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Backyard BBQs: Staying Fit Amidst the Fun

Summer is long days, hot temperatures, and lots of outdoor activity.  It’s also a time for hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, ice cream, fruity drinks, and a variety of other backyard BBQ delights.  Most people, me included, think of the holidays as the time to pack on a few extra pounds, but the unwary picnic goer can add just as many pounds to the waistline during the summer.

Here at the bank we are fortunate to have the Susquehanna Wellness Action Team, affectionately known as SWAT (yes, we in the banking industry do love our acronyms).  The employees who volunteer with SWAT provide information and opportunities to learn more about healthy living.  And let’s face it, health issues are expensive for employees and employers alike and impact the quality of life for entire families.  That’s why for this summer picnic season I asked my coworkers at SWAT to share some tips on how to have fun at your family picnic while keeping an eye on the waistline.  Here are a few of their suggestions.

  • Have a low-fat healthy snack and a big glass of water before you go to the picnic or BBQ so you aren’t as hungry and tempted to eat everything in sight!
  • If you are asked to contribute a dish for a picnic or BBQ, be sure to take something healthy like a veggie tray. That way you know there will be something you can snack on that isn’t high in calories.
  • Same goes for drinks. Bring something for yourself that is low in calories.
  • If you have to eat a burger or hot dog, skip the bread (and cheese!). If BBQ chicken is on offer, remove the skin before eating.
  • Keep busy – moving and talking. This will help keep you from eating out of boredom.
  • Stay far away from the food table. That way you won’t just stand there and graze.

And finally, some suggestions of my own: dance, swim, play outdoor games, chase the children around the yard.  You don’t need to hit the gym to burn a few extra calories.   If you know you can’t resist dad’s homemade ice cream or grandma’s apple pie, work for it!

What tips do you have for a healthy backyard BBQ season?

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