BBQ Danger Zone: Worst Food for Your Waistline

Summer barbecues are the best way to celebrate with our friends and family. Unfortunately, we [...]

BBQ on the grill

Summer barbecues are the best way to celebrate with our friends and family. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves overeating or just consuming foods that are horrible for our health and our waistlines. There are plenty of healthy alternatives to these BBQ dangers that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters, you just have to do your research. The best way to stay healthy is to plan foods and be ready for the temptations out there. Here are some foods that definitely want to stay away from or limit your intake of at the next family barbecue!

Chips: You know who they are. You "can't eat just one" for a reason. They are full of toxic MSGs and have zero nutritional value. The truth is that 500 calories of chips will not fill your stomach and cue your brain to stop eating like 500 calories of fruits and vegetables will. Steer clear of these; they will only make you frustrated with yourself in the long run. If you have to have that salty crunch, try these Skinny Baked Sweet Potato Chips for your next BBQ. Click here for the recipe.

sweet potato chips

Hot dogs: Can we say, "pressed meat?" This doesn't mean you have to stay away from them. Just find a lower calorie alternative like these Skinny Gourmet Hot Dogs. Click here for the recipe.

gourmet hotdogs

Cheese: Cheese is ever abundant at a BBQ. From cheese dips to cheese on your burger, this "stick to your bones" kind of food wears it's welcome out quickly. Cheese is high in calories and fat. That doesn't mean you have to totally rid yourself of cheese. If you must have that tiny taste of dairy heaven, try a low-cal version like our Skinny Mozzarella Bites. Click here for the recipe.

skinny mozzarella bites

Pulled Pork Sandwich: Apart from the bread that it is on, the traditional pulled pork sandwich packs a ton of calories, not to mention sodium. The pork is not the culprit though. Most pulled pork is smothered in BBQ sauce that is full of sugar and sodium. Try out our Skinny Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes for a healthy alternative! Click here for the recipe.

pulled pork sweet potato

Potato Salad: Potato salad is made with potatoes, eggs, and mayonnaise. This triple threat offers tons of calories and fat. There are some great alternative potato salads out there that do not pack on the calories, like this Sweet Potato Pomegranate Salad. (via Two Peas and Their Pod).

pomegranate salad
(Photo: Two Peas and Their Pod)

Desserts: Just because you are trying to eat healthy, doesn't mean that you can never have dessert again. Find some healthy options when it comes to sweets, like this Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake! Click here for the recipe.

guinness cake

Sweet tea, sodas and alcohol: Ok, this isn't actually a food, but a ton of it is consumed at backyard barbecues. Sweet tea, sodas, and alcohol are empty calories. Most Americans waste away their daily caloric intake with items such as these. If you're craving some sweet beverages, but don't want to waste all of your calories, try one of our amazing drink recipes! From tea and flavored water to fizzy adult treats like this Watermelon Martini, we've got you covered! Click here to see our drink recipes!

watermelon martini

By incorporating these few, small changes, you can indulge and enjoy your next backyard barbecue without a huge side of guilt!