Diet Detective: BBQ Foods and the Summer Activities to Burn Calories

Here are a few popular summer barbecue foods and what they "cost" in terms of activity.

Barbecue Spareribs

(5 medium)
Calories: 650
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): 92.5 minutes bicycling (10 mph-11.9 mph)
Notes: Ribs are typically made with barbecue sauce, which contains sugar, honey and other fattening ingredients. The sauce wouldn't be so bad if it were applied lightly, but it's usually slathered on in layers. Since just 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce have about 50 calories, you can see how the damage quickly adds up.
Fit Tip: First of all, use baby back ribs. They're the smallest, which helps with portion control. Place them on the grill without any barbecue sauce; just season with kosher salt, fresh pepper and garlic powder and cook for 30-40 minutes. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Serve with barbecue sauce or hot sauce on the side.

More: 3 Healthy BBQ Recipes Using Greek Yogurt

One 6-ounce Burger

(80 percent lean ground beef with bun and all the toppings (mayo, cheese, bacon, ketchup, etc.)
Calories: 700
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): 132.8 minutes of badminton
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 of regular. Next, give your burger some extra texture and flavor by mixing the meat with chopped mushrooms, peppers and onions. Or, for variety, experiment with other vegetables, like chopped water chestnuts or sun-dried (not oil-packed) tomatoes. You'll have the same size burger, but it will be much lower in calories, and you'll also be getting the health benefits of all those vegetables.

One Chicken Breast with BBQ Sauce

Calories: 253
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): 61.7 minutes of canoeing
Fit Tip: Go skinless, and you could try lemon and pepper instead of barbecue sauce to lower the calories. Or, at the very least, compare barbecue sauces and pick the lowest-calorie brand (that is still tasty).
FYI: One chicken drumstick with barbecue sauce has 242 calories and will cost you 34.4 minutes of swimming.

Veggie Burger on a Bun

Calories: 240
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Playing tennis for 29.3 minutes
Fit Tip: Keep in mind that as you add extras, such as cheese, the calories will add up just as they would with any other burger.

More: 2 Easy Summer Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts

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