It’s no coincidence that summer time is the easiest time to lose weight. You’re spending more time outdoors having fun in the sun, you’re generally in a better mood, and the weather is nice enough to grill every meal you eat.

While we generally think of the grill as being reserved solely for cooking hot dogs, burgers, or giant slabs of meat, grilling can be an easy way to prepare a healthy, delicious summertime meal. From delicious proteins to tasty veggies and healthy desserts, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish on a grill.

So, let’s fire up the grill, and get ready for a healthy summer with these five healthy-grilling tips.

Start With the Right Protein

The Right Protein

If you’re looking to reduce the calorie count of your meal, sticking with fish, skinless chicken breast, or ground poultry is your best bet. But, if you have your heart set on a juicy steak, a six-ounce sirloin is the way to go.

Our suggestion? Grill chicken breasts seasoned with a dry rub, slice them into strips, and add them to a refreshing summer salad of mixed greens and a light vinaigrette!

Avoid Barbecue Sauces, and Stick to Dry Rubs or Marinades

Barbecue sauce is easy to overlook when you’re tallying up the calories in a meal. After all, it’s just a condiment, right? But, most store-bought sauces can deliver a surprising amount of sugar and calories in a single serving. In fact, a two-tablespoon serving of your average barbecue sauce can contain up to three teaspoons of sugar, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 60 calories. And if what you’re eating is slathered in the stuff, it’s likely you’re consuming much more than two tablespoons’ worth.

Instead of using a sauce, try using a dry rub or marinade for your protein. There are plenty of great store-bought options available, but make sure you keep an eye on the sodium and sugar amounts. If you’re the kind who likes to tinker with different flavor combinations, making a dry rub yourself can be incredibly simple!

Grill Those Veggies

Grilled Veggies

Proteins usually get all the glory on the grill, but we think vegetables can also benefit from that charry delicious flavor. Cut up your vegetables into large chunks you can easily handle with a set of grill tongs (you can dice them into smaller pieces after cooking), season with the spice blend of your choice, and toss them on the grill. Once they have the amount of char you’re looking for, you’re done!

Check out this recipe from Bon Appétit for a delicious grilled salsa, which would pair well with avocado slices on top of a turkey burger.

Take the Smooth Route With Foil Packets

Foil Packets

Why work harder when you can work smarter? Cooking your vegetables and protein together in a foil packet can make for deliciously effortless meals. Not only does the foil seal in moisture and prevent your protein from drying out (we’re looking at you, salmon), but the foil-packet approach also lets the flavors and juices from your protein infuse the vegetables.

Crème de la Crumb has an excellent recipe for salmon and asparagus foil packs that we think is worth checking out!

Don’t Forget Dessert

Grilled Dessert

Grilling dessert? You bet! When you grill fruits, the heat caramelizes the natural sugars in the fruits and intensifies their flavors. Chemistry can truly be a wonderful thing! Peaches taste especially good on the grill, and they can be drizzled with reduced balsamic vinegar as a delectable dessert. Trust us on that one; tart balsamic and sweet peach is a next-level flavor combo that will impress your friends and make you look like a gastronomic savant.

There’s no better way to spend a summer afternoon than eating healthy foods with friends. So, what are you waiting for? Call them up, and invite them over to show them how uncomplicated and delicious healthy eating can be! For more inspiration and balanced meal options, check out our recipes page. If you’re in the mood for a summer snack while the grill is heating up, check out our snack options!