It’s official - we have the hottest summer on record since 1976, and we as weather-obsessed Brits are loving it! Long light evenings, warm and dry weekends, and most importantly BBQs.

Food and Drink on Female First

Food and Drink on Female First

Whether you’re on the patio with friends or family or out in the sun, a BBQ is a great way to enjoy meat, fish, seafood and veggies differently. But beware, it can quickly turn into a calorie bomb!

Valentin Raigué, nutritionist and personal trainer at FizzUp has the answers and tells us five ways to make our BBQs healthier…

1. Have the right accompanying snacks

Nothing is better than offering a few healthy tide-me-overs as your guests wait for the BBQ-ed goods. Avoid crisps and other processed snack foods and offer vegetable sticks instead with a side of homemade hummus, with olives and dried tomatoes. It’s quick and easy to swap crisps for homemade veggie chips. They contain less salt, more flavour and are much better for your health.

2. Opt for a non-alcoholic refreshment

Beer and other alcoholic drinks are really high in calories. Offer your friends and family some fruit-infused water. It’s sweet, easy to make, low in calories and so refreshing. Just immerse fresh fruit in water for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. It’s 100% natural and there’s no added sugar. Make it fun by adding colourful and unusual fruit to surprise your guests. Watermelon, lemons, cucumbers, strawberries or apples… there’s a fruit for everyone to enjoy!

3. Cook food in foil and avoid burnt edges

BBQs cook at very high temperatures and create toxic molecules (heterocyclic amino acids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) because of the Maillard reaction. These two substances are considered as carcinogenic, genotoxic and mutagenic. The smoke produced when the grease falls onto the embers releases these two dangerous compounds, which then end up on the food while it’s cooking. To prevent this, limit the contact between your food and the flames by cooking meats, fish and vegetables in tin foil. Avoid eating the burnt or black parts of food as they contain these nasty chemicals.

4. Make your own relish and sauce

A burger, bun and sauce is usually the winning combination for your taste buds, but not your hips. You should also avoid store-bought sauces for a BBQ. They’re one of your waistline’s worst enemies because they always contain too much sugar, salt and fat. Have a look at the labels of your favourite sauces to find out the nutritional values. You can also make it easier by making the sauces yourself. This way, you’ll know exactly what’s in it, and especially what’s NOT.

5. Go for a fruity dessert

Do you need ice cream to finish your BBQ with a bang? Definitely not! It would be a shame to let all your hard work go to waste with an ice cream cone. Have a fruit salad instead, with seasonal, local and preferably organic fruit. This dessert will cool you down and give you your dose of vitamins!

If you’re looking for some all round meal inspiration and healthy recipe ideas from these BBQ tips, download FizzUp. It is a personal trainer app that includes meal planners alongside workout programmes and will keep you on a healthy foot all year round, not just for the summer season.