BBQ’s are so fun! But not if you’re constantly worried about what to eat… let’s fix that! Here’s the intuitive eating guide to enjoying your summer BBQ.
- 3 intuitive eating strategies so you can enjoy your summer BBQ without restricting!
- 5 steps to get out of the dieting mindset so you can have a little more freedom.
- What letting go of diet rules actually looks like (in real life!).
Your Summer BBQ Should Be Fun!
The intoxicating smell of the grill that makes it instantly feel like summer, the noise of the pool water splashing from the kids’ cannon balls, the smokey, savory taste of that perfectly juicy cheeseburger… this is what I think of when I imagine summer BBQs. But it wasn’t always like that!! When I was stuck in my diet, BBQs weren’t fun (I know, right?!) they were something I actually dreaded. And looking back on all that summer fun I missed out on makes me so sad! But guess what: it doesn’t have to be that way any longer!
Diets Suck the Fun Out of Summer, Am I Right?
What used to go through my mind when I thought about eating at a summer BBQ:
- Cheeseburgers? I guess I can take the cheese off and eat it without the bun…
- Potato salad? Uh, there’s mayo so I guess I’ll have like, 2 cubes of potato and that’s it…
- Oh, thank goodness there’s a salad!
- I’ll just have watermelon, who knows how much sugar is in these desserts everyone brought…
What goes through my mind NOW when I think about eating at a summer BBQ:
- Cheeseburgers? Yes! I freakin’ love cheeseburgers.
- Potato salad? Sure, I’ll have a scoop.
- Watermelon? Yesssss, it’s the perfect BBQ fruit.
- Dessert is going to be amazing! Look at all these yummy treats everyone brought!
Clearly, so much has changed!! So, my friend… if your diet is keeping you from enjoying your summer BBQ, I have just what you need.
You can also enroll in my Food Freedom Academy if you want more support because food shouldn’t be this hard!
Your Intuitive Eating Guide to Summer BBQs
It’s super not easy to go from total restriction to total freedom if you’re struggling with diet rules. But the goal isn’t to be perfect at something we haven’t really practiced… the goal is to find ways to feel more comfortable at summer BBQs. If you want to have that ice cream cone, that burger, or just not spend the entire time thinking about food, I got you, babe! I’m sharing 3 intuitive eating strategies to make sure you enjoy your summer BBQ without restricting.
Strategy #1: Get Out of the Dieting Mindset
If you want to enjoy yourself this summer (and this also applies to all the other seasons!) then you have to get out of the dieting mindset so you can embrace a little more freedom. Because if just the thought of not knowing what you’re going to be “able” to eat is intimidating, then there’s a very important thing you need to do: let go.
But Bree, Letting Go is So Hard!
Babe, you and I know it. But hard doesn’t mean impossible. You know what’s also hard? Learning to diet in the first place!! But you DID that. Now, we have to learn how to undo it (at least a little!). I’m not saying you have to undo everything if that sounds super scary, but what I am saying is that if you want a little more freedom so you can enjoy yourself… then we’re going to need to let go of some of the restrictive thoughts and behaviors that make it impossible to eat without feeling trapped by alllll the diet rules.
5 Steps to Letting Go of Diet Rules:
- Get rid of the “shoulds”: If you want to learn how to eat without overthinking every single detail, you’re going to need to stop should-ing all over your healthy relationship with food.
- Ditch the diet label: One thing that definitely keeps you stuck in a restrictive dieting mindset? A label! You can eat however you want to, but you don’t need a label like paleo, low-carb, or vegan to remind you what you shouldn’t eat.
- Redefine what healthy means to you: Just like you need ditch the label, it’s time to give yourself some wiggle room. Instead of living by 50 million food rules, recognize that all foods fit! While you might not feel comfortable eating all kinds of foods all the time, you need to know that on the most basic level it’s OKAY to eat them sometimes!
- Stop being a food fun-sucker: You don’t always need to eat what’s the healthiest/most nutritious! Food is FUN! It’s more than fuel, it’s connection, memories, joy, and pleasure too!
- Stop the “making up” for having fun: For REAL!! If you punish yourself every time you let go a little, you’re keeping yourself in a dieting cycle (not cool!). So if you want to have at least a little freedom in your life, stop giving your freedom consequences!
To learn more about these steps in detail, check out my best-selling ebook on intuitive eating: the Anti Diet Survival Guide.
Strategy #2: Try Some of Everything Before You Judge the Food
While I was dieting, I managed to convince myself that I didn’t like so many things! If you know me really well, you know my favorite food is ice cream, and not just any ice cream… vanilla soft serve ice cream with rainbow sprinkles (in a cone, of course!) Well, the point is, when I was super strict with what I was eating, I managed to convince myself that ice cream wasn’t that good. In reality, this was just way easier than telling myself “no, I can’t have ice cream”.
And it wasn’t just with ice cream. I created so many beliefs about food that weren’t actually true! They were just habits I created from dieting over the years. That’s why you need to…
Ask Yourself Questions About the Food You’re Not Eating:
- Do I really want that burger without the bun? Or would it be way more satisfying with the bun?
- Am I saying “no” to dessert because I’m “too healthy” for that… or because the thought of eating sugar makes me anxious?
- What do I wish I could eat, but I’m not allowing myself because it’s not even close to being diet-friendly?
When you ask yourself these questions, you’ll see that there’s probably a lot of “diet brain” clouding your thoughts. We want to clear that out and make room for YOU if we’re going to learn intuitive eating. So what do you do about it? You try a little of everything! This exercise is all about reminding yourself of what you actually like to eat. The fastest way to crush restriction? Give yourself a little bit of everything. Seriously just try it 🙂 If you do, it does 2 very important things to help you boost your intuitive eating skills.
2 Ways Trying Everything Boost Your Intuitive Eating Skills:
- Do you know the saying “all foods fit”, this is it! Instead of only being able to eat what’s allowed by your diet rules, eating a little bit of everything proves that you actually can eat all foods.
- You learn what you actually like. Are you surprised by how much you missed havings potatoes and bread in your life? Or sugar and fruit in your life? Or simply how much better a burger is with cheese than without? Knowing what you like helps you to make decisions around food that don’t revolve around your diet.
Strategy #3: Buddy Up with Someone You Feel Comfortable Eating Around
Take the pressure off my friend. This is not supposed to be stressful! Think about it… Why are you at the BBQ in the first place? To be with the people at the party and have fun! In the grand scheme of things, this is just one moment in your life and it’s not even about the food. This is about you spending your summer enjoying the weather, the company, and the easiness of summer. But to make the food part of it easier, here’s what you can do.
Instead of trying to deal with the food situation all on your own, eat with other people that make eating easy and fun? Who can you model your plate after? Who inspires you to take the emphasis off the food and put it on the moment? To eat intuitively, you don’t need to do it all on your own! You can learn by watching the people who inspire you to have a healthier relationship with food.
Bonus: Make Your Plate Like You’re Making It For Someone You Love
Check out this post for the full strategy: How to Eat Without Dieting: The Simple Trick You Need Right Now. If you know someone who has a really great relationship with food (not because they’re good at dieting!) use them as a model to learn how to eat without restricting.
Summer BBQs Will Be Fun Again
There’s so much we went over, so pick one thing you learned and see how it goes. Believe me, you don’t have to be perfect! Here’s what I shared on Instagram the Saturday morning of Memorial Day Weekend (basically summer kickoff in the US!)
View this post on Instagram
If you need me this weekend, ya girl is going to be taking her needs-to be washed hair, several pimples, and slightly insecure body image (this is real life!!! 😌) to the pool this weekend. It’s all about MINDSET babes! I’m going to have an awesome freakin time swimming and BBQ-ing and eating ice cream and drinking a few cocktails because it’s basically SUMMER and you don’t have to have all your 💩 together to have a healthy relationship ship with food, a swimsuit body, or a party-friendly attitude. Life is too damn precious to worry 99.9% about what you eat/when you eat/how much you eat/what you look like 👉🏼 right now I’d say I’m 10% body image, 10% food, 80% LIFE 🥳 and that’s a billion times better of a balance than I had at this time 2 years ago. Just want you all to know that it’s okay if you’re a little insecure because it does NOT have to stop you from LIVING YOUR LIFE ❤️🥰 I hope you have a fantastic Memorial Day everyone in the US 😘🇺🇸 everyone else have a great weekend too!! Drop an emoji and tell me your favorite BBQ food 😍👇🏼 I’m personally a 🌭 fan, where my hot dog fans at? 🙋♀️😂
Before you go, check out my AWESOME (if I do say so myself) 😉 food freedom freebies.