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Staying on Track at Summer BBQs

Just because you're watching what you eat doesn't mean you have to stay away from summer BBQs with friends and family! You do have to stay away from diet pitfalls though. Use these tips to stay on track while still enjoying summer BBQs.

Focus on the activities

You might think the main activity at a BBQ is to eat, and you're partially right. However, if you reframe your mindset and focus on all the non-food activities, it can help you avoid unhealthy food and drinks. Take your conversation away from the food table; play frisbee with the kids; bring your dog and play fetch; grab the adults for a game of volleyball. Anything you can do to focus on the time spent with others -- and not the food -- will help you stay on track.

Bring your own

It's always good practice to offer to bring something to share at a BBQ. Make sure it's healthy! Steer away from the potato chips and onion dip and bring a crudité plate with a Greek yogurt-based dip instead. A quinoa salad loaded with fresh veggies can take the place of heavy potato salad. In charge of dessert? A big bowl of berries or fresh peaches with low fat whipped cream is a festive and waist-friendly option.

Plan ahead for treats

Try to pick out the healthiest options available, like plain grilled chicken, vegetable kabobs or fruit salad. You don’t have to skip all the treats! Choose ONE small splurge item, like a small scoop of macaroni salad, half a brownie or a light beer. If 80 percent of your meal consists of the good-for-you option, you have a little wiggle room to splurge on a small dessert, BBQ chicken or a beverage.

You don't need to skip out on summer parties just because you're eating healthier. Make it an active afternoon, choose treats wisely and bring your own food if necessary. Stay on track and enjoy your summer!

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