy Tips For Backyard Barbecue Dinners

Watch what you’re drinking. Beverages are empty calories that not only fill you up, but fill you up with calories and sugars! In many instances beverages have no nutritional value and don’t provide any benefits for your body or your health.

2019 weight loss resolutionChoose water with fruit in it; slices of lemon, blueberries, cucumbers or strawberries give water a festive taste and look. If you really want to binge on an alcoholic beverage, have a half a glass so you can feel like you’re not denying yourself every pleasure.

Choose lean proteins. Trim the fat off the meats you’re eating. Choose a turkey burger over a beef burger. Don’t forget to choose fish or chicken as they are delicious and easy to grill up. Offer to bring a plank of salmon or skewers of shrimp for a healthy protein.

Don’t bring home leftovers. Many hosts will offer to prepare a plate for you to bring home with you. Resist the urge, but thank them for the thought. Keep the delicious barbecued foods and treats to an occasional splurge. If you made a healthy treat for the barbecue, bring that home with you — after you’ve offered your hosts a plateful, of course.

When you’re at a backyard barbecue and are enjoying time with friends and family, make sure you take time to jump in the pool or get involved in out of pool activities like croquet or volleyball. Burn off those extra calories while having fun.

Summer isn’t about denial, it’s about planning ahead and having fun with friends and family at your next backyard barbecue.