Cookout Cheat Sheet

Backyard cookouts usually mean hamburgers, hot dogs, coleslaw and beer—and that’s OK! With smart choices and portion control you can stay on Plan and enjoy these summer staples.
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Being at a backyard celebration doesn’t mean you have to stray from Plan. Whether you prefer a hamburger or hot dog (or both!), our tips will show you how to make smarter choices as you pass the grill.

Plan ahead. Whether that means going for an early jog the morning of, or saving all of your Weekly PointsPlus Allowance for the big day, forward thinking is the most important strategy to employ.

Know what’s being served. Before you head straight to the chip bowl, ask the host what he or she is serving for the main course and dessert. Are there low PointsPlus value options? Great! Now you know you can have three deviled eggs instead of one.

Have an alcohol strategy. A few options to consider: have a glass of water between each drink; tell yourself you won’t drink until a certain time; or pre-track your drinks before you leave the house. It’s easier to say no to another round when the beers are already in your tracker.

Load up on vegetables. Fill half of your plate with grilled veggies or salad if it’s an option. Then choose your main. And speaking of plates — swap the large plastic dinner plate for the smaller dessert plate. Chances are, you’ll eat less.

Bring something (secretly) healthy. Call the host and see if you can bring the potato salad or the macaroni salad. We promise, only you’ll know it’s a Weight Watchers recipe.

Know your portion sizes. We all want a half cup of potato salad to look like Mt. Everest on our plate. But the harsh reality is it’s only about half the size of your palm. Be realistic as you track.

Get active. Throw a Frisbee or take a dip in the pool. More time spent being active means less time sitting at the picnic table. You can even play cards or think of other non-food-related activities to keep from grazing throughout the party.

Know your condiments. Sure a grilled chicken sandwich is lower in PointsPlus values than other options. But if you slather it with mayonnaise and cheese, you might end up with a meal you didn’t budget for. Your best bets are: mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles—all of these have zero PointsPlus values. Two tablespoons of ketchup has 1 PointsPlus value and each tablespoon of mayo has 3 PointsPlus values. Each slice of American cheese has 3 PointsPlus values.

Forgive yourself. If you slip up and go over your Daily or Weekly PointsPlus Allowance, don’t sweat it. Start again tomorrow and maybe squeeze in an extra workout next week.
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