People is enjoying their summer barbecue.

Top Tips for Staying Fit and Healthy During Summer Barbecue Season

The air is finally turning warm as the season finally hits that perfect blend of hot summer evenings and mouthwatering family barbecues. This is the best time to hop in the local swimming hole for an afternoon of cooling down, then return home to the tasty aromas of freshly grilled meats, veggies, and endless sweet fruits.

The only problem with dishing out the barbecue sauce and slathering up a fresh cut of beef, chicken, pork, or fish is you don’t want to risk your waistline. There is a delicate balance between gorging on barbecue chicken during July 4th celebrations and keeping that hard-earned swimsuit body ready.

In this quick guide, we’ll discuss some of the best tips for protecting your workout and health routines while still enjoying a delicious barbecue meal from friends and family. Whether it's Independence Day or a quick August BBQ, these tips will help you stay on track. 

#1 – Focus on the Veggies and Fiber

As you browse through all the wonderful meals being carefully turned and grilled, front-load your plate with as many veggies and fiber-infused foods as you can. These tend to be low-calorie foods that fill up your belly quicker and digest slowly.

In addition, when you use vegetables as your primary food group, you reduce the post-meal insulin spike that most people experience, especially when the barbecue sauce has high sugar content.

As a general rule of thumb, shoot for a fiber intake of 25-30 grams daily. This can be from:

  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Fruits
  • Popcorn
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Raspberries
  • Artichokes
  • Pears
  • Most Veggies
  • Lentils
  • Almonds
  • Sweet Potatoes

#2 – Get Enough Protein on Your Plate

An adult should seek about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (about 0.36 grams per pound). So, if you weigh in the 165 pounds range, you’d want about 107g of protein.

The good news is that protein is always on the menu at a summer BBQ. Getting enough barbecue chicken wings or freshly grilled pork loin is an excellent source of protein. This allows you to recover faster after a workout and meet those fueling goals you need to have energy for the next day. 

#3 – Stay Hydrated

To be satisfactorily hydrated, an adult should have between 9 and 13 cups of water per day. Being hydrated is important to avoid summertime heating issues like exhaustion, dehydration, or overexposure.

However, hydration is also crucial to keeping your body functioning at optimal performance. It is a crucial part of our metabolism used to absorb nutrients and suppress appetite so you don’t overindulge in sweets.

Not to mention, being well-hydrated with water, unsweetened iced tea, or flavored water with natural fruits makes your skin look amazing. Just try to limit or skip the empty calories from a soda. 

#4 – Don’t Underestimate Condiment Calories

A tricky part of a family or July 4th BBQ is avoiding the high sugar content of barbecue sauce. Unfortunately, brown and white sugar are common in most brands. You can seek out a sugar-free alternative, but that may not sit well with the “purists” in the family.

Try to stick to lighter condiment options. If there is a lot of barbecue sauce on the meal, lightly dab with a paper towel or skip adding a dollop to your plate. Healthy alternatives may include:

  • Yellow Mustard
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Hot Sauce
  • Salsa
  • Low-sugar barbecue sauce
  • Sriracha

#5 – Save Up for the BBQ

If you know there will be a massive amount of barbecue chicken on the horizon, maybe opt for a light breakfast and lunch. Save up your allocated calories so you don’t spend them all before the big event.

Numerous free apps, like MyFitnessPal, can help you track your caloric intake so you’ll have as much room as possible to eat your uncle’s famous barbecue chicken wings. 

#6 – Eliminate or Limit Your Booze Intake

Who doesn’t like an ice-cold beer at a BBQ? We get it! This is a time-honored tradition. The only problem is that alcohol tends to come with a ton of calories. You may want to swap the traditional lagers and IPAs for mocktails or skip alcohol altogether.

Drink your water, everyone! If you have to enjoy the taste of an adult beverage, try the low-calorie alternatives available at most grocery stores. Your waistline will thank you (especially if booze makes you bloated, like around 1 in 7 Americans).

#7 – Make the Event a Physical Activity

Grabbing a footlong hotdog and pulling up a chair to tan in the sun all afternoon may not be the best way to keep to your fitness goals. Gamify your upcoming barbecue with physical activity. Add a little competition or spice to the day with ideas like:

  • Swimming and beach games like volleyball or pickleball
  • Going for a walk with family around the block
  • Frisbee golf or playing catch with your dog

Use a Redliro Under Desk Treadmill to hit your fitness goals for the day before enjoying the barbecue sauce

#8 – Use the Buddy System

Enlist the aid of a fitness buddy. This could be someone you go to the gym with or a partner who is just as motivated for you to drop the pounds as you are. Their role is to remind you to enjoy the grilled pineapple more than the ice cream cone. In other words, keep you focused on healthy goals instead of overindulging on barbecue chicken.

Need some suggestions? Try adding these ideas to your next family BBQ:

  • Vegetarian options for all proteins.
  • Healthy desserts full of nutrients from fruits and dairy-free products.
  • Mayo-less recipes for sandwiches, burgers, and potato/macaroni salads.
  • Asking for a wide selection of fresh salads and grilled vegetables.
  • Opting for fish instead of red meat.

You and your fitness friend can quickly devise a bunch of healthier alternatives so you can feel completely included in the barbecue and not dread the weigh-in the following day. 

Final Thoughts

While many of our fantastic Redliro Under Desk Treadmills will help you meet those movement and fitness goals you’ve always wanted, a family barbecue can be a real challenge for anyone. Use these tips to get the most out of your experience, fill your belly with delightful food, and then keep on track with your various health and workout goals.

No matter the occasion, you don’t have to sacrifice your health for a special event. A little bit of planning can go a long way to having the healthy physique you want and the barbeque chicken that satisfies your cravings. 

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