How to Navigate that Backyard BBQ

First of all if you are a client of Summit Health you know that special days with family is a time to give yourself some grace and remember your human.  A break from tracking or a mindful approach is typically what we aim for with our clients.

Remember time with family and memories should be prioritized and although food can add to that enjoyment and memories it does not need to be everything!  We do not want to operate in the extremes.  Either we are perfect and hitting every macro or eating super clean or we are off the rails shoveling anything and everything in because your “taking a day off.”  Let go of the extreems and let’s find some balance.

Tips for navigating that Backyard BBQ or Summer Time Get-Together

  • Keep food quality high during the week and really focus on consistency on days leading up to AND after the party.
  • Bring your own Food : You have NO IDEA what else will be there so come prepared with something that you know you will enjoy and that will not break the nutrition bank so to speak!
  • Decide ahead of time – IF,  WHAT &  HOW MUCH you will drink.  Enjoy some high quality drinks and plenty of water too! Remember, you CAN be social without ‘the liquid courage.’ Also, if you want to enjoy dessert or a alcoholic beverage how about skip the bun.  Save some of those carbs for more fun stuff! Unless the bun is your jam, if so go for bad!
  • Bring your own Drinks  Come armed with La Croix, Zevia, Topo Chico, Kombucha, or coco water. Walk around with a cup of sparkling water’ & throw a lime in there or a little tart cherry juice & – nobody will know the difference
  • Scope out the spread FIRST!  Take a look at all the options and decide what you really want.
  • First trip thru focus on Protein and Veggies and a fun side.  Enjoy a serving of the things that you want.  Remember there isn’t really BAD or GOOD food.  It is the dose that makes the poison.  So be balanced and enjoy a reasonable amount of what it is that you would like to.  Remember if we are prioritizing protein – hotdogs, sausage, and brats are really a fat not a protein. If you want to enjoy some, feel free but be mindful. Enjoy other lean unprocessed meats as a priority.
  • Second trip thru, fill half your plate with veggies and then grab some dessert!
  • Give it at least 20 minutes before deciding to head back for thirds.  It takes time for food to digest and actually light up those satisfaction triggers in your brain.  Give it time.
  • Enjoy your food as you eat it.  Don’t just shovel it in like your late for an important date!  Stop, enjoy the tastes, smells textures. Savor the yummy goodness that these events bring.  It will really light up those satisfaction signals in the brain if you focus on that!
  • Move AWAY from the food table.  You know it’s true! If you are arms length away from that chip bowl or the cookie plate a good bit more that the usual will find its way into your mouth!
  • Move away.  Grab what you want and exodus.
  • Be Present. Enjoy your friends and family. Enjoy some sunshine. Take your shoes off, feel your toes in the grass. Throw the ball. Pet the dogs.  Run with the kiddos.  Just enjoy and let go of whatever else is on your mind.

Here are some great Picnic Food Ideas:

  • Marinated chicken breasts/thighs
  • Steak and Veggie Kabobs
  • Bison or turkey burgers
  • Avocados & guacamole
  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes
  • Veggie skewers or Black Bean Burgers

And there you have it. Some simple life hacks to make that Backyard BBQ a hit and not a roller coaster of macros and emotions for you in the coming week!  Enjoy your summer grilling ya all!






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