Who doesn't love a good barbecue? But according to one study, you could be clocking up a staggering 3,000 calories in just one meal! (and that's without the alcohol). Have one every other weekend and that adds up to a steady weight gain of around 2lbs a month!
You might be shocked to discover that just 1 burger, 1 hot dog, a jacket potato and some coleslaw tots up to almost your entire day's calorie allowance if you're trying to lose weight!
But barbecues don't have to come with a health warning – grilling your food is actually a very low calorie way to cook and your choice of protein doesn't have to be fattening. With a few savvy swaps here you can save over 800 calories, and your family will barely notice the healthier changes.
Read on for some healthier alternatives.
|Swap this||Kcals||Fat||For this||Kcals||Fat|
|Burger in a bun with cheese||526||26.4g||Burger (with no bun)||224||13.8g|
|Hot dog with onions||343||16.6g||Reduced fat sausage in a roll (no onions)||207||4.5g|
|Chicken thigh drumstick||163||10g||BBQ'd chicken breast||148||2.2g|
|Pork chop||231||14.1g||Tuna steak (140g steak)||150||1g|
|Pork ribs (per rib)||137||9.4g||Chicken kebabs (per skewer)||104||2.4g|
|Jacket potato with butter||249||8.6g||BBQ'd sweet potato slices (150g)||128||0.3g|
|Potato salad (100g serving)||169||13.1g||Reduced fat potato salad (100g serving)||105||5.5g|
|Pesto style pasta salad (100g serving)||247||15.3g||Tomato pasta salad (100g serving)||131||4.7g|
|Coleslaw (per 50g serving)||87||8.1g||Reduced fat coleslaw (50g serving)||55||4.6g|
|Mayonnaise (per tablespoon)||96||10.5g||Extra light mayonnaise (per tablespoon)||18||1.1g|
|Ceasar salad dressing (per tablespoon)||67||6.8g||Light French dressing (per tablespoon)||12||0.4g|
|Crisps & cheese & chive dip (30g crisps)||247||17g||Veg sticks & reduced fat houmous (50g)||173||9.7g|
|Fruit Trifle||279||15.3g||Raspberry pavlova||135||4.2g|
|Raspberry cheesecake||330||20.3g||Raspberry roulade||224||8.3g|
|Cider (pint)||204||0g||Low alcohol cider (pint)||97||0g|
|Lager (pint)||165||0g||Lager shandy with diet lemonade (pint)||74||0g|
|White wine (150ml glass)||113||0g||White wine spritzer with soda (130ml wine)||98||0g|
|Mojito||127||0.2g||Pimms & diet lemonade||91||0g|
Be honest by still tracking what you eat, even if you know you've gone over your calorie allowance. It will make you conscious of how much you've eaten and help you to compensate over the rest of the week by cutting back slightly.
Use the Week View in the Nutracheck App or on the Nutracheck.co.uk website to manage this – your aim is to get a green tick overall for the week.
Nutritionist Emma Brown (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.