The warmer temps are here—which means pool parties and backyard BBQs will start popping up across the Valley. A question that many of our FAST Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists get asked by their clients is how to make healthier choices while still enjoying summertime activities. Today, they’re dishing on ways to enjoy good food, good company and good vibes without depriving yourself, and still making nutritious choices.


Tip #1: Do your best to skip the buns.

If you’re trying to tone up for summer time, do your best to skip the buns! Commonly there are hot dogs and hamburgers at barbeques, and if you have a bun with each that is a surplus of 200-500 calories. Wrapping it in lettuce or eating with a fork and knife can save you precious calories!

Greg Stein, FAST North Scottsdale Manager


Tip #2: Load up on veggies and fruit.

Instead of grabbing every bag of chips in sight, try vegetable trays and fresh seasonal fruit.

Kyle Decker, FAST Arrowhead Manager


Tip #3: Hang out away from the food table.

Pay attention to your position at the BBQ. If you are within arm’s reach of the chips, reposition yourself.  When you make a plate eat farther away from the food table to prevent seconds or thirds.

Wade Haras, FAST Old Town Scottsdale


Tip #4: Cool down with a smoothie.

If you’re looking for something to help you cool down during the heat, try a fruit smoothie.  You can make this with any of your favorite fruit and even add low fat yogurt for something healthy on a hot day.

Brandon Wood, FAST Litchfield Park Manager


Tip #5: Color up the grill.

Add lots of colors such as various peppers, squash, asparagus, corn, and many more! Don’t forget the fruit, as well. Grilling melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, etc.) peaches, and apples are a great way to make your dessert healthier! Try using a grill mat to keep your veggies/fruits from falling through the grates of the grill.

Kyle Schneider, FAST Ahwatukee Manager


Tip #6: Stick to protein and veggies if you’re planning to drink alcohol.

If you know you’re going to be drinking a few adult beverages, do your best to eat only protein and veggies at your meals. This way you are getting majority of your carbs from the alcoholic beverage and it won’t set you back as bad.

Travis Cummings, FAST South Chandler Manager


Tip #7: Try Lettuce Wraps

Try swapping hamburger buns for lettuce wrap to cut down carbohydrate intake. Longer and thinner leaves of romaine lettuce work for brats and hot dogs too!

Shane Anderson, FAST North Central Phoenix Manager


Tip #8: Avoid processed meats.

Avoid any of the processed meats (hotdogs, sausage, brats) which contain high levels of salt and fat. Rather, go for leaner meats like fresh ground beef, turkey, or chicken. Grilled fish such as salmon or tuna also works great, too!

Jeff Placencia, FAST South Gilbert Manager


There you have it—8 tips to make healthier choices for summer BBQ season. If you’re interested in learning more about nutrition or personal training, visit any of our 8 valleywide facilities or request a FREE fitness assessment online. Cheers to a healthy and happy summer!

Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training (FAST) is empowered by Foothills Therapy Partners (FTP).