How to Survive a BBQ Without Feeling Deprived


You haven’t been busting your ass in the gym for months just to see your abs and pecs go up in flames on a buddy’s backyard grill. But you don’t want to be rude…

To navigate the obstacle course that is the typical American BBQ without blowing your diet or looking like a douche, use this chart, which ranks the most common offerings by nutritional value; check out 11 healthy ways to hack a BBQ; and read how to portion your plate to keep servings in check (below).

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Mains and Sides

Feel free to fill up a plate—and a second, if you’re famished—but make sure no more than 1/4 of the plate is Awful/Not as Bad items; no more than 1/4 is OK items, and at least 1/2 is Pretty Good and Great items (if you need a reminder, check out that chart here). 

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Whatever you have, eat it in a cup, not a huge plate. And think small: a scoop of ice cream, 2 cookies, etc., and don’t eat more than fits in a cup.

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For a three-hour BBQ, max out at 1 Awful/Not as Bad drink, 2 OK/Pretty Good drinks, and unlimited Great drinks.

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