Let’s face it, summer means long days and warm nights, perfect for get togethers and BBQ’s with friends and family. So what do you do when you’re faced with the option to stick to your diet or splurge and eat a bowl of artichoke dip and half a loaf of french bread? Don’t worry friends, I’ve come up with a plan of attack to make the decision to stick to your diet guns easy.
- Step 1: Make sure you bring something to the pot-luck or BBQ that is delicious and diet friendly. This serves 2 purposes, first if all else fails you can simply eat your dish and not feel bad about your food choices, and second by providing a healthy dish you are exposing your friends and family to delicious healthy food which could spark their own transformation.
- Step 2: Steer clear of the chips and dips! Holy calories batman, and empty ones at that! Opt for homemade salsa and guacamole or hummus with veggies if you must. Be careful with portion sizes, these types of foods encourage grazing, before you know it you’re scraping the bottom of the bowl of red pepper hummus and just consumed 500 calories.
- Step 3: The grill is your BFF, and here’s why. Grilling lean meats and vegetables is one of the healthiest ways to prepare food since there is little oil needed. On that note it’s probably a good idea to pass on the Sweet Baby Rays drenched ribs, and the cheddar jalapeno stuffed bacon wrapped cheeseburger. Still make healthy choices, stick with chicken, fish, veggie kabobs, lean beef etc…
- Step 4: Mind your manners at the bar. This is a slippery diet slope to be on. Of course you want to enjoy a few drinks with your friends on a hot summers’ night, but again this is a quick way to rack up empty calories. Also alcohol has a way of slowing down digestion making it very hard for your body to absorb nutrients from food. I’m not saying don’t drink, just be mindful of the 150 calories per beer or glass of wine. There’s a neat website called, Rethinking Drinking, that shows calories per drink and type.
- Step 5: Enjoy strawberries as dessert instead of strawberry shortcake, have a slice of watermelon or cantaloupe to quell sugar cravings. Tis the season for fresh fruit, so take advantage of it.
- Step 6: Host the party! This lets you dictate a large portion of the menu, and when people ask what they can bring you can give them suggestions that align with the rest of the diet-friendly cuisine.
- Step 7: Try out some new recipes, or better yet try some old recipes with a paleo twist like this Paleo Potato Salad. Prepare for your friends to be impressed at your culinary prowess.
- Step 8: Go bunless, this seems like a no brainer, ditch the empty carbs.
So there you have it, I think it’s a pretty solid game plan for sticking to your diet when you’re around lots of yummy food. Heck you might even convince a few people to change their eating habits.
Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll be sharing with you some of my favorite paleo recipes!