Healthy Hollywood: Wellness Wednesday – Beat The BBQ Bloat!

The weather is fab and it is the perfect season to gather up friends and family and celebrate together.

Outdoor BBQs are always a good time, but for someone trying to lose weight they can be a diet disaster — the temptation of hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and other less-than-healthy fare is a constant.

The folks over at Nutrisystem share with Healthy Hollywood the tips they offer clients to survive the cookout festivities.

  1. Having a barbeque is a great idea for a summertime social gathering, but more importantly helps to feature a healthy style of cooking – grilling!
  2. Choice of rolls: definitely go with whole-wheat as it gives you and all your guests a healthy option and more nutrition than the normal white rolls.
  3. Following the guidelines of your Nutrisystem grocery guide: create a garden salad with all your favorite vegetables with various low fat and/or low sodium salad dressings on the side — 2 tbsp of fat free dressing count as 1 extra. That way everyone can choose what dressing is best for them, but also allows you to ge your add-in grocery additions while on program.
  4. Suggestion: For a quick homemade vinaigrette – mix 1 part balsamic vinegar with 2 parts oil throw in some chopped garlic and a pinch of salt, drizzle over your salad about every 2 tsp used counts as 1 NS fat serving. Also, to make a complete meal, top with some sliced grilled chicken (about 3 – 4 oz.).
  5. Grill some vegetables on the BBQ: another great way to get in your Nutrisystem grocery addition.
  6. Suggestion: Fun way to do this and to have the family get involved, make vegetable shish kabobs. Then all that is left to do is toss them on to the grill. Makes a great side dish (or condiment) too!
  7. Try to steer away from items drenched with BBQ sauce as this will only add in extra calories and is typically high in sugar and sodium.
  8. Suggestion: Try a marinade of citrus and herbs – a healthy way to add flavor without adding calories.
  9. Make sure to have iced water and/or unsweetened iced tea on hand to stay hydrated – toss in some slices of citrus fruits (i.e. oranges, lime and lemons) or even cucumbers too. This makes it different and is quite refreshing!
  10. For dessert, have a healthy option, such as fruit salad or fruit kabobs for you and your guests. The kids can even help with making them.

Even though the main focus at barbeques is food, the perfect addition to complete your healthy barbeque experience is participating in some friendly competition activities such as: volleyball, group walks, swimming & horseshoes – the sky is the limit, so let’s get moving!

For more nutrition tips head over to,

-- Terri MacLeod

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