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Fourth of July BBQ Alternatives to Keep Off Belly Fat

Warm weather is upon us and it’s time to fire up the grill and get out by the pool. This also means some high calorie foods may be sneaking back into our diets. But, here are four alternatives to some Summer favorites that will keep you at the party without wrecking your diet.

BBQ: Serving sizes and fat content are the enemy here. Cuts of meat for a BBQ are traditionally oversized and heavy in fat. Add to that the fact that we are all going to want some sauce on that meat, because hey, it ain’t BBQ without some sweet BBQ sauce.

BBQ Six Pack Friendly Alternative: Switch the high fat cuts for lower fat options. Choose chicken and fish for your alternative and you can cut the calories dramatically. When it comes to sauce there aren’t a lot of great choices out there, but I found one sauce that is sugar free and pretty good. It’s called G Hughes Smokehouse BBQ Sauce, it is sugar free and gluten free. (I couldn’t find a website for them, but you can get it at most Publix super markets.)

Alcohol: It’s a summer favorite and pretty much a necessity when manning the grill or at the pool. But, these empty calories can add up and can lead to overeating.

Alcohol Six Pack Friendly Alternative: If you are going to drink this summer it’s good to have a plan. First, decide how many drinks you are going to have before you start. Also, have a full glass of water after each drink to stay hydrated.

Avoid mixers! Once again high sugar content is the enemy. Sweeten your drink with sugar free drink mix, preferably one made with stevia.  Try out Stur - Liquid Water Enhancer.

Chips and Dip: It’s at every party, the never ending bowl of chips and dip that you just can’t walk away from.  In the course of a two hour party you’ll probably put away more than a half a bag due to grazing. These are calories that can add up quickly and the salt will leave you craving more and more.

Chips and Dip Six Pack Friendly Alternative: Trade the chips for veggies. Grab some carrot slices, red and yellow peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower. Instead of the standard french onion dip, grab some greek yogurt and mix in some powdered ranch or grab some hummus.  One of my favorite hummus brands is Eat Well Embrace Life.

Ice Cream:  This one is a sneaky one.  It is really hard to feel full on ice cream. More often than not, it’s not a lack of self control it’s the sugar causing you to crave more and more. Add that to the fact that the serving sizes are way smaller then what your going to put in your bowl or cake cone.

Ice Cream Six Pack Friendly Alternative: There are some healthy alternatives out there, look for low sugar instead of low fat.  One of my favorites is Halo Top.  You can get it at Whole Foods.