Ah, after what has probably felt like the longest winter in the history of time, spring has finally sprung. Spring is a wonderful time of the year; the birds are singing, flowers are blooming, the days are growing longer, and the air is turning warmer. This means that we get rid of dull grey skies and instead replace them with vibrant blue ones instead. Another thing that helps make spring wonderful is the fact that it means that the summer is close behind. Summer is great for a number of reasons, including the fact that it brings perfect grilling weather. If however, you’re looking to stay lean this summer, you probably won’t have plans to indulge in too many barbeques. Enjoying a BBQ however, doesn’t have to derail your summer cut, as, in actual fact, if done correctly, a summer cut can benefit hugely from barbequed food. If you’re looking to stay lean but still enjoy a few BBQs with your buddies, here are some summer BBQ hacks for you to try.

Steer clear of the beer

Steer-clear-of-the-beer

Whilst a BBQ isn’t a BBQ without an icy cold beer in the hot sunshine, unfortunately alcohol, especially beer, does not mix well with fat loss and muscle growth/retention. If you’re sticking to your cut religiously, you will want to stay well clear of the BBQ beers this summer, and instead replace them with an ice cold water, or perhaps a fruit-infused water for added nutrients. If you really do fancy a drink, try a wine spritzer with plenty of soda water instead. If however, you really are craving a beer, then go ahead and have one, but just make sure you get back on track the next day. It’s also important to ensure that one beer actually stays as one beer, otherwise the amount of empty calories you will have consumed, along with your food, will do a fair amount of damage and will set you back a good few days.

Embrace the whole wheat buns

A BBQ just wouldn’t be a BBQ without burgers, but if you’re looking to stay lean, make sure you stay well clear of white bread, and instead go with whole wheat buns. Burger buns made from white bread are high in calories, they contain unhealthy additives, plus they’re high in simple sugars that can cause blood-glucose imbalances, which could result in weight gain. Whole wheat buns however, have a low glycemic index, they’re lower in calories, and they’re rich in nutrients including B vitamins, zinc, and iron, to name just a few. If you go with a lean steak burger, along with plenty of fresh salad, and a low sugar, low calorie sauce, you can enjoy a delicious burger, without feeling guilty and without undoing all of your hard work.

Make your own burgers

Whilst it is tempting to simply head to the shops and purchase a pack of frozen, or pre-made burgers, ideally you should make your own lean burgers instead. The problem with ready-made burgers is the fact that they often contain added cereals, large amounts of salt, fatty cuts of meat, and other artificial ingredients that do your body no good at all. If however, you purchase extra lean steak mince, or very lean cuts of steak, you can actually make your own burgers instead. By doing this, you are in control of what goes into your burger, and you know exactly what you’re eating. If you want to stay even leaner, you could go with turkey or chicken mince instead.

Stack up your plate with salad

Stack-up-your-plate-with-salad

At most BBQs, salads are used almost predominantly for decoration, as people generally pay them no heed whatsoever. Sure you may get the odd one or two people who perhaps have a small spoonful of salad for good measure, but most people avoid the greens and instead swarm to the greasy meats. To help keep your calorie intakes low, plus to give your body more of the good stuff, you should try to stack your plate up with plenty of fresh salad ingredients. Lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, olives, beans, celery, carrot, cabbage, and other common salad ingredients are all virtually fat free, and all contain vitamins and minerals. By filling your plate with salad, you also help to fill yourself up quicker, without consuming large amounts of higher calorie foods.

Remove any visible fat

Another simple, yet highly effective summer BBQ hack to help keep you lean this summer, is to remove any visible fat from the foods you are consuming. If for example, you’re eating chicken, take the time to remove the skin as this will save you no end of calories, and will reduce the fat content hugely. Avoid cheese slices on your burgers, and if you dress your salad, go with vinaigrette dressings instead of creamy, oil-based ones.

Eat leaner protein sources

Though some people may think otherwise, a BBQ is about so much more than burnt sausages and greasy burgers. If you’re trying to stay lean and watch what you’re eating, why not bring leaner and healthier foods to the party instead? For example, instead of sausages, you could go with grilled chicken thighs with the skins removed. Instead of burgers, try grilled salmon or mackerel instead. These fishes are loaded full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, and they taste absolutely stunning when cooked correctly over a BBQ. If you are enjoying a burger and want cheese, try a lower fat cheese instead.

Don’t forget your veggies

Vegetables are often neglected at BBQs, and that is such a huge shame. Vegetables taste amazing when they’re cooked on a BBQ, as they take on a smoky, slightly charred taste that works so well. Try making lean chicken kebabs with cubed chicken breast, mixed peppers, and red onions.  This dish is very tasty, and again, not only is it low in calories, it is also packed full of nutrients.

Bbq tipsNutrition