Grill Your Way To Lean This Summer

3 min read

Grill Your Way To Lean This Summer

By Janine Rotter, Director of Fitness Nutrition for UNBOWED

By now you know that grilling is one of the most popular pastimes of summer and you may be even planning one for Father’s Day, so we wanted to give you our favorite tips and tricks on how to keep your BBQ season the healthiest possible.

While outdoor cookouts are a great opportunity to relax and visit with friends and family, did you know that the average barbecue meal exceeds 1500 calories? That's almost an entire day's worth of calories in one meal.

That type of eating will do some serious damage to your waistline over the course of the summer.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be!

In fact, with a few small changes to your barbecue menu, you can turn summer into the perfect opportunity for weight loss.

So before you slather on the sunscreen and fire up your grill, read the following tips to grill your way lean this summer.

On the Grill: Believe it or not, grilling is actually a very healthy way to cook meat. Of course, the type of meat that you choose will make all of the difference. Burgers and hot dogs are traditional barbecue meats, but they aren't the healthiest. Try the following:

  • Choose lean cuts of beef, pork, or poultry
  • Marinade with low-fat dressings
  • Make hamburgers with extra-lean ground beef
  • Take the skin off chicken before grilling
  • Replace beef patties with ground turkey patties
  • Grill up salmon or cod
  • Forego the meat and grill veggie burgers

Side Dishes: This is where most people run into trouble. Barbecue side dishes are typically filled with loads of fat. Creamy coleslaw and potato salads can hold as much as 15 grams of fat per serving. Try the following instead:

  • Make veggie kabobs and grill them
  • Grill bok choy
  • Replace the mayo in your salads with low-fat mayo
  • Serve fresh salad with a light vinaigrette
  • Try whole-grain macaroni for your pasta salad
  • Grill up corn on the cob (pass on the butter)
  • Put out a veggie tray with low-fat dip

Drinks: Most people don't realize that beverages play a big role in summer weight gain. Margaritas, beer, soda pop and punch all contain lots of empty calories. Try the following:

  • Drink water, it is always your healthiest option
  • Stick with light beer
  • Low-calorie hard seltzers are great options.
  • Try our 3-Ingredient Piña Colada by mixing in a touch of our Piña Colada BCAA (see recipe below)
  • If you have to have a soda pop stick with a diet
  • Brew unsweetened ice tea and serve with lemon

Dessert: Yes, there are ways to satisfy your sweet tooth while getting lean. Think outside of the box instead of turning to the typical fattening options like ice cream, pie, cake, or cookies. Try the following:

  • Grill mango, banana, and pineapple on kabobs
  • Stick with sorbet instead of ice cream
  • Replace peach pie with grilled peach halves
  • Choose light ice cream over regular

Remember, it's important to splurge every once in a while.

Enjoy yourself!

Just keep in mind that by taking even a few of the above suggestions, you can enjoy great food while staying on track.


4-Ingredient Piña Colada


Serves 2


To make this frozen piña colada recipe, simply combine all of the ingredients together in a blender and puree until smooth!  If the mixture is too thick, feel free to add in a little extra water.  Otherwise, it should be a breeze!


One serving equals: 381 calories, 27.5g fat, 32g carbohydrate, and 3g protein


Cut 262 calories and 27.5g of fat per serving by skipping the light coconut milk and simply add more water.


To make this a zero fat, zero carbs skinny (the way our pack rolls) combine the white rum, 1 scoop of the BCAAs, and 16 oz of water with ice and shake in a shaker cup and pour in a glass straight up or over rocks.