Summer is the time of hot, piping barbecues, cookouts, beaches and picnics in the park. But, what does all this mean to your weight loss efforts? Between a mind that’s battling the heat and a heart that’s concocting different ways to make the heat bearable, we’re guessing it’s your waistline that suffers. Thus, in order to know what to eat and how to eat it, this summer season, we bring to you our list of best and worst summer picnic foods. Read on and tell us if we missed any out.
Worst burger variety: White flour burgers with extra mayo and cheese (450 calories, 23gm fat)
Best burger variety:
Lean beef burger with roasted and raw vegetables (386 calories, 14.9 grams fat)
For classic hamburger taste, and of course the healthier version too, you can ask the butcher to trim the visible fat. In order to increase the flavor of your burger, try and add a mixture of soy sauce, chili sauce, thick tomato puree, minced garlic or BBQ sauce to it and you couldn’t have asked for a better juicy burger. In order to up the health factor of the burger, go for raw vegetable fillers, such as tomato, cabbage, lettuce and so on. Go for a whole grain bun instead of a white flour bun.
Worst soft drink variety: Fizzy soda with a salty lemonade (150 calories, 15 grams fat)
Best soft drink variety:
Sparkling water with a splash of lemonade, salt, and pepper (8 calories, 0 grams fat)
Sweet sodas are unhealthy because they have no nutritive value and on top of that most sodas are made of high fructose sugar corn syrup. You’re better off with a beverage that has the health and taste factor, both. And what better beverage than a tall glass of sparkling water along with a dash of lemonade to keep the scorching heat waves at bay.
Worst potato salad variety: Mayonnaise-based potato salad (324 calories, 18.6 grams fat)
Best potato salad variety: Grilled potatoes (211 calories, 0.2-gram fat)
Just jazz up your potato salad with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of oregano, parsley, rosemary along with a pinch of salt and pepper and you are good to go.
Buns and rolls
Worst buns and rolls variety: Plain hamburger bun (129 calories, 3.1 grams fat)
Best buns and rolls variety: This whole-grain sandwich (100 calories, 1 gram fat)
Go for the whole grain variety of bread, pita pocket, bun, naan, roll focaccia, cracker or English muffin.Go for low-fat refined beans, regular or hot mustard, BBQ sauce, hummus or cranberry spread. As far as the preparation method is concerned, go for traditional style (layered over a bread) panini style, roll or wrap, toasted, grilled.
Worst chicken variety: Fried chicken (363 calories, 25.1 grams fat)
Best chicken variety: Grilled chicken kebab (88 calories, 1 gram fat)
To make a healthier version of fried chicken, all you have to do is dip skinless pieces of chicken (breast or thighs) in low-fat buttermilk before spraying it with a bit of seasoned olive oil and baking at 450 degrees. You can also coat the outside of the chicken with a seasoned crumb mixture of brown bread or sooji to give your chicken that extra crispy flavor. Opt for a grilled chicken piece, with a healthy serving of roasted vegetables on the side.
Chips and dips
Worst chips and dips variety: Potato chips with creamy dip (155 calories, 106 grams fat)
Best chips and dips variety: Corn tortilla chips with salsa (138 calories, 6.6 grams fat)
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for making salsa at home in 5 minutes flat. Puree tomatoes separately. Now throw in 1/4th cup of finely sliced red onions (you can also use normal onions if red onions are not available), 1 jalapeno, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoon of lime juice, 2 tablespoon of olive oil, ½ tablespoon of salt, ½ tablespoon of black pepper and ½ tablespoon of oregano in a large bowl (along with pureed tomatoes). Leave the sauce at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving it.
Fresh strawberries mixed with a dollop of whipped and chilled yogurt is a great dessert. It not only saves you from extra calories, but also keeps away the boredom of eating the same dessert every now and then.