Even if the plan is to stick to a strict, clean diet during the summertime, it’s common to accidentally sabotage your efforts by allowing a handful of hidden diet busters to slip into your meal plan. Cookouts can become huge diet traps. So when the grill is fired up, use these tips to keep your diet on track …
#1. Avoid Getting Sauced
Grilled chicken breast is a terrific source of protein; however, chicken can also taste bland without add-ons to enhance flavor. Trouble is, many store-bought sauces and condiments — including BBQ sauce — come armed with lots of sugar and fat. Use them sparingly when possible, or use hot sauce; it’s low-calorie, adds flavor, and includes a kick of heat.
#2. Monitor Portion Sizes Of “Clean” Foods
Remember, you can eat too much “clean” food, too. Avocados, for example, are full of fiber and healthy monounsaturated fat. But it’s still fat, and too much fat (and too many calories) will lead to weight gain. If you use a whole avocado on top of a salad, you’ll need to make sure other areas of the meal don’t add additional fat — which means cutting back on cheese on your low-fat turkey burger or salad.
#3. Use Best Practices At The Salad Bar
Often, “light” dressings cut fat and calorie count but add sodium and sugar to make up for lost taste. Again, it comes down to how much you use. Instead of dumping it onto your greens in an attempt to drown them, put some dressing in a bowl on the side and dip your fork into the dressing before you stab the roughage. That’ll help keep your dressing use in check. As for the other salad bars — potato salad and pasta salad — tread lightly, as they can both be high in fat and calories.
#4. Don’t Overdo It With Fruit
A diet filled with fruits and veggies is a good thing — actually, a great thing — but fruits are still high in sugar. Figs, for example, are a great source of fiber but come with 16 grams of sugar per cup. Bananas are another a terrific source of potassium but are loaded with about 14 grams per medium-sized banana. One mango contains about 31 grams of sugar. The takeaway: fruits are incredibly healthy but are still not a “free” food. Knowing how much sugar you’re taking in to meet your dietary goals.
#5. Be Choosy With Cocktails
During the warm summer months, those of you 21 and older may enjoy slurping down a mixed drink to cool off. Be careful. Margaritas and daiquiris can be sugary calorie bombs. You should, of course, consume alcohol in moderation — alcohol slows muscle growth — but if you do have a mixed drink once every blue moon, try adding P4’s Recovery Push Formula as a tasty mixer. It’s packed with electrolytes and vitamins, a carb loader, and BCAAs. Usually, we’d say that Recovery Push Formula would help provide energy to push through your game or workout, but, in this case, it’ll support your energy levels to help you last longer into the night.