Here are a few popular summer barbecue foods and what they "cost" in termsof activity.
Barbecue Spareribs (5 medium)
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): 92.5 minutes bicycling (10mph-11.9 mph)
Notes: Ribs are typically made with barbecue sauce, which contains sugar, honeyand other fattening ingredients. The sauce wouldn't be so bad if it wereapplied lightly, but it's usually slathered on in layers. Since just 2tablespoons of barbecue sauce have about 50 calories, you can see how the damagequickly adds up.
Fit Tip: First of all, use baby back ribs. They're the smallest, which helpswith portion control. Place them on the grill without any barbecue sauce; justseason with kosher salt, fresh pepper and garlic powder and cook for 30-40minutes. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Serve with barbecue sauce or hotsauce on the side.
One 6-ounce Burger (80 percent lean ground beef with bun and all the toppings (mayo, cheese,bacon, ketchup, etc.)
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories):132.8 minutes ofbadminton
Fit Tip: Instead of the cheese, try lettuce and tomato. Stick to ketchup,mustard and pickles for extra flavor. Also, use lean ground beef instead ofregular. Next, give your burger some extra texture and flavor by mixing themeat with chopped mushrooms, peppers and onions. Or, for variety, experimentwith other vegetables, like chopped water chestnuts or sun-dried (notoil-packed) tomatoes. You'll have the same size burger, but it will be muchlower in calories, and you'll also be getting the health benefits of all thosevegetables.
One Chicken Breast with BBQ Sauce
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): 61.7 minutes ofcanoeing
Fit Tip: Go skinless, and you could try lemon and pepper instead of barbecuesauce to lower the calories. Or, at the very least, compare barbecue sauces andpick the lowest-calorie brand (that is still tasty).
FYI: One chicken drumstick with barbecue sauce has 242 calories and will costyou 34.4 minutes of swimming.
Veggie Burger on a Bun
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Playing tennis for 29.3minutes
Fit Tip: Keep in mind that as you add extras, such as cheese, the calories willadd up just as they would with any other burger.
Pesto Pasta Salad (1 cup)
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): 145.1 minutes of wateraerobics or water calisthenics
Fit Tip: Try adding a few chopped-up vegetables, and go light on the oil.
Coleslaw (1 cup)
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Mowing the lawn (walkingwith a power mower) for 59.7 minutes
Fit Tip: Use light or nonfat mayonnaise, and add some green and red peppers toincrease the yield while cutting calories per cup. To make it simple, you canfind coleslaw mixes in the vegetable section at the grocery store.
Homemade Baked Beans (1 cup)
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Golf (walking and carryingclubs) 74.3 minutes
Note: The problem is, baked beans are made with added sugar and/or molasses.
Fit Tip: You can try using less sugar (or molasses) in your recipe. You'reprobably adding too much anyway. Try making your own bean salad instead. Chooseyour favorite beans, chop up an onion and some peppers, add a little lemonjuice and vinegar for flavor, and you've got a nutrient-packed side dish.
Hot Dog (2-ounce beef with bun, 2 tablespoons of sweet relish and 2.5 ounces ofchili and mustard)
Calories: 366 (Just the hot dog and bun are about 270 calories)
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): 89.2 minutes playing golf(using power cart)
Fit Tip: This summer alone, Americans will consume approximately 7 billion hotdogs. The key thing to look for is the bun. Hot dog buns can be very high incalories. Also, you can eat several hot dogs in one sitting try limitingyourself to no more than two as a meal and try putting two dogs in one bun.
Potato Chips (2 handfuls)
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Jumpingrope for 32 minutes
Fit Tip: Slice your potatoes and put them on the grill with garlic, pepper andother spices for seasoning. Also, you can trying grilling a sweet potato, whichhas only 112 calories.
Grilled Sweet Corn (One ear)
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Kayakingfor 5.4 minutes
Note: With a moderate glycemic index of 56 (compared with 100 for white bread),corn provides carbohydrates for energy without excessively raising blood sugar.
Fit Tip: You don't need to drench good sweet corn in butter. Grilled corntastes great without any toppings.
Two Beers (12 ounces each)
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Sailing aSunfish/Laser/Hobie Cat for 85.3 minutes
Fit Tip: Try ultra-light beer do a taste test.
Pina Colada (8 ounces)
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Water-skiing for 62.2minutes
Fit Tip: Drinking a glass of wine instead would save you about 300 calories, ortry sparkling wine with a splash of club soda
Glass of Lemonade (8 ounces)
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Bodysurfing for 28.2 minutes
Fit Tip: Most lemonade contains sugar. Try squeezing 2 lemons into a glass ofstill or sparkling water.
Watermelon (One wedge/16 of a melon or about 10 ounces)
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Playing hopscotch for 14.8minutes
Fit Tip: Make sure you're not just eating watermelon or any fruit for thatmatter to quench your thirst. Still, watermelon, overall, is a great snack.
CHARLES PLATKIN, Ph.D., is a nutrition and public health advocate and founderof DietDetective.com. Copyright 2014 by Charles Platkin. All rights reserved.Sign up for the free Diet Detective newsletter at www.DietDetective.com
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