Let me start by saying I am not a nutritionist. I am just someone who in my diet journey has found, that for me, salads are evil. When my husband and I first begin trying to lose weight we would make a HUGE salad at the beginning of the week. Throughout the week we would grab a bowl and add our topping and presto the fat on our body melted way! Just kidding, if that were true salads would not be evil they would be amazing and I would own stock in lettuce. My husband and I had different reasons salad were not a good diet food for us, he added too much and I added too little. Let me explain why salad became our nemesis.
We started by eating what we perceived as healthy and when we did not see results we began tracking our food with an app on our phone. I used my fitness pal and holy guacamole was that eye opening! These toppings on my husband’s salad added up fast!
We start with a healthy base of vegetables, low calorie, high fiber and filling. Then he added the toppings; hard boiled egg, cottage cheese, chicken, sunflower seeds, 3 bean salad, dressing and more!
- Salad 70 calories
- Hard boiled egg 140 calories (2 servings)
- Low fat cottage cheese 90 calories
- Low fat ranch dressing 140 calories (2 servings)
- Sunflower seeds 80 calories (1/2 serving)
- 3 bean salad 60 calories
- Chicken 120 calories
I will do the math for you, that’s 700 CALORIES! Not to mention the amount of fat, sugar and sodium!
My salads looked a little different.
- Salad 70 calories
- Low fat Italian dressing 35 calories
I’m sure you can do the math but for all intensive purposes, that’s 105 CALORIES! Not to mention the lack of protein!
As you can see my husband and I made the same mistake many people do, thinking a salad was a healthy option. He was over eating and I was under eating and neither of us where losing weight.
I am sure that most of you have noticed that when you eat out now most restaurants have to have the caloric information on the menu. We very rarely eat out but the first time we did after the law went into effect I was shocked! I remember I was at Red Robin and I was going to order a “healthy” salad. I could not believe my eyes, that salad had MORE calories than a burger and fries! So again you need to be aware of the toppings on your salad, they add up quickly.
Alright, enough salad bashing for one day. Yes I do still eat salads, I enjoy them, I just don’t eat them every day and they are not my main meal. Here are some tips to help return the “healthy” to your salad.
- Have salad as a side to your meal
- Make your own dressing
- Italian dressing using good oil and fresh spices, this limits the processed food and sodium
- If you prefer creamy dressing use greek yogurt and avocado blended with spices
- If you like more dressing you can add lemon or vinegar to add flavor and increase the amount of dressing for a limited amount of calories
- Limit add ins and enter into your calorie tracker first so you don’t add too much
- Measure and weigh food! It’s easy to add extra calories by guessing
- If eating as a main meal ADD PROTIEN
- When eating out ask for dressing on the side, use your spoon to add 2 tablespoons and put the rest aside
If you have any other tips and tricks I would love for you to share them in the comments!