What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2022? At the start of the year, many people opt to try to live a healthier lifestyle by eating better food and being active. And, yes, it is possible to do while still BBQing your favorite meals!
A popular way to lose weight, while still being able to eat your favorite meats, is the ketogenic diet, also known as “keto.” This is an eating regimen that focuses on fats and proteins and limits carbs.
Bear Mountain ambassador Justin Goodman of @electricmice started keto in July because he wanted to lose weight but still be able to BBQ.
“Mathematically speaking, the scale said I was obese, so I decided to try keto,” he says. “It was a nice way to do something different with my cooking.”
Goodman uses an app called Carb Manager to monitor everything he eats, he also tracks his progress publicly on Google Fit, so anyone who wants to see exactly what he’s doing can check his account. Along with changing his carb intake, he’s also walking a lot.
Looking at the delicious creations on Goodman’s Instagram account, you may get the impression he eats mainly meat and cheese, but he said that’s not the case. He eats a lot of salads.
“Most people aren’t eating like they post,” Goodman says. “We can’t all just eat brisket and steak every day, even on keto.
In the past six months, Goodman has lost 42.5 pounds and has significantly lowered his body fat.
Another of our ambassadors who tried keto is Jordan Hanger of @ninjacue. Three years ago, he could tell he was overdoing it with indulgent meals. He was overweight and low energy.
“I knew I needed to make a change,” he says. “I wanted to be healthy, to have the energy to keep up with my kids. So, I asked myself, ‘What can I do to make this lifestyle healthier?’”
Jordan decided to try keto. He also got outdoors more with his two sons and made sure to go to the gym a few nights a week. Right away, he felt better. He was able to lose the weight without sacrificing his love for grilling. Today, Jordan isn’t fully keto, but he still leads a low-carb lifestyle, while managing to post mouthwatering dishes nearly every day on his Instagram page.
“It’s possible to still be healthy and enjoy BBQ,” Jordan says. “Everyone thinks I only eat meat, but that’s just what I put on my page. I also eat salads, healthy sides, I try to use sauces that aren’t as loaded in sugar and carb-heavy.”
Keto isn’t the only option if you’re looking to lose weight or lead a healthier lifestyle. Bear Mountain ambassador Brandyn Baker of @blackdog_bbq is a dietitian by trade. He recommends keeping your meals balanced and trying to control your portion sizes. A plate should be half vegetables, a quarter starch, and a quarter protein.
“Just because you’re making BBQ doesn’t mean it needs to be the only thing on the plate,” he says. “And just because someone cooks a 16-ounce steak doesn’t mean it needs to be eaten at one meal. Separate it out and make leftovers.”
Baker says minimizing empty calories from sugar sweetened beverages, such as sodas, sweet tea, lemonade, and fruit juice, can also help. He also recommends planning meals ahead of time and taking some time on the weekends to meal prep for the week.
“Take a Sunday afternoon and prep meals for the week or portion your dinner meals each night to ensure there’s leftovers for lunch the next day,” he says.
And it’s not all about what we eat, Baker says. Exercise is also key. The general recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.
“Build exercise into your routine, whether it’s simply walking daily or doing high intensity training,” he says.
Making a lot of changes in your life at once can be overwhelming, and no one is always going to be perfect. Baker says it’s important to not be too hard on yourself if you have a cheat meal.
“Don’t beat yourself up if you let your guard down and overindulge at a meal,” he says. “Accept it, move forward, and work to reduce the frequency of those types of meals occurring.”
For ideas on healthy recipes you can try on your grill, check out the Bear Mountain BBQ recipes page, and best of luck in all of your endeavors in 2022!