Your average American BBQ is a diet minefield. You run the risk of negating all your hard work in the gym, or looking like a jerk by refusing Grandma’s potato salad.
Use this chart, which ranks the most common offerings by nutritional value; and check out how to portion your plate to keep servings in check so you can enjoy your favorite foods this summer—and keep your physique.
1. Drink Water Before You Go
Drink tons of water before you go—you’ll not only feel fuller, you’ll spend so much time peeing you won’t have a chance to eat!
2. Snack Beforehand
Have an apple, two hard-boiled eggs, or a small whey protein shake pre-bbq to ease hunger.
3. Bring a “Gift”
Bring a “gift”—lean ground beef, melon—to guarantee at least one healthy item to eat.
4. Double the Burger, Not the Bun
Make double-decker burgers on just one bun.
5. Eat a Little of Everything
Can’t beat temptation? Join it by going for variety, eating a little bit of everything.
6. Chew Gum
Chew sugar-free peppermint gum (peppermint can reduce hunger).
7. Prioritize Healthy Foods First
Hit the lean meats and veggies before the junk food starts seducing you.
8. Keep Drinking Water
Carry a water bottle to sip between “real” drinks.
9. Bang Out Some Pushups (Seriously)
If you feel a splurge coming on, find a remote spot and knock out a few sets of pushups—it’ll take your appetite away.
10. Play Games
Play as many games—corn hole, volleyball—as you can to stay in a fitness state of mind.
11. Make it a Cheat Meal
Make it a cheat meal—easy if you know about the shindig in advance.