How to Have Your BBQ and Eat It, Too

keys to 'doctoring' your BBQ to health

From the WebMD Archives

3 keys to 'doctoring' your BBQ to health

With warmer weather upon us, many of us will celebrate by throwing an outdoor barbecue bash.

There are 3 keys to having your BBQ and eating it too:

Key #1 Every little bit counts!

Lighten ALL those dishes (appetizers, side dishes, main dishes and desserts).

Take your standard summer BBQ. You'll eat some mayonnaise-laden pasta salad, some sausage-spiked baked beans, a hot dog and of course…a sinfully chocolate dessert. A serving of each of the above items adds up to…(drumroll please…) about 1500 calories and 83 grams of fat.

A serving of all of the lighter alternative recipes below (still delicious) with a Ball Park Lite hot dog instead, adds up to 920 calories and 29 grams of fat. This is a savings of 580 calories and 54 grams of fat! All because we cut a few calories and fat grams here and a smidgen there.

Key #2 Spread out your servings

BBQ are usually entertaining get-togethers with family and friends that last awhile. So spread out your servings of the various BBQ dishes throughout the afternoon and evening. You'll still enjoy the BBQ and the various foods, and you've avoided eating large meals and splurging. This might mean sampling a couple of different salads being served in the late afternoon, then having a light hot dog and some beans a couple of hours later, then topping the evening off with a little serving of dessert.

Key #3 Don't spend all your calories at the cooler

It's a given that we are probably going to eat a few more calories than we normally do. The last thing we need to do is indulge in various not-so -healthy beverages. It all seems innocent enough, a can of soda when you arrive at the BBQ, then a 12 ounce bottle of sweetened iced tea with the meal, followed by an 8-ounce margarita that Uncle Marty wouldn't let you refuse. Total calorie damage? 650!

Rewind…let's start again. You opt for the diet soda when you arrive at the BBQ, then enjoy a 12 ounce bottle of mineral water with the meal, followed by a small glass (4-ounces) of that blender drink that you can't refuse. Total calorie damage now? About 180 calories.