How to Have a Healthy BBQ: Part One


Step one: don’t touch the coals

Whether it’s a Bank Holiday, a glimmer of sun in the distance or some kind of family event, most of us tend to love a good BBQ!

You may be wondering how you can partake in such a fun filled event, without ruining all your hard work in the gym. After all, a load of greasy meat and a tonne of alcohol isn’t exactly conducive to gains. So instead of sitting at home searching for discount supplements and worrying about your macros, follow our advice.

Take these steps, and you can have a BBQ that’s fun, healthy and tasty too!

1. Keep your meats lean


Image source: Kidspot
Can you name the meat?

Pork belly tastes lovely, but it isn’t exactly a lean meat. Chicken and turkey however, can taste great, and are much leaner. Kangaroo, ostrich and pheasant are also very good options, as they have a very high protein content, with limited fat.

If you’re after a beef burger, then make it yourself. But keep it as lean as possible. It costs more, but we’re looking to avoid fat, and that’s the best way to do it. You could always use turkey or chicken mince, for even less fat.

Extra special sauces

2. Cook your chicken naked


Image source: South Park Wikia
Give your skin to Cartman

The skin is without doubt the best bit, but it’s also the fattiest part of the chicken. You could cook it with the skin on, and then peel it, as a treat for a less fitness enthused friend. But that still means your chicken will be infused with fat. So, grin and bear it, peel the skin off, and cook it naked. Just try and keep it moist, wrapping in bacon is an idea, and there are several ways to keep bacon healthy too.

3. Unleash the power of skewers


Image source: Wikipedia
Chillies are optional

Pretty much anything can be put on a stick, and this is good, as it means you can barbecue all manner of healthy options. The word “kebab” gets a lot of stick, but with some roasted veg, some lean meat and a few BBQ coals, you can make something that is nutritionally as similar to the post booze-up treat as creatine supplements are to those little tokens you use for trolleys.

4. Get fishy

salmon on bbq

Image source: Flickr
Use a plank for added flavour

Fish is full of essential fatty acids, that the western diet is often short of. Full of protein, and full of these EFAs, salmon, swordfish and tuna work great on the BBQ. The most popular ways to cook such fish on the BBQ is either with a clamp, or in a silver foil wrap with some lemon and a bit of seasoning.

5. Lots and lots (and lots) of salad


Image source: Life’s Ambrosia
A prime example of a well executed salad

When I was a lad, the idea of salad at a BBQ seemed alien to me. Now, it is an integral part. It is the light, air kissing crunch of the salad that makes the meat so good. And, it’s also very healthy. Keep your dressing as sugar and fat free as possible, but for good fats, add in some flax seeds and you could even throw in some quinoa for protein too.

6. Keep your nibbles healthy


Image source: Modernist Cooking Made Easy
Are you a fan of the healthy crunch?

Crisps and dips are a mainstay of such gatherings, and that can mean you’ll consume a whole lot of calories in no time, without realising. Dodgy calories too, just sugar, bad fats, and salt. So keep dips healthy with things like hummus, and use raw carrot and celery sticks as your dippers.

7. Keep the booze at bay

Bottles of beer in ice bucket

Try and resist!

We’ve written about the limited power of Guinness for gains, and in general, alcohol is pretty much useless when it comes to helping you build muscle. So, yes let your hair down and have a couple of beers if you want, but keep it limited.

Read part two here

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