7 Skinny Swaps for your Summer Picnic or Tailgating Party

7 Skinny Swaps for your Summer Picnic or Tailgating Party

3 min read


26 May 2022

The start of summer means barbecues, tailgating, potlucks and picnics. We’ve got some simple swaps for you that means you can still enjoy the festivities while still losing weight. The best part? Your family won’t even notice as these hacks won’t impact the flavor of your lovingly put together dishes. 

Potato Salad

You might have thought that potatoes are the enemy, but they’re actually full of nutrients and very satisfying - not to mention delicious!

For a lower-calorie version of your potato salad, look to the other ingredients:

Begin by using light, low fat mayonnaise instead of regular mayo. If you can’t find low fat mayo, you can use fat-free sour cream or greek yoghurt instead! Make your dressing delicious with lemon zest, salt and pepper, herbs like dill and tarragon, and make sure to top with chives and chopped green onions. 


No need to swap this here - watermelon is hydrating, full of vitamins and so delicious! 

We like to squeeze a little lime juice over ours for extra freshness. Then, muddle it with some mint and top with sparkly water for a refreshing mocktail too if you’d like to avoid alcohol!

Pasta Salad

This summertime classic is always a big hit. 

Try to reduce the amount of pasta in your recipe by a third, and replace it with extra vegetables. This way you’ll get more fibre, more vitamins and less calories. 

Make sure you add in a lean protein element, such as grilled chicken or roasted chickpeas to make it filling. If you really want to make this pasta high protein, choose a noodle made with lentil flour or pea flour instead of just wheat flour.

Keep your dressing light and opt for a drizzle of olive oil, some apple cider or red wine vinegar and some dijon mustard. 

Fried Chicken

The chicken itself is high in protein and great for dieters. Unfortunately, deep frying in oil gives the fried chicken a high fat content. Try cooking yours in the Air Fryer!

Marinate your chicken in salt and pepper, then soak in buttermilk. Then, dredge it in your coating - we like to use all purpose flour, seasoned salt, paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper. 

Next, spray the basket of the air fryer with a non stick cooking spray and cook the chicken at 350F until it’s cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 175F. 


There are several different ways you can reduce the number of calories in your sandwiches. 

Starting with the bread, you can choose a higher protein variety such as rye bread. If you aren’t a fan, choose a bread that has thinner slices so that you’re taking in less calories per slice. 

Next, on to the filling. Our recommendation is that you use lean sliced turkey as it’s low in salt, fat and calories. Ideally, you want to keep high fat meats like bologna to a minimum. 

If you have to have mayo on your sandwich, make sure to choose a low fat brand.

Lastly onto the cheese, opt for a hard cheese like parmesan, or a part skim mozzarella!


It’s the perfect summer drink: sweet, tart and refreshing. Unfortunately for us dieters, lemonade can be absolutely PACKED with sugar. It might taste light, but there are tonnes of hidden calories in lemonade. 

The best way to reduce the calories in your lemonade is to use an alternative sweetener. Monkfruit sweetener will likely give you the best flavour, but it’s a little harder to come by and not carried in all grocery stores. Your next best options are stevia (Truvia is a popular brand) or sucrose (most commonly known as Splenda).

Burgers and Hot Dogs

When you’re grilling this summer, try to opt for the leanest burgers and hot dogs your grocery store has on offer. It’s a bonus if you can find a low sodium brand of hot dogs too!

Now that you’ve got a leaner cut of meat, you can still reduce the calories further. Go easy on toppings like ketchup and cheese - you can still enjoy them but control your serving size.

Lastly, consider using an alternative to bread buns, such as lettuce wraps!