Healthy tips and tricks for your BBQ

The time is upon us in Dubai to dust off the BBQ and get grilling. BBQ food can be a great way to eat healthily: there’s no need for too much oil and this style of cooking can make the most boring and lean cuts of protein, fish, beef or chicken super smokey and tasty.

Below, Daniel Wells, co-founder of Fit Squad DXB, proves that BBQs aren’t all about fatty sausages and burgers wrapped in white bread, he outlining his top foods (and alternatives to your usual feast) to help you keep on track with your healthy eating goals…

Keep your protein lean, we don’t need to go super strict and stick with chicken breast, but thighs or legs are perfect on the BBQ. Get marinating well in advance but stay away from sugary pre-made sauces, instead try rosemary, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

Alternatively, fresh fish on the BBQ is the best! Lightly olive-oiled sea bream, mackerel, sardines and red mullet all work well and don’t break the bank. There’s no need for any marinade for fish on the BBQ, but simply stuffing your fish with crushed garlic cloves and lemon quarters will add another nice dimension.

If you really can’t get the BBQ out without slapping a few burgers or sausages on there, then a really good way to keep the calories sensible is to drop the buns and wrap your burgers in a big, fresh, crunchy piece of lettuce instead. Also be careful with condiments: ketchup is packed full of sugar and mayonnaise can be super-calorific, the bonus of the lettuce wrap is you don’t actually need as much sauce. 

Another alternative is to make your own beef kebabs. Keep it lean and go for a cut like sirloin, just make sure you don’t cook it for too long on the BBQ – that’s key when cooking less-fatty meats. Another good little tip is to go for a three veg and one beef mix on your skewers, alternate your beef with mushrooms, peppers and onions. Get that beef marinating in a healthy option, try a homemade sauce comprising of soy sauce, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. 

Now for some accompaniments… (the best bits) 

There’s nothing like corn on the cob on the BBQ, super simple and healthy: spray a small amount of PAM spray olive oil on the cobs and chuck them on, keep them turning, they usually take 10-12 mins.

Make your own coleslaw. For me, a BBQ isn’t a BBQ unless you have coleslaw, but pre-made ones aren’t always healthy, so try this version: cabbage, lettuce, apple (game changer), carrot, plain yogurt, Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, salt and pepper. 

Sweet jacket potato: the good, old, low GI, orange carb. Get them well-prepped in the microwave before putting them on the BBQ as these take ageeeees otherwise. Remember, eating jacket potatoes doesn’t mean tons of butter: get involved with your healthy coleslaw to make it tasty.  


Read next: Why You Should Be Cutting Out Breakfast

Fit Squad DXB trainers are here to help with diet and fitness goals. Book your free consultation now by calling or WhatsApping us on +971 55 542 7231 or emailing us at

Devinder Bains