Calories in 6 BBQ Faves & How to Burn Them Off

Are you excited to flip a few burgers, fry a few wings and face-plant into an ice cream sundae? Summer barbecues are great for gathering friends and family for some quality socializing and time-honored American favorites. Unfortunately, these shindigs aren’t as great for the waistline. So if you’re going to bite into that bacon cheeseburger, you better be ready to work it off.

Ice Cream Sundae: What it Takes to Burn it Off

Making a chocolate protein syrup satisfies your taste buds and your waistline. Win-win!

Despite that much of the quintessential summer fare is heavy on saturated fat and sodium, I won’t judge if you indulge sparingly. Personally, it would feel unpatriotic of me not to eat a slice of homemade apple pie or dive into a hot fudge sundae. Now, let’s see what I have to do to “earn” these sweet and scrumptious pieces of Americana…

You ate it: Traditional apple pie
What’s in it: about 450 calories per 1/8th serving of a 10-inch round pie
Lighten it: forget the butter-laden lattice crust and opt for whole grain oats to make a healthy crumble topping OR keep it super light and easy with this Raw Apple Pie recipe
Negate it: 60 minutes of easy running (10 min/mile pace)


You ate it: Bacon cheeseburger
What’s in it: about 670 calories per ¼-pound beef burger with cheese, bacon and ketchup on a potato bun
Lighten it: make it a lean turkey burger and top with a vegan cheese alternative and unsweetened ketchup
Negate it: 100 minutes on the row machine at a moderate effort


You ate it: Creamy potato salad
What’s in it: about 450 calories per 1-cup serving
Lighten it: use low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise and flavor with pungent spices, such as basil and thyme
Negate it: 60 minutes of moderate bicycling outside (about 14 mph)


You ate it: Fudgy ice cream sundae
What’s in it:
 about 550 calories for ½ cup ice cream, chocolate fudge syrup, a banana, walnuts and a maraschino cherry on top
Lighten it: choose low-fat Greek yogurt as your base and drizzle with chocolate protein syrup by mixing 2 scoops chocolate protein powder with 2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk (or whatever ratio gets you a thick, syrupy consistency – varies by protein brand)
Negate it: 70 minutes of fast dancing, such as a moderately paced Zumba class (you can’t sing along but not completely out of breath)


You ate it: Spicy buffalo-style chicken wings
What’s in it:
about 500 calories per 6 wings
Lighten it: bake skinless wings with a calorie-free honey barbecue sauce
Negate it: Over 100 minutes of hiking at a moderate intensity


You ate it: Baked beans with country ham
What’s in it:
 about 400 calories per 1-cup serving
Lighten it: use no-salt-added navy beans and swap the ham for bits of turkey bacon
Negate it: 70 minutes on the stair climber (working up a good sweat but not moving so fast you’re running)

P.S. – The suggested exercises (times and effort levels) are based on an average 140-pound person. 

About Liz Lotts

Liz Lotts is a personal-trainer-turned-triathlete who is admittedly addicted to long distances and wants to share her real-life lessons as an endurance athlete.

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