Dos and Don’ts for Eating Healthy at barbecues

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-Need some motivation to stick to your diet this holiday weekend. Pam Bredenkamp lost 220 pounds in 18 months without supplements, drugs, or surgery; and continues to keep it off. She is now a certified health coach who helps people get off the diet roller coaster and live healthier, more balanced lives.

Bredenkamp has several tips to keep your weight-loss goals in mind at summer barbecues and picnics.

  1. Remember Your Health Goals - If you have weight loss goals or simply want to stick to healthy choices, remember your goals when looking over the food and then consider this mantra: Stop. Challenge. And Choose.
  2. Main Course/Healthy Protein - Pam recommends choosing grilled chicken and removing the skin. Another good option, surprisingly, is a burger. If you’re faced with a burger, ribs, brats and hot dogs, the burger is the best option.
  3. Dressing Tips - When having a burger, skip the bun and wrap it in lettuce instead. Some other healthy options are to use mustard instead of ketchup or mayo (ketchup is high in sugar and mayo is high in fat) and add some dill pickles and/or onions (vs. sweet relish, which is high in sugar).
  4. Sides - Pam recommends choosing things like grilled vegetables, leafy green salads with fresh veggies, broccoli salad (if it isn`t drenched in a creamy dressing). Skip the bean salads (they`re high in carbs), pork & beans and baked beans (high in carbs and sugar), mayo-based pasta and potato salads (they’re high in fat).
  5. Dessert - Pam recommends fresh berries like strawberries, because they’re lowest in the glycemic index compared to cakes and cookies.
  6. Drinks - Pam recommends water to stay hydrated, diet soda and flavor-infuser packets/straws. Skip the lemonade and regular soda, which are high in sugar. If you’re having beer or a cocktail, make sure to drink a cup of water between each drink to stay hydrated and avoid a hangover.


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