Who doesn’t love a good barbecue? But according to one study, you could be clocking up a staggering 3,000 calories just in one meal! (and that’s without the alcohol). Have one every other weekend and that adds up to a steady weight gain of around 2lbs a month!
But barbecues don’t have to come with a health warning – grilling your food is actually a very low calorie way to cook and your choice of protein doesn’t have to be fattening. With a few savvy swaps here and there you won’t clock up nearly as many calories (and your family will barely notice the healthier changes). In fact a few simple swaps could save you over 800 calories!
Read on for some healthier alternatives.
Swap This Cals/Fat For This Cals/Fat
|Burger in a bun with cheese||410 / 20.5g||Burger (with no bun)||195 / 15.5g|
|Hot dog with onions||330 / 16.1g||Reduced fat sausage in a roll (no onions)||251 / 7.8g|
|Chicken Thigh Drumstick||163 / 10g||Barbequed Chicken Breast||127 / 1.3g|
|Pork Chop||155 / 9g||Tuna Steak (140g steak)||140 / 0.7g|
|Pork Ribs (per rib)||140 / 8.8g||Chicken Kebabs (per skewer)||104 / 2.4g|
|Jacket Potato with Butter||204 / 8.5g||BBQ’d Sweet Potato Slices (150g)||131 / 0.5g|
|Potato Salad (100g serving)||160 / 11.4g||Reduced Fat Potato Salad (100g serving)||102 / 5.5g|
|Pesto Style Pasta Salad (100g serving)||226 / 13.9g||Tomato Pasta Salad (100g serving)||137 / 4.9g|
|Coleslaw (per 50g serving)||90 / 7.6g||Reduced Fat Coleslaw (50g serving)||50 / 4g|
|Mayonnaise (per tablespoon)||108 / 11.9g||Extra Light Mayonnaise (per tablespoon)||12 / 0.5g|
|Ceasar Salad Dressing (per tablespoon)||72 / 7.6g||French Dressing (per tablespoon)||23 / 2g|
|Crisps & Cheese & Chive Dip (30g crisps)||252 / 17.6g||Veg sticks & Reduced Fat Hummous (50g)||173 / 9.7g|
Swap This Cals/Fat For This Cals / Fat
|Fruit Trifle||282 / 15.6g||Raspberry Pavlova||195 / 7g|
|Raspberry Cheesecake||327 / 19.3g||Raspberry Roulade||221 / 8.7g|
|Cider (pint)||204 / 0g||Low Alcohol Cider (pint)||97 / 0g|
|Lager (pint)||165 / 0g||Lager Shandy (pint)||156 / 0g|
|White Wine (150ml glass)||165 / 0g||White Wine Spritzer with Soda (130ml wine)||130 / 0g|
|Mojito||155 / 0g||Pimms & Diet Lemonade||80 / 0g|
Don’t skip using your food diary
Be honest by filling in your Food Diary even if you know you’ve gone over your calorie allowance. This will help you to compensate across the rest of the week by cutting back slightly.
Use the Week View to manage this – the aim is to get a green tick overall for the week.
- Opt for lean protein like fish, chicken or turkey breasts or fillets. Avoid poultry which is eaten with skin e.g. drumsticks
- Choose lean cuts of meat, and for meat products such as sausages and burgers, buy lower fat options
- Rather than frying onions, bake them in foil parcels on the BBQ
- Choose low fat dressings, relishes and marinades – avoid creamy options
- Marinade your meat before cooking so you don’t have to add lashings of sauce and relish afterwards
- Salads, burgers, chicken and sausages can all be eaten cold so don’t feel under pressure to ‘finish them off’. Save for a cold meat and salad meal the next day.
- Watch your alcohol – each drink adds calories to your meal and the more you have, the more you’re likely to overeat!
- Fill your plate first with leafy salad, then lean protein like chicken or fish, leaving only a little room for the calorie-laden extras like potatoes, coleslaw, pasta salads and mayo.
Happy healthier barbecuing!