How To Eat At A BBQ And Stay Lean

bbq-party-people

Summer is the time for social events, preferably in the great outdoors.

BBQ parties by the pool…so sweet!

It’s an interesting scenario for a nutrition and fitness coach, since many people seem to get a little anxious around me when they find out what I do for a living.

They feel like they’re going to be judged for what they’re eating.

They think I’m going to stand there smugly chewing on a piece of celery that I brought with me while they indulge in their favourite BBQ treat: burgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, chips, or post-meal ice cream.

“I bet you never eat this!”

There’s also the equally annoying push to “treat myself” or “just have one!”

My standard explanation goes like this:

I choose the foods that I really enjoy and I skip the stuff I don’t.

You won’t catch me eating hot dogs, chips, french fries, or a cold pasta salad.

I’m not the least bit interested in those foods (or celery, for that matter!).

Don’t even bother to ask.

Now show me some brownies, BBQ chicken, ice cream, cheese, corn-on-the-cob, chocolate-covered strawberries, or cheesecake and I’m all over them.

I’m quite happy to eat chicken breasts or lean white fish and roasted veggies all day so I can leave space for those foods later on.

You may be the complete opposite of me and be completely obsessed with a burger with the works, but not have much of a taste for the sweet stuff.

That’s cool.

Do your thing.

The biggest problem with most people’s nutrition plans is that they eat too many treat foods, most of which they don’t really enjoy that much.

Maybe you really LOVE hot dogs.

Great, have one.

But if you’re indifferent and you’re just eating the hot dog because it’s easy just to follow along and have what’s available, then think twice.

If you’re not getting true enjoyment from the food, find a healthier alternative.

What happens in many unbalanced nutrition plans is that the ratio of “treat foods” compared to “staple foods” gets a bit skewed.

Cereal for breakfast, deli sandwiches for lunch, burgers and fries (and maybe a salad) for dinner.

Too much sugar, too many non-nutritious carbs, and not enough quality protein.

With my Online Coaching program, I help my clients to learn how to make the right choices for their preferences and their goals.

You’re not “being bad” by choosing one food and you’re not “being good” by choosing another.

You just need to make daily choices that help you get the outcome you want, whether that’s weight loss or being healthier overall.

The basic structure of what you’re eating should include protein at each meal and a couple of servings of vegetables most times that you eat.

A little fat too, preferably from extra virgin olive oil, nuts, nut oils, avocado, butter, or coconut oil.

When you really want to treat yourself, then treat yourself!

Have a reasonable portion of that cake, savour every bite, and forget all the other foods that don’t truly make you salivate.

Because you CAN have your cake and eat it too.

As long as you don’t also eat a burger, a hot dog, a sausage, pasta salad, and ice cream.

Choose wisely.

Choose what’s right for you.

Ivana Chapman

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 5-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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