Now that it's summer, it's almost impossible to avoid the
ever-popular summer BBQ. Some of our favorite meals are cooked
over charcoal, but we still need to be aware that many of
the traditional 'summer' foods are packed with fat and calories!
it ironic that some of the 'fattest' foods make their debut
in the summer when we're all trying to fit into that bathing
which traditional summer foods will break the belt?
Although they're small, the typical hot dog contains about
30% of your daily saturated fat intake! At about 180 calories
each, hot dogs may seem quite harmless until we realize that
140 of those calories are from
Don't forget that the average hot dog bun has 110 calories,
which boosts the total to 250 calories per hot dog.
Ground beef comes in all sorts of varieties, from 'full-fat'
to 'low-fat'. You'll pay more for the low-fat version, but
it's worth it. The average hamburger has about 275 calories
and 12 grams of fat (includes the bun). That's slightly less
fat than the hot dog, but more calories. "The secret to keeping
the burger lean is to avoid the high fat toppings such as
mayonnaise, bacon, cheese or sauces and instead, garnish simply
with ketchup, mustard, tomatoes, onions and relishes" (Source:
Ontario Cattlemen's Association). Pile on the high-calories
toppings and you'll boost the calorie count to 800 or even
A summer BBQ just wouldn't be a BBQ without the chips! But
while we're enjoying the crunch, we're putting on the pounds.
Many brands of potato chips contain about 150 calories per
serving. Doesn't sound like much? Consider that what they
call a 'serving' is really one ounce.....11 chips.
another way to look at it: each SINGLE
potato chip provides a bit more than 1% of your daily recommended
what's a summer-BBQ-lovin' person to do? Relax! There's no
need to avoid the fun this summer! By just making a few creative
adjustments to the menu, we can enjoy the family picnic while
keeping our diet under control.
fruits, veggies and baked beans instead of chips. We all know
the health benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables,
so focus on those instead of full-fat potato chips. High in
fiber and low in calories, these choices will help us feel
full without putting on the pounds.
a ground turkey patty instead of a hamburger. It will save
you more than 100 calories, and it's really not bad tasting!
sure to look for SKINLESS ground turkey, which has far fewer
calores than just 'ground turkey'.
putting some boneless, skinless chicken breasts on the BBQ
instead of beef. Lower in calories and fat, chicken breasts
are a good choice for any event.
forget about fish! The choices are almost endless, and the
health benefits are overwhelming. Put some salmon on the BBQ
and enjoy! "We recommend eating fish (particularly fatty fish)
at least two times a week.
is a good source of protein and doesn't have the high saturated
fat that fatty meat products do" (Source: americanheart.org).
Finally, watch the drinks. High-calorie beverages like lemonade
and Kool-Aid boast between 60 and 100 calories per glass,
and sometimes even more. A single can of soda usually contains
about 160 calories.
low-calorie drinks like iced tea (unsweetened) or just plain
old water. With just a little effort, the summer BBQ doesn't
have to add inches or pounds! Choose healthy, low-fat and
low-calorie foods instead of the traditional fare and keep
those pounds off! Have a GREAT summer!
About the Author
Tracie Johanson is the founder of Pick Up The Pace, a 30-minute
exercise studio for women, focusing on fitness, health and
nutrition for maximum weight loss. Please visit http://www.letspickupthepace.com/
for more information.