Clean Plates Team
Warm weather means cookouts, and we are so ready. What we’re not ready for: That slump that comes from over-indulging at mealtime. Luckily, with a few strategic healthy choices, you can eat the foods you love at your next cookout and still feel awesome afterwards. Here are our best tips for healthy eating.
1. Choose low-sugar condiments.
When we think of cutting back on sugar, we usually focus on dessert. But sugar lurks in a lot of less-obvious places—and one of them is condiments like ketchup and barbecue sauce. Many brands are loaded with sugar; even some of the organic brands have more sugar ounce per ounce than ice cream. Luckily, low-sugar options exist and you don’t have to sacrifice taste because they’re made with wholesome, naturally sweet and super-flavorful ingredients. Here are a few of our favorite brands:
2. Buy high-quality meat.
Burgers, steaks, ribs, and hot dogs can be healthy, if you buy high-quality meat. Our best advice? Order online where you have access to meat from smaller, more sustainable farms and to cuts that may not be readily available in your area.
3. Crowd out less-optimal foods.
Load up your plate with the good stuff: Plenty of grilled veggies, slaws, salads, and protein. Then, add some treats. If it just isn’t a cookout without potato chips, go ahead and have some.
4. Sip smarter.
Lemonade and sweet iced tea are super-refreshing on a hot day, but they’re often far sweeter than they need to be. Fill your glass 2/3 full with water and then add some of your favorite sweet drink. You still get the flavor but with far less sugar. (Better yet, squeeze a few lemon wedges or drop some cucumber slices into your water and skip the lemonade altogether.)
Drinking adult beverages? Sip slowly and have a glass of water before reaching for a second drink. Not only will this slow you down, you’ll also stay hydrated, giving you more energy and lowering the chances of a hangover.
5. Go for one and done.
If you can, avoid going back for seconds right away. Instead, focus on an activity—a game of touch football game or a sunset walk around the neighborhood. Find someone new to chat with, or spend some time playing DJ. If you still feel hungry, you can always get more food later.