15 Ways to Eat Smart at a Summer Cookout

May 27 2016
Memorial Day is this Monday, marking the unofficial start to summer. So we've pooled together our best tips for getting through the season's backyard barbeques without sacrificing your healthy-eating habits! You've got this...

Before You Go

1. Eat a light meal or hearty snack prior to party time. If you show up ravenous, you'll just overdo it. "Saving all your calories" for an event is never the way to go.

2. Bring your own water, complete with "fruit cubes!" Stay hydrated with your own refillable water bottle; it's surprisingly easy to confuse thirst for hunger. For fun and function, add some frozen fruit -- it'll keep your drink cold and add flavor as it thaws! Fresh fruit is great too...

Guilt-Free Contributions

3. Know your weakness, and a bring a smart swap. Sucker for potato salad? We've got recipes. Will you cry without chips? Bring a better bag of baked ones!

4. Assemble a fruit or veggie platter. This way, you'll have something nutritious to munch on at all times.

5. Make some mocktails. Calorie counters and non-drinkers will appreciate the gesture... This Lemonade Faux-jito Pitcher rocks!

6. A box of veggie burgers will save the day. Even if you're a meat eater, veggie patties are typically a much better choice than standard burgers and hot dogs.

What to Eat & What to Avoid

7. Befriend the grill. That's where a lot of your best options are going to come from: Chicken breasts, grilled veggies, lean turkey burgers... yum! And remember, protein is filling.

8. Say no to mayo… and not just on your sandwich. Those goopy scoopable salads are loaded with high-calorie condiments.

9. Build a better burger. Blot away excess oil, and load it up with fresh veggies, ketchup, mustard, and pickle chips! One more tip...

10. Go bunless! Whether you've got a chicken breast, veggie patty, burger, or hot dog, wrap that protein in lettuce leaves (or enjoy it over a pile of lettuce) instead of a carby bun.

On-the-Fly Food Hacks

11. Have a salad… Even if there's no salad. Grab some lettuce leaves from the burger fixins, and give 'em a rough chop with that plastic fork and knife. Top with a chopped burger patty or grilled chicken, plus veggies: pickles, onion, tomato, etc. Then dress with a drizzle of BBQ sauce or a spoonful of salsa. Smart!

12. Stretch your guac. Guacamole's delicious, but the stats add up. Swirl some salsa into your guac for a bigger portion with hardly any additional calories!

Best Behaviors

13. Be a social butterfly. It's tough to eat while you're chatting... Silly but true! Fun conversation starter: If you could only eat ONE food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

14. Make like a kid, and play! If there's a volleyball game or round of touch football, get in on it. And if there isn't, start something up.

15. Don't stress; it's a party. Do the best you can, but don't beat yourself up if your food isn't perfect; remember it's just one day. Just get back on that wagon tomorrow!
HG FYI: There will be no HG daily email this Monday, in honor of Memorial Day. But we'll be back Tuesday with a ridiculously fantastic breakfast recipe that you do NOT wanna miss...

Chew on this:

Ooh, it's National Grape Popsicle Day, May 27th. Reach for Outshine Grape Fruit Bars... only 60 calories a pop!

Help your pals out -- click "Send to a Friend" before the weekend rolls around!

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