The thinking-person’s barbecue guide

Thought I’d share the words of an email I sent to our nutrition clients today, since we’re in full-on BBQ season now and I’ve seen some horrendous trolley loads of BBQ stuff being pushed around supermarkets (takes two or three people to push, it’s that bad).


Evening everyone, on this sunny day – well it’s sunny here :-),

Now we’re into barbecue season I thought I’d drop you some guidelines so you can be a fitnat ninja this summer.

Bar-Bs are all very lovely, and outdoorsy but they can tend to be a challenge for the stomach, which is pretty much used to having to deal with a handful of food types in one sitting but is suddenly attacked by at least 15 types, such as:

  • Pringles and dips (when you arrive)
  • Pimms with bits of vegetation
  • Diet Coke – urgh, no no no
  • Full fat Coke – GAK
  • Burgers (horrible quality ones)
  • Fanta (sigh)
  • Sausages (even horribler quality than the burgers – snags should be at least 80% good meat)
  • Chicken (read about the plight of the chicken and weep)
  • (Above three very often blackened to some extent, so the tum has that to deal with too, and it really doesn’t like it)
  • Any number of other barbecued bits of protein
  • Bread rolls, and not the good kind of bread either
  • Coleslaw
  • Salad
  • Potato salad
  • Potatoes
  • Rice salad
  • Pasta salad
  • Couscous salad
  • Quinoa salad (helffy dontcha know?!)
  • Any number of other types of umm ‘salad’
  • Various sauces and condiments
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Fruit juice
  • Cheesecake
  • Strawberries
  • Choc fudge cake
  • Trifle (Ahh go on, may as well try a bit of all four!)

And so on……

By the time any human has piled through that lot – cos if there’s one thing we love it’s lots of different foods to try in one go – they’ll likely have racked up a day and half’s worth of food, at least, and the stomach and guts are going

“WHOA, hang on there, I’ll just digest this thing! No WAIT, I’ll just digest THIS thing! NO WAIT I’ll just……” Get the picture? Not good.

Repeat this scenario several times over the summer and you may find your bikinis and budgie smugglers are on the snugger side, and you will probably have contributed a vast amount of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

Thank you for reading this far..

“What to do then? Are we to give up Barbecues, you joyless HARRIDAN?!”

Of course not! Barbecue to your delight but treat it like a regular meal, with regular portion sizes (for ‘regular’ read ‘sensible’). Enjoy the company and the outdoors, just don’t end up as a food transporter.

Here’s the thinking person’s barbecue guide:
  • Don’t turn up ravenous. Starving yourself all day in preparation will ony lead to downfall, and Pringles.
  • Avoid pre-main meal nibbles. Nobody needs Pringles and dips, ghastly items manufactured in factories and containing horrible ingredients. Say no.
  • For the main meal follow our portion size guidelines especially where the meat is concerned. Try to go for a nice proper piece of meat or, even better, fish, or a homemade burger, rather than processed meat. Stick to one type of carb, so it’s potatoes OR bread OR rice OR pasta. Choose lots of lovely fresh salad, cos let’s face it, nobody else will be, it’s only there as a token gesture. Choose a couple of spoons of any side item such as coleslaw.
  • Enjoy the simplicity of your plate, being able to focus on the flavour of a handful of things is nicer than mixing a mountain of flavours. And your tum will feel a whole lot better.
  • Stick to one or two glasses of the same type of alcohol, or none at all, hurrah for your liver! And sip water too.
  • Either skip pudding or have strawberries and cream, or small fruit salad. Take some in your bag in case none is provided 😉
  • Lastly, mitigate! If you tied-on a food baby at a Bar-B, eat a bit less, and more simply the next day, and take some decent heart-pumping exercise.
  • Actually, not lastly at all; LASTLY, enjoy the chilling and the socialising, slow the eating right down, make it the secondary pleasure, still a gorgeous pleasure but not the only pleasure.

I know you are of strong enough character to do this and be a great example of a fitnaturally barbecue expert!

Happy summertime,

Sal and the fitnat team xx

Get great advice like this, and a gorgeous meal plan, every week with eatnaturally for everyone.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you accept our use of cookies. Learn More