Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! It’s barbecue season again!
After months of cold weather, it’s finally that time of the year again.
Sun’s out, guns out, time to fire up the grill. If you ask me, nothing beats a good ol’ BBQ with some burgers, a few cold brewskies, and your best bros.
But if you’re serious about your body and want to maintain little fat and lean muscle, the barbecue can be a daunting place.
Face it, have you ever been tailgating, feeling healthy afterwards? Did you ever NOT feel bloated from the beers, the sauces, the hot dogs?
That’s what I thought. Barbecues are the best, and the worst. They are delicious, but make you feel disgusting after. They are awesome, yet they are awful.
How to enjoy a good BBQ while staying in shape? Can you enjoy a BBQ and a 6-pack AND maintain your 6-pack? Luckily for you, it IS possible to not miss out on this Summer’s barbecues, while still staying on top of your bodybuilding efforts.
To help you out, we created a quick Bodybuilder’s BBQ Guide, so you can enjoy flame-grilling some juicy steaks while still burning your own fat as well. It’s BBQ time my bros!
The basics – the food you grill
Let’s start with the obvious bit: the actual food you are going to throw on your barbecue. The place to start checking those calories and the proteins you add is right on the grill. What are you throwing on there?
Let me guess, some marinated spareribs, a few burgers, a massive steak (you like ‘m bloody, don’t you?), a couple of fat juicy hot dogs. Basically, the bigger the piece of meat, the better, right?
Not if you want to keep your muscle-body intact that is. If you want to protect yourself, you should start thinking about the meat you’re frying.
First of all, think about how you can replace some of it for healthier meats. Of course, you can still enjoy a beef burger now and then if you really want to, but instead of eating four of them during one BBQ session, maybe only have one, and change the others for, say, turkey burgers. Still great tasting burgers – and wrapped in with some lettuce and other veggies they make a killer, healthy substitute.
And birds are not the only options; how about fish? People often forget that fish can be great, healthy grilling options. Jam-packed with proteins and downright delicious: you might wanna consider grilling some salmon next time you whack out the barbecue.
Last tip in terms of food to grill: if you do want to stick to your BBQ classics, try to make sure you get them directly from the butcher (so you don’t buy any of that highly-processed crap), and maybe consider cutting off the visible fat ends and skin. Those are the worst bits, and just getting the right cut can already do wonders!
The food you eat on the side
It’s not all in what you throw ON the grill, the devil is often in what you’re eating OFF the grill.
I get it, that potato-mayo-salad is a century-old family recipe and a staple for any BBQ. Never have you organized a BBQ without that salad as the centrepiece.
Yes, it’s delicious, but have you ever dared to think about what’s actually in it? And this is just a common example – don’t we all love a creamy potato salad – but think about all the other dishes packed with carbs, fat, sugar…
This is especially important for those among us who are too impatient to wait for their meat to be done, or those inexperienced grillmasters who prepared all the food well in advance, called everyone to the table, to then realize their BBQ needs at least half an hour to warm up.
What do you end up doing? Exactly, you stuff your face with fatty sides, and still, you are surprised when you step on the scale the next day to see that extra pound while you “only had a burger and two sausages”. Don’t fool yourself bro, meat is not the only danger at the BBQ!
Hate to break it to you, but next time, you maybe want to hold off on mac and cheese as a side dish.
Nothing like dipping your meat in some topnotch barbecue sauce, right?
Nothing like a delicious layer of garlic butter on your piece of bread, right?
Nothing like some ketchup on your sausages, right?
We get you bro, but if you’re serious about this sh*t, you need to stop drenching everything in sauce.
For starters, most of those barbecue sauces are absolutely packed with sugar, and when it comes to something like mayonnaise; well, that doesn’t need further explanation. Instead, how about trying to get that low-sugar BBQ sauce, or use yogurt-based mayonnaise instead of the real (fat) deal!
This one is two-sided actually, so pay attention.
First, the bad drinks: alcohol, soda, you name it. In particular: beer. True, nothing goes as good with a barbecue like beer, but the effects on your muscle building efforts are absolutely horrendous. Same thing goes for all other alcoholic drinks: they are tempting, but they are also absolute muscle-killers.
Of course, sometimes you just want to have a f*cking drink. If so, maybe go for a gin-tonic instead of a beer, to at least TRY and reduce the impact on your body a bit.
Doing it alcohol-free instead? Great choice! Just make sure to not replace your beer with soda, because then you won’t help your body much more. Instead, think about adding a slice of lemon to a glass of ice cold water. Refreshing, tasty, and 0 calories.
What was the second side about drinks?
Well, people often tend to confuse thirst for hunger. Especially during a summer barbecue, standing below the scorching sun for hours, you need to stay hydrated at all times. And what happens when you don’t?
Well, your body starts to confuse you. Instead of feeling thirsty, you think you’re hungry. You start to eat more because you think that’s what your body wants, while, you could’ve just grabbed a glass of water to ease its urges. Instead of eating another burger, you could’ve just had a glass of water; if only you’d known.
And there you have it folks, a few solid pointers to get you through this year’s barbecue season!
You can still enjoy it just as much as you used to, but by just being aware of these simple bits you can save yourself a lot of additional calories and body fat. So think before you eat, and then go ahead and enjoy that grill.
Happy BBQ season!