It’s the season for firing up the grill! Outdoor gatherings are back and in the center of it all, and besides the fellowship is the food.
If you are on a diet, don’t worry -- you can still enjoy the summer festivities and keep off the pounds, if you go in with a good plan.
To help us all strategize, we spoke with Dr. Geri Williams, one of the experts at Ideal You, to get her advice.
So, how do you navigate the summer grilling season in a healthy way?
Williams said it all comes down to planning. If you are attending a summer function, you need to make sure there will be food that will support your health and help you keep to your diet.
If you are hosting, you can pick out some healthy options that you can enjoy.
If you are headed to someone else’s house, Williams recommended you call the host ahead of time, explain the situation and ask if you can bring your own protein and sides.
Healthy options that are great to serve at a cookout include chicken or lean beef kabobs, grilled veggies, salmon and shrimp. You want to stick to leaner proteins, Williams said.
For vegetarians, she recommended marinated tofu and some of the healthier bean burgers.
What should you choose to drink?
As Williams pointed out, it is important to stay hydrated, and the best way to do so is to drink flavored water with no sweeteners. This gives you the feeling you are drinking something more than just plain water, but you are not drinking extra calories.
You can also always choose to infuse your own water with whatever fruits and herbs you like. If you do want a hint of sweetness, try adding some stevia, Williams said.
The problem with pop is that it can cause your blood sugar to spike, which frequently leads people to make unhealthy choices when it comes to food.
Regarding alcohol, Williams said you should limit yourself to one drink, or ideally, avoid it altogether.
Not only does alcohol help pack on the pounds (yes, even those beverages that are labeled “light” or “keto-friendly”), but it also lowers your inhibitions, making it more likely you won’t stick to your diet that day.
If you want some extra help with your health goals, you can always check out the Ideal You program, Williams said.
It is based on eating real, whole foods like Williams mentioned in the segment. They also provide you with supplements, daily support and check-ins with coaches to help you achieve your goals.
Williams said it is not unusual for women to see 10 pounds of weight loss in 10 days on the program.
Right now, Ideal You is holding its Slim Summer Sale, where you can get $200 in free groceries when you sign up. For more information, visit their website by clicking or tapping here.