Grilling has to be one of the best ways things about summer. It’s always refreshing to fire up the grill, throw on your favorite foods and just relax while the grill brings out all the flavor.
Well, maybe it’s not that simple, but it sure beats staying indoors frying, baking or sauteing your meal while trying to beat the heat. There are a few ways to make sure your grilled meals remain healthy.
10 Weight loss worthy grilling tips
1) Trim the fat: Removing the fat from a steak or any other meat is a great way to keep unnecessary calories down. Just a little trim can save you about 100 calories and 16 grams of fat. Another reason to remove excess fatty spots from meat prior to cooking is to keep the risk of carcinogens down. The fat drippings from the meat can drip down onto the grill and create a gas and char that is a known carcinogen.
2) Load up on veggies: The grill isn’t just for meats and fish. You will find delicious flavors in by grilling your favorite vegetables. Just add a bit of olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings like salt and pepper to really make the flavor pop. Don’t forget to wrap your veggies in aluminum foil to avoid charring.
3) Update your burger: If you love big, juice burgers then listen up. You can enjoy a good burger but it’s going to require some tweaking. Instead of fatty hamburger meat, try making patties with lean sirloin or switch to turkey burgers. Then, limit the amount of condiments you top your burger with. Avoid heavy items like mayonnaise, ranch or any other creamy concoction. Instead, try a light mayo, mustard or ketchup. Go bun-less or make sure the bun is whole grain to get more from your burger without adding too many calories.
4) Add a marinade: Marinades can help turn your food from bland to bam! It’s not hard to use what you have to make a marinade. A bit of olive oil, some spices like cayenne pepper, salt, fresh garlic and herbs are everyday kitchen finds that will help your meats (and veggies too) taste phenomenal. And, marinades pull double duty because they help reduce the risk of carcinogens begin released during the grilling process.
5) Read the label: Meat does have calories and now you can find the calorie count on any meat by simply reading the packaged label. Choose meats that are low in fat (less than 10 grams per serving) and low in calories (anything under 400 calories). It’s not as hard as you may think. Higher price meats tend to be cut better and contain less fat, however, you can find lower priced meat like round steak that fits nicely into both your budget and your diet.
6) Spice up your life: Hot spices like cayenne pepper, white pepper and others are great for livening up a dish and helping you fight the fat. The spicier the ingredient is, the more likely it is to suppress appetite and possibly boost metabolism.
7) Enjoy fresh fish: Grilled fish is a wonderful, light dish for the summertime. And, fish is known to be a low fat, high protein meat. Skip the packaged fish if you can help it and hit the fresh fish section of the market. You’ll get a nicer taste from the fresh option as opposed to the packaged, processed fish in bags.
8) Be careful with barbecue sauce: Okay, this one is tricky. You can enjoy a great barbecue sauce, but you have to make sure that the first ingredient isn’s sugar. Also, be careful not to choose one that has a high sugar content. Read the labels to find a sauce that doesn’t have extra sugars added. Anything that is honey flavored or uses the word “sweet” to describe its taste is a no-go. Also, use just enough to taste on your food instead of downing it in sauce.
9) Try new meats: In other words, don’t be afraid to eat meat with your meal. While fish is a great source of protein, red meat definitely reigns supreme. The key is to choose a cut that is low fat. Because it takes your body more time to digest proteins (say, over carbs) you’ll stay fuller, longer and that goes a long way in fighting the fat.
10) A new way to drive-thru: If you have a staple food from the drive-thru that you love, take a healthy spin on it. Burgers, fries and a drink don’t have to be a meal that sets you back a days worth of calories. Upgrade your burger (see tips above), switched to bake sweet potato fries and have a summer drink like iced tea or lemonade.
Your diet doesn’t have to suffer during the summer. Grilling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get a great meal. Use these tips to ensure that you stay fully, fit and fabulous this summer season.