Have fun and be lighter doing THIS at your Labor Day BBQ


Nagina Abdullah


September 4, 2015

Man eating burger.

DSC_1810 This summer I’ve attended super fun barbecues with friends and family. To the left is a picture of me and my kids at one of the first BBQs of the summer.

Several years ago, when I got to a bbq, I would walk in with my mouth watering for food!

I would be the FIRST one at the appetizer table, dipping tortilla chips into salsa, sour cream and guacamole on my plate. I would chit chat with other people while getting at least 2 refills of this delight!

When the bbq was ready, I would add mayo and creamy sauces to it, hide it under a huge bread roll, and spoon sides of mayonnaise-based coleslaw, macaroni and potato salad sides onto my plate.

I loved drinking multiple sodas or a light beer during the afternoon.

Now, I’ve made some small changes to how I approach a BBQ – and it’s made a HUGE impact on me feeling lighter and healthier while I’m there and the day after.

Instead of spending the whole bbq thinking about refilling my plate, I focus on making fun and friends the center of the bbq. I enjoy conversations and playing, and I know when the bbq is ready, I’ll enjoy it with some delicious, light sides.

I love playing at BBQs — playing catch, soccer, and even going down slides and on swings!

Yes, there’s unlimited food and drinks available — but it doesn’t have to be the center of focus.

There may not always be healthy bbq or sides available. That’s why I always like to bring some of my own — to share of course!

As my husband and I drove home from that first BBQ of the summer, after spending a fun time with family socializing and enjoying ourselves, I also felt so happy with myself that I stayed light and healthy the whole weekend. I knew when I went home I would feel lighter and less stressed – and I was right!

By focusing on true ways to have fun at a BBQ, it’s easier to feel excited about a gorgeous day — instead of dreading the effects.

If you can do 1 thing at your Labor Day BBQ or the next BBQ you attend to have fun AND be lighter, focus on friends and activities at the BBQ, and not the food.

Here are 8 tips to help you have fun and feel lighter at your next BBQ.

  1. Focus on fun and friends and not just food
  2. Eat a meal before the BBQ
  3. Snack on vegetables + guacamole or hummus
  4. Meal — Stick with the meat, fruit and veggies WITHOUT Mayonnaise or Ranch + Beans
  5. Drinks — Water, water, water! (and some white wine or sangria if you like – I do!)
  6. Bring a healthy side to share so that you have a go-to lighter option (everyone loves my EASY Spiced Grilled Veggies and No-Cook 3-Bean Salad )
  7. Always have a drink in your hand which keeps your fingers busy, and not snacking
  8. Move away from talking over the food table

Email me at nagina@masalabody.com to let me know which of these you will try this weekend or at your next BBQ!


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Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

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