One of my favorite things about summer is throwing dead animal flesh on a hot grill. The sound of the meat sizzling…the smell…I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a little turned on.
The 4th of July is just a few days away, and grilling out is one of the most popular ways people celebrate the birth of this great nation. Burgers, hot dogs, chicken, brats, potato salad, chips, beans, other assorted goodies…these all sound amazing of course, but if you’re someone who’s trying to lose weight, events like this can be stressful if you want to stick with your diet plan.
Luckily, 4th of July cookouts don’t have to spell gloom and doom for your diet. Below I’ve outline not one, but two, step-by-step guides for navigating your 4th of July BBQ this weekend without destroying your progress. Choose the guide that best fits your situation.
When you know you won’t be in complete control of what you’re eating, it helps to have a few extra calories to play with. Not only will hitting the weights the day of your BBQ do this, but it will ensure that the calories you do eat are being used to repair and grow muscle, not being stored as fat.
Gym not open on the 4th? Find a new one. Your current one is obviously run by communists who hate America.
(For more info on creating your own fat loss workout plan, check out my free 5-Day Fat Loss course)
Fasting is a great fat loss method for banking calories and allowing yourself larger meals. Make the cookout or party you’re going to the only meal you eat that day. Maybe pound a protein shake before you go just to make sure you’re getting enough in. Speaking of…
If you’re grilling out, chances are you’re going to have a good number of protein choices available to you. Now, obviously you’ll have to take what you can get, but it’s best to start with the leanest option available, and go from there.
Chicken would be the first choice, followed by steak, burgers, ribs, and lastly sausages like brats or hot dogs.
I’m not telling you to steer clear of these, just be mindful. Remember you did train today, so carbs are your friend. No need to skip the bun on your burger, or the BBQ baked beans.
Where you do need to be careful is with the chips and various salads that are usually available. These are often a mixture of carbs and fat, so you want to exercise more control here. Having a little is fine, but you’re best off limiting yourself, and grabbing and extra burger if you’re still hungry.
Alcohol is a forgone conclusion at most at parties, so if you’re going to drink be smart about it.
You’ll want to try and stay away from beer or wine if possible, and instead go with liquor and zero calorie mixers. My personal favorite summer drink is a simple vodka and water with no-calorie flavoring. Cold, clear, refreshing, and I’m pretty sure hydrating as well.
For more about how to drink and not hurt your progress, check out this in-depth guide.
By following these five simple steps, not only will you be able to enjoy your weekend BBQ, but you’ll escape with absolutely no damage to your progress.
Of course, for those of you who want something even simpler to follow…
Hit the gym hard. I’m talking squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rows, chin-ups, and of course, arms. Bro out. Earn your calories.
Seriously, fuck it. It’s one day. Eat, drink, and enjoy yourself. Then get right back on track the next day. That’s it. Simple.
What? You thought I had some super secret trick? Well this is it.
One day is not going to hurt your progress, and I’m not a fan of letting your diet interfere with your ability to live your life. So for a day, enjoy yourself. Eat some food you don’t normally get to. Then the next day, get back on plan.
Regardless of which guide you choose to follow this 4th of July, know that life is about more than diet and exercise. It’s about doing things you enjoy, with people you enjoy. Holidays bring people together to have fun; not listen to you complain about the foods you can’t eat.
Hope you have a fun and safe 4th of July weekend. And Happy Birthday ‘Murica.