National BBQ Week: Have a sizzling BBQ – but beware of a ‘calorie binge’!


It’s a fact: BBQing is the UK’s number 1 summer home leisure activity, with Brits expected to host more than125 million* back garden barbies this year. 


May’s Spring Bank Holiday marks the start of National BBQ Week: two-thirds of UK households now own a BBQ, with 53% choosing gas over traditional charcoal, and spending an average of £35 a time on food. 56% of men take charge of the tongs, and 8% of people claim to have found love over the coals.


But if every burger needs a bun and no sausage is complete without ketchup, the average diner can expect a surge in their calorie intake. consuming up to a whopping 2000 calories if they’re not careful - a female’s entire daily calorie intake - and that’s without the alcohol!


Emma Brown, nutritionist for calorie counting App Nutracheck, has put together some simple tips to keep your calories in check as your BBQ sizzles:


“When we BBQ, most of us end up with the traditional spread of sausages and burgers smothered in sauces, sandwiched between bread rolls, accompanied with mayo-loaded coleslaw and potato salad, and crisps – and you could find yourself eating your whole daily calorie allowance in one go. 

“With a bit of thought, you can still enjoy a feast without a calorie binge. People are getting much more creative about what they can put on the BBQ, with fish and exotic meats becoming more popular. Why not try an ostrich steak, kangaroo sausages or even crocodile burgers? All are now readily available on the High Street and are much lower in fat than traditional burgers and sausages.  


“Grilled meats, colourful vegetable kebabs, fresh salads made with a rainbow of ingredients, boiled new potatoes and simple, home-made sauces will all drastically cut calories. 


“ No-one wants to run out of food and many of us end up buying way too much. So work out how much you really need and save your cash and calories”. 



Emma’s top BBQ tips:


  • Go bread-less. Have a beef burger and sausage – but skip the bread rolls. Instantly saves around 200 calories per roll.
  • Fill your plate with salad – just ensure it’s not covered in high calorie dressings. Lemon juice or balsamic vinegar are great low cal alternatives.
  • Swap high calorie crisps and dips for vegetable crudités with houmous to cut calories while grazing and waiting for the hot food.
  • Avoid adding butter – skip completely on bread rolls, you don’t need it. Top baked potatoes with reduced fat sour cream and use Fry Light spray for frying onions.
  • Try an exotic meat such as ostrich, crocodile, kangaroo or buffalo – all much lower in fat (see table below)










Fat (g)


Crocodile Burgers 220 g pack



187 per burger




Kangaroo Burgers 220g pack



123 per burger




Kangaroo Sausages 360g pack



77 per sausage




Ostrich Burgers 240g pack



154 per burger





Ostrich Fillet 125g



118 per fillet




Wild Boar & Apple Sausages 360g pack



117 per sausage




Wild Boar & Apple Burgers 220g pack



210 per burger




Venison Burgers 220g pack




184 per burger




Venison Sausages 360g pack


101 per sausage





Buffalo Tomato & Basil Burger 220g




232 per burger




Calorie content is for all items uncooked.

By comparison, a typical beef burger contains around 280 kcal and 22g fat.

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About Nutracheck:


  • is the UK’s top rated diet website and the top selling App in the UK Apple store.
  • Super-fast and easy to use, add foods to the diary in just 2 clicks using the barcode scanner.  The unique search with product photos helps you easily spot what you ate from the 160,000 foods in the food database.


*Source: FSA