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How to Throw a Healthy Cookout

When you have people over for a cookout it’s safe to say that healthy food isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Who doesn’t love the cheeseburgers and mass varieties of potato chips? We aren’t here to tell you to fight off the chip cravings, we just want to give you some ideas and tips on how to make things a little easier on your waist line, because the truth is you don’t have to throw away all your hard earned progress on a bag of Doritos at a cookout.


When it comes to grilling chicken and burgers, try to keep it simple. It is easy to add empty calories to your BBQ with marinades high in fat and sugar! Instead, marinate Chicken in 1 cup of lemon juice and fresh ground pepper for about 30 minutes prior to grilling. For burgers, use extra lean ground beef. Mix it with a torn up piece of bread (bread crumbs) and 1 whole egg (to help the lean meat stick together). 


Meat Tips:
  • Use chicken breast instead of other chicken products. This portion of the chicken is the healthier option due to lower fat content. Puncture the skin of the chicken breast before marinating to give chicken more flavor.
  • Use lean or extra lean ground beef for a lower fat option. While making the patties you can add in veggies such as pepper and onions to give them more flavor!
  • When grilling hot dogs or bratwurst, pay attention to nutrition labels. Hot dogs and bratwurst, again, tend to be high in fat so make sure you read labels to save room to eat the good fats (guacamole :))!
  • Shrimp skewers are another great grilling option. Load the skewers with veggies to give the shrimp great flavor and help you stay full longer! 

Dips are a popular side dish at cookouts, but we wanted to share some healthy options to substitute for those heavy calorie dishes.

Side Dish Tips:
  • Veggie and fruit trays are quick sides to whip up. They are easy for you and your guests to munch on that are not only healthy but they help satiate your hunger.
  • Grill chopped up sweet potatoes with a little sea salt is a great healthy side to snack on. 
  • Quinoa salad always makes for a great side dish. Check out this Hummusapian recipe!
  • A build your own salad bar could be a good way for your more picky guests to choose what they do and don’t want to eat.



Dip Tips:

  • Stay away from cheese based dips, which are high in fats.
  • Substitute low fat or non-fat Greek yogurt for sour cream or cream cheese. 
  • Dip with veggies instead of chips!
Refreshing Cocktails

Mixing Tips:
  • Stick to clear liquor like vodka or rum (little to no calories) instead of whiskey and bourbon which are higher in empty calories.
  • Use soda water or carbonated flavored water as mixers instead of sugary soda pop.
  • When it comes to beer try to stick to the low calorie options and remember: moderation is key!