Is your idea of a perfect Sunday grilling sausages and cracking open a beer on the deck? Yes, it’s not a bad way to spend your day of rest, but that kind of diet isn’t doing anything good for your body. While we wouldn’t dare tell you to give up all of the things you love about summer cuisine, we are suggesting that you consider some reasonable swaps to save some calories, cut out some fat, and treat your body a little better.

Instead of regular beer (around 150 calories or more), try a light beer (usually less than 100 calories), a hard seltzer (usually less than 100 calories), a vodka and club soda (around 130 calories), a tequila with lime (less than 100 calories), or a gin and diet tonic (less than 130 calories). Even better yet, try a non-alcoholic beer, which also has fewer calories than regular beer and cuts out the alcohol that can impair you.

While nothing screams summer quite like grilling out, don’t turn a healthy way of cooking into a dietary landmine by throwing high-fat, high-sodium food on the fire. Instead of processed hot dogs and sausages try:

  • Poultry such as skinless, white meat chicken or turkey or 90% lean turkey burgers
  • Leaner cuts of beef such as boneless strip steak, top sirloin steak, flank steak, tenderloin steak or tri-tip roast; or 90% lean ground beef
  • Veal that has been trimmed out
  • Pork, such as boneless loin chop, tenderloin, center loin chop, sirloin roast and rib chop
  • Lamb, particularly loin
  • Vegetables, such as Portobello mushrooms, veggie burgers or meatless burgers such as Impossible Burgers or Beyond Burgers

Regardless of what you throw on the grill, be mindful of portion sizes. Choosing a lower fat protein does not give you license to eat more. A healthy portion size is about three to four ounces which is about the size of a smartphone!

For more information on healthy diet choices, especially if you have Type 2 diabetes or are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes or wish to lose weight, consider joining Virta, a EWTF benefit available at no cost to EWTF participants. Virta is more than a weight loss program and more than a diabetes program; it’s a lifestyle program that helps you change your approach to food, resulting in lowering your blood sugar, reducing or even eliminating dependence on medication and shedding weight.