When it comes to supporting your fitness routine with a suitable diet, it can be rather difficult to stick to the program, especially when you’re confronted by the delicious foods commonly found at social gatherings like BBQs and picnics. Not only are these traditional recipes fragrant and delicious, but it can be very difficult to deny yourself when everyone else is digging in with obvious relish.
In truth, most people have a much harder time sticking to a diet than an exercise regimen, likely because of the vast abundance of food options available to modern man, as well as a culture that urges us towards excess and instant gratification (often at the expense of long-term goals).
So the next time you go to a picnic or BBQ, you should prepare yourself to avoid certain foods that are sure to tank any type of diet (even when you’re bulking you’re likely to have some guidelines for appropriate foods).
Here are some foods you’ll want to steer clear of and how you can compensate for continued success.
Burgers and hot dogs.
While your fitness regimen may call for plenty of meats and even some carbs, you probably couldn’t come up with a worse way to get them than by scarfing down hamburgers and hot dogs. For one thing, hamburgers can’t really be classified as the “lean” type of protein you should be getting, and you’re better off eating a steak if you need the benefits of red meat. And don’t even get started on the mystery meat that is the modern hot dog.
By the time you’re done these options have been loaded with extras, slathered with sauces, and squished in a sugar-laden white bun, making for tons of calories that aren’t likely to do your body much good. Instead, bring your own chicken to grill, along with wheat buns for a healthy alternative.
A mere cup of potato salad could add 300-400 calories to your daily intake, and it’s mostly fat and starch. So skip the mayonnaise-induced heartache and opt for a baked potato instead. With some sour cream, chives, and even extras like broccoli thrown in you can have a filling and healthy option ready in no time.
If you thought potato salad was the most offensive side dish on the block, think again, because baked beans may be even worse for you. Granted, beans are actually pretty healthy in and of themselves, which is why you might want to consider re-fried or black beans as an alternative to the sauce-covered baked beans that are calling to you across the picnic table.
A single serving of finger-licking spare ribs is a whopping 700+ calories. But the worst thing about this greasy treat is that it will leave you feeling hungry again in short order. If you really want that BBQ flavor, opt instead for a grilled chicken breast basted with BBQ sauce during cooking. You’ll get the taste you love along with the lean meat that’s right for your fitness diet.
There are few foods you can add to picnic baskets that have less nutritional value than baked goods. And yet, you don’t want to miss out on dessert. So rather than reaching for a sugary piece of pie or cake, bring along some fresh berries and honey to satisfy your sweet tooth, boost your energy, and provide you with the vitamins and antioxidants needed to make your body feel great and function at its peak.