Summer time….

a time for Picnics and BBQ’s, friends and family and Food. All these get togethers can lead you down a path of an expanding belly if you are not careful. Luckily, I have compiled a list of my top 5 foods to avoid, plus some easy swaps or tips. These swaps and tips are designed to keep you on track but still allow you to have fun and not feel restricted.

Healthier Summer Time Eating

 Hot Dogs

An American staple, Hot dogs are a traditional BBQ food. But be careful one hot dog and bun will set you back. A traditional dog has 12 grams of fat, 137 calories and only 5 grams of protein. The accompanying bun contains 110 calories and 21 carbs, 1.5 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein. The total is 247 calories, 21 carbs, 13.5 grams of fat, and 11 grams of protein for one dog. The average person will eat 2 and if you are in my family it’s more like 4. So you do the math. Plus don’t forget the condiments, cheese, ketchup, sauerkraut and onions may seem innocent but 1 tbsp of ketchup contains 4 grams of sugar so it can really add up. Consider the average person will use 2 tbsp per dog that throws your carb count up to 29!                              

SWAP/TIP: For me I would skip the dog or sub it for a chicken dog with a whole grain bun. A whole grain bun will save you 20 calories. The chicken dog will save you between 37 and 52 calories (depending on brand).

Baked Beans

Franks and Beans. Beans and franks. Of course no good bbq is complete without baked beans but be careful a ½ cup serving packs 140 calories and 29 carbs 12 of which are sugar. Obviously because the serving size is so small it is easy to overeat on this staple side dish

SWAP/TIP: My suggestion, skip the beans and opt for a garden salad.

Potato salad/Macaroni Salad

I think most people know to stay away from these nowadays. But just to relay the facts a ¾ cup of macaroni salad, deli/grocery store style, is 440 calories, 39 grams of fat and 23 carbs. A more modest macaroni salad from another popular deli has a 5 oz serving at 275 calories, 19 grams of fat and 23 carbs. Potato Salad is not much better. 1 cup is 358 calories and 20 grams of fat and 27.9 carbs.

SWAP/TIP: I would stay away from both of these or overhaul the recipe. Switch to whole grain pasta or sweet potatoes to add in fiber. Choose a fat free mayo to cut the fat way down or remove the mayo altogether and get inspired with a homemade marinade or dressing made from fresh herbs and some fat free sour cream.

Frozen Daiquiri

Daiquiris are cold and refreshing but alcohol is a no-no here. Sorry guys. I know it gets you buzzed and feeling loose but alcohol prevents the absorption of nutrients and leaves you dehydrated…plus it contains all empty calories. An arbor mist frozen strawberry daiquiri contains 53 grams of carbs of which 44 are sugar. It also packs 280 calories. If you have 2 drinks you are looking at 560 calories and a waist inflating 88 grams of sugar.

SWAP/TIP: Stay away from frozen drinks with alcohol the texture and flavor will trick you into drinking more than one or two. You can crush ice in a blender, flavor it with MIO and add water/club soda for a non alcoholic frozen drink with ZERO calories.

Dessert 

What’s a party without dessert? Healthy that’s what (kidding). But beware because desserts, even though they are delicious, pack tons of sugar and fat. A serving of apple pie ala mode contains 260 calories and 35 grams of carbs of which 28 are sugar plus 10 grams of fat and that is for a measly ½ cup portion.

SWAP/TIP:Don’t worry you can always opt for the fruit with some fat free whipped topping or makeover your favorite recipe (I am sure cheftini has tons of healthier versions of your favorites) by subbing stevia for sugar and almond flour for white flour. 

These are my top 5 foods to avoid a gut busting, waist inflating bbq this summer. Be sure to utilize the swaps and tips so you can have your cake and eat it too!

Thanks for reading this article and stop by the Fonts Fitness Blog for more “Real World Fitness” tips and advice! Also, check out Fonts Fitness Force on Facebook 

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John Fontana

Fonts Fitness

CHECK OUT THE LINKS BELOW FOR SOME HEALTHIER RECIPES YOU CAN PREPARE FOR YOUR NEXT BBQ:

Potato and String Bean Pesto Salad

Broccoli Slaw with Greek Yogurt  

Cold Pasta Salad with Pesto