GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Backyard dining is a staple of Minnesota summers. Check out the grocery store on any Friday or Saturday and you will find shopping carts loaded with hamburger, hot dogs, buns, catsup and mustard.

Indulging every now and then won't hurt you- but a steady diet of brats and burgers might not be your best choice in the long run. Paul Kriegler, Program Development Manger of Life Time Weight Loss says there are many appetizing swaps that will satisfy your cravings and keep you fueled throughout the day.

Kriegler admits to loving a good steak, so when he shops for meat, he looks for organic, grass-fed varieties. He suggests BYOM to a grilling party. A tray full of kabobs with healthy veggies and marinated chicken makes you a good guest.

It also boosts nutrition. Healthy fats, protein and fiber will help stabilize your blood sugar, reduce cravings and increase satiety.

Placing your burger on a big bun makes it easy to handle, but the extra carbs can spike blood sugar. What goes up, must come down, and Kriegler says you will feel the crash. Instead, put the burger on some large-leaf lettuce to grab it. Use a knife and fork and keep it on your plate, or a least make sure you have a whole-grain bun.

Skip the sugar and salt-laden condiments. Make your own fresh salsa. Try dry rubs or marinades to flavor meats. Fresh herbs also add flavor.

Guacamole gives you avocados, providing healthy fats and fiber to keep you full and add great taste.

For more nutrition tips, check out the Life time Weight Loss Blog as well as Life Time Fitness.