Five Tips for Healthy Outdoor Eating

Meats and Veggies on the Backyard Grill

Now that summer is officially here, it's time to get out the grill and enjoy some great barbecued food. Barbecues are a great time to get together with family and friends, enjoy the warm weather and watch the kids play together out in the yard while you talk.

If you're trying to lose weight, you don't have much to worry about when eating barbecued food. Barbecued food has a lower fat content than many fried foods, processed foods and baked foods. Even so, the following pointers will help you avoid hidden perils while still enjoying a great meal.

1)  Have a Drink Alternative

Cold beer goes great with barbecued food but has a high fat content. Avoid the temptation to drink by buying and chilling some natural fruit juice or homemade lemonade ahead of time.

2)  Grill Those Vegetables

Mushrooms, squash, eggplants and bell peppers taste great when grilled. Brush them lightly with olive oil so they don't dry out and enjoy them alongside your meat. Eating grilled vegetables will help fill you up so you don't overdo on meat.

3)  Eat a Salad While You Cook

Eating salad while the meat is barbecuing gives you something to do besides munching on chips and other fattening snacks. Just be sure to avoid the croutons, any fattening cheeses that may be added and the salad dressing.

4)  Select Your Meats with Care

If you're hosting the barbecue, choose a variety of low-fat meats such as lean steaks, chicken and even fish.

5)  Read the Label for Sauces & Condiments

Many barbecue sauces and marinades have a high sugar content. Read the labels carefully when shopping or make your own sauce at home using low-fat, healthy ingredients.

Eating right does not mean you have to forgo your favorite foods. With a bit of foresight and preparation, you can enjoy summer barbecues without packing on the pounds.


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