Salad and dieting have become synonymous when it comes to losing weight. Unfortunately, for many dieters their well intended salad might be part of the problem.
It’s surprisingly easy to create a 1,200 calorie salad that tastes amazing, and makes you feel good about dieting. While your salad might have all the trademarks of being healthy — it’s green and has vegetables — you might actually be eating more calories than a meal at McDonald’s.
Here’s some salad do’s and don’ts to keep your calories low.
Do Add Protein
There are two types of salads. A small side salad intended to supplement a larger meal, or a large salad intended to replace your regular meal. If you’re opting for the latter, and the salad is your meal, you’ll want to add some protein to help keep you full until your next meal. If you’re too light on the calories and your salad isn’t filling, you’re more likely to binge several hours after your meal
Don’t Flood It With Dressing
The number one culprit when it comes to destroying your salad creation, is the dressing. The calories on the label may make it look harmless, but most people don’t go through the trouble of actually measuring their dressing.
If you’re like most dieters, you pour to taste and preference. If you compared the amount used to the per serving size, you’d be shocked at how many calories you’re really using
Do Add Crunchy Vegetables
One of the reasons people pile on the toppings is because salads aren’t much fun, and alone they’re pretty bland. You can add to the enjoyment, without packing on calories, by adding crunchy vegetables. It gives the salad some texture and can feel like more of a meal, and less like eating grass. Tomatoes, peppers, carrots and cucumbers are all great choices.
Don’t Ruin It With Cheese
Everything tastes better with cheese and salads are no exception. A few sprinkles aren’t going to cause problems, but if you’re adding cheese cubes to your salad you’re more likely to underestimate the calorie total.
Common Salad Toppings
Here’s the most common salad toppings with the greatest potential to ruin your healthy meal. All these toppings aren’t bad in moderation, but when you add three or four toppings to your salad the calories can add up really fast.
Calories per 1 cup, chopped: 330
Calories per 100 grams: 160
Calories per cup: 125
Calories per ounce: 100
Calories per slice: 45
Calories per 10 halves: 130