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Tips For Saving BBQ Calories

How to Save Hundreds of BBQ Calories

Doing a little grilling this holiday weekend? With tons of burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and beer around, you don't want to go overboard on the calories. To avoid packing on the pounds this weekend, here are some ways to add a healthy spin to your barbecue.

  • Bring a healthy dish: If you're invited to a barbecue, bring along your own healthy dish so you know you'll have something good to munch on. Wow your friends and family with one of these vegan side dishes or healthy burgers.
  • Go for homemade guacamole instead of creamy dips: Avocados offer the healthy fats your body needs, which is a much better option than the saturated fats found in dairy-based dips. If you're worried about calories, then whip up some homemade low-cal salsa, and throw in some fresh pineapple and mango for added vitamins.
  • Grill up some veggies: Use a grill basket, corn holders, or skewers, and choose a variety of veggies to grill to make these vegetarian dishes or to serve along with grilled lean meat. Load up your plate to fill you up and to help prevent you from overeating high-calorie dishes.
  • Don't always choose beef: Veggie burgers made with whole grains, legumes, and vegetables and hot dogs made of tofu are delicious low-calorie and low-cholesterol options. If you're a meat eater at heart, then go for burgers, hot dogs, or sausages made from turkey, chicken, or salmon.
  • Choose your buns wisely: Most are made with enriched flour, so you may have to check a bunch of labels before finding ones made with real whole-wheat four.
  • Make substitutions: When it comes to recipes as well as the fixings on your burgers, find healthier substitutions. Choose raw tomato or salsa instead of ketchup, and try Greek yogurt instead of mayo for potato salad recipes.
  • Go easy on the brewskis: Save calories by enjoying one of these lower-calorie beers, and for the rest of the evening, go for ice water, unsweetened iced tea, or chilled seltzer water flavored with lemon.
  • Get moving: After your meal, step away from the food to avoid noshing out of boredom, and do something active like playing volleyball, badminton, or a round of bocce ball.
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Join The Conversation
WeightingGame WeightingGame 7 years
if you can believe it, my husband and I JUST used our grill - a wedding present from exactly 4 years ago. We are not the handiest of people and I was just scared to try. Now that I see how easy it is, I wanna grill everything, every day. Sweet potatoes sound amazing. I made corn and salmon the other night. Yummmm.
Char_Sugar Char_Sugar 7 years
Ok, I'm a beef girl, and love my buffalo burgers from Trader Joe's. The fat content is super low compared to the other types of beef so its all the goodness without the guilt. The meat tastes similar to beef with a slightly milder flavor. The other thing I love to death veggie burger wise, is portabello mushroom burgers. The other patties, I just can't stomach. The mushroom burgers everyone loves! Viva La Grill
Char_Sugar Char_Sugar 7 years
Ok, I'm a beef girl, and love my buffalo burgers from Trader Joe's. The fat content is super low compared to the other types of beef so its all the goodness without the guilt. The meat tastes similar to beef with a slightly milder flavor.The other thing I love to death veggie burger wise, is portabello mushroom burgers. The other patties, I just can't stomach. The mushroom burgers everyone loves!Viva La Grill
rivrchild rivrchild 7 years
I've been using salsa and sourcream as a substitute for my favorite ketchup and mayo. I like it just as much as ketchup/mayo but it's a LOT less calories. I can't imagine putting yogurt on my burger as a sub for mayo though, eew!
Renees3 Renees3 7 years
I LOVE LOVE LOVE grilling. Tri-tip is my FAVORITE thing in the world. With Just Suzie Q seasoning on it. And grilled veggies with a little oil and suzie Q. Heaven. Mmmmmmmm We grill everything, I hate cooking. Grilling RULES
Renees3 Renees3 7 years
I LOVE LOVE LOVE grilling. Tri-tip is my FAVORITE thing in the world. With Just Suzie Q seasoning on it. And grilled veggies with a little oil and suzie Q. Heaven. Mmmmmmmm We grill everything, I hate cooking. Grilling RULES
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 7 years
OH...zucchini and squash grilled is a daily thing for me :) I use a whole tank of propane per month. I love my fancy grill.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 7 years
Ketchup has high fructose corn syrup in it.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 7 years
Yeah...veggie burgers are nasty. They don't taste like real burgers unless you lie to yourself. I prefer to just use 95% lean ground beef.
sldc sldc 7 years
Meh, make mine a thin grass fed beef patty with all the veggies (avocado, too!) and (canola) mayo. I hate veggie patties. I have tried at least a dozen types and they all anger my digestive system. Turkey isn't bad, but when I want a burger, I want a real one.
sldc sldc 7 years
Meh, make mine a thin grass fed beef patty with all the veggies (avocado, too!) and (canola) mayo.I hate veggie patties. I have tried at least a dozen types and they all anger my digestive system. Turkey isn't bad, but when I want a burger, I want a real one.
hkmarks hkmarks 7 years
There's nothing wrong with ketchup except that it's a little salty, I think. It's about 1 Cal/gram -- so probably 5 calories or so if you're talking about a squirt on a burger. (It also contains Vitamin C!) Prepared mustard is also low in calories, but again a bit salty. Tomato is better because there's no salt and more vitamins, because it's bigger. But this is really a tiny bit of salt we're talking about, 1-5% of your RDI. I really like hot pepper relish on my burgers. It's my new favourite condiment. Again, salt -- but I stay away from cheese (major salt! Especially feta!) so it all evens out :) If you really want beef, use lean beef (or prepared burgers) whenever you can to cut cholesterol and saturated fats. If 1/4 lb burgers really fill you up, try 1/8 lb burgers instead. It's hard to taste the difference for either, but it cuts the calories a lot.
hkmarks hkmarks 7 years
There's nothing wrong with ketchup except that it's a little salty, I think. It's about 1 Cal/gram -- so probably 5 calories or so if you're talking about a squirt on a burger. (It also contains Vitamin C!) Prepared mustard is also low in calories, but again a bit salty.Tomato is better because there's no salt and more vitamins, because it's bigger. But this is really a tiny bit of salt we're talking about, 1-5% of your RDI.I really like hot pepper relish on my burgers. It's my new favourite condiment. Again, salt -- but I stay away from cheese (major salt! Especially feta!) so it all evens out :)If you really want beef, use lean beef (or prepared burgers) whenever you can to cut cholesterol and saturated fats. If 1/4 lb burgers really fill you up, try 1/8 lb burgers instead. It's hard to taste the difference for either, but it cuts the calories a lot.
laurgursh laurgursh 7 years
i agree with that all, but whats wrong with ketchup??
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 7 years
Nice post PinkLizzie, and so true. I love the grilled veggie stuff.
PinkLizzie PinkLizzie 7 years
You can grill SOOO many meats that aren't hamburgers and hotdogs. - delicious steak - salmon, wrapped in foil with a bit of butter, lemon slices, and onion and then cooked on the grill is one of my favourite summer meals - chicken breasts - add chunks from cut up steaks to those shish kabobs - pork chops, etc.. - potatoes can be wrapped in foil and then grilled My family has always made liberal use of the BBQ, to the point where it isn't unusual for my dad to be grilling in the snow. Hamburgers and hot dogs don't make an appearance very often, because everything else is SO good.
PinkLizzie PinkLizzie 7 years
You can grill SOOO many meats that aren't hamburgers and hotdogs. - delicious steak- salmon, wrapped in foil with a bit of butter, lemon slices, and onion and then cooked on the grill is one of my favourite summer meals- chicken breasts- add chunks from cut up steaks to those shish kabobs- pork chops, etc..- potatoes can be wrapped in foil and then grilled My family has always made liberal use of the BBQ, to the point where it isn't unusual for my dad to be grilling in the snow. Hamburgers and hot dogs don't make an appearance very often, because everything else is SO good.
babygal14 babygal14 7 years
I've always loved veggie burgers :)
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I always make grilled veggies when we grill out...they're so yummy. My favorite is a grilled portabello mushroom. It tastes like a burger!
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