Ok, technically it’s still Spring, but it feels like summer and nothing says summer like barbecues, cold drinks, outdoor activities and of course…lots of chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, potato salad, ice cream, and BEER! So here is the bad news if you are trying to drop some poundage like yours truly…
Who’s up for some BBQ? Oh wait, did you know that a 20 ounce t-bone steak can contain more than 1500 calories and 124 grams of fat. Oh but they are so tasty, right?
Check this out…an average cheeseburger has 750 calories and 45 grams of fat and that is without all the junk that you pile on it. Don’t’ even get me started on pork and beef ribs. They come from the fattiest part of the animal. The good news: You can go lean with cuts like pork tenderloin, skinless chicken breast, and lean ground beef.
I do love me some hot dogs and sausages…lots of peppers and onions please. Easy chubby, high in fat and calories. A lot of low sodium and low fat alternatives out there, but they just can’t compare.
A small half-cup portion of typical potato salad has 180 calories and 12 grams of fat; the same amount of coleslaw has about 150 calories and 8 grams of fat. To cut calories, try making your salads with light mayonnaise; or mix mayo with low-fat yogurt, light sour cream, or chicken stock. Or why not try a German-style potato salad, using more vinegar than oil? Then toss lots of veggies into any salad to increase the fiber and nutrients.
Sweet, fruity alcoholic drinks (the kind often served with an umbrella) may go down easy, but the calories add up in a hurry. A piña colada can range from 245-490 calories, a daiquiri from 300-800 calories, and a Long Island iced tea can set you back 520 calories or more -- with much of it from sugar. Instead of high calorie drinks, try wine, a wine spritzer, or a mixed drink with seltzer and a splash of 100% fruit juice.
Staying hydrated is essential in summer, but those cold drinks can wreak havoc with your waistline. Be careful what you choose -- if you're drinking 12-ounce containers of sweet tea, sweetened soda, energy drinks, juice drinks, or beer, you're probably taking in about 150 calories a pop. Smoothies, milkshakes, and cold coffee concoctions can go much higher. Try water or light versions of your favorite thirst quenchers.
I love Nickey Doodles and Hoopla, however, a cup of soft-serve ice cream can have 380 calories and 22 grams of fat. Make it a chocolate cookie dough milkshake concoction, and the calories soar to 720, with 28 grams of fat! You don’t need to give up frozen treats, just pass on the giant portions or high fat toppings. Look for frozen desserts like sherbet, fudge bars, fruit bars, or other treats under 150 calories per serving or fruit desserts like strawberry shortcake.
County fairs and the state fair are a lot of fun, but holy fried everything, Batman! From fried cheesecake (around 500 calories), fried macaroni and cheese (roughly 610 calories) to gigantic turkey legs (about 1,136 calories and 54 grams of fat), most eat-while-you-walk foods are a calorie overload. Skip the fried foods and instead choose cotton candy, caramel apples, or a simple grilled meat -- or share your treat with a friend.
This time of year it is very easy to stray from good eating habits and we quickly forget the content of some foods mainly because they taste so freakin’ good! I guess the bottom line here is you don’t have to completely give up your favorite summer treats, maybe just scale back a bit. I constantly tell myself to have 1 or 2 hot dogs instead of 4. It doesn’t help when Nickey Doodles has 2 for 99 cent Hoffman Dogs. Curse you Nickey Doodles!