I'm trying to lose weight for my holiday/wedding/birthday etc, so I'm going to eat salad every day.
I bet you've said that before.
We have many friends and clients begin a diet consisting mainly of salads. Within a matter of days they are taking photos of the pre-packaged 'diet' foods for social media with the caption, 'I hate my life'. Not only does the diet fail because you hated salad before you even started, but those so called 'salads' are predominantly high in calories and not as good for you as you would think.
So what makes a good salad?
Firstly, it needs colour. A variety of rainbow coloured veggies and leaves provides you with all your daily intake of vitamins. The fresh, raw vegetables used in salads are more nutrient dense as vitamin content can deteriorate during cooking.
A high protein addition to the salad like meat, fish, eggs or beans will satiate hunger and help to recover from training.
Additional fats such as; nuts, seeds, avocado, cheese and oils, add texture, flavour and help balance your hormones and regulate body temperature.
Supermarket bad salads!
Being pushed for time last week I opted to grab a pre-packaged salad bowl from Asda. First grab I was drawn to Texas Chicken & Fiery Cheese salad (mm mm I do love jalapeños) but at a whopping great 544 calories for what is thought to be a low calorie, healthier option, I passed.
Most supermarket salads are pasta based and covered in lashings of mayo based dressings with very little actual 'salad' in them. don't mistake the name for a good lunchtime option.
Now, most supermarkets do sell a healthy option too. its usually the one you aren't drawn to, very little dressing (often packaged on the side), all the rainbow colours and no pasta (sometimes with rice or cous cous replacing). Make sure you opt for a good protein source like chicken, prawns or edamame beans to keep you fuller for longer.
Eating out salads!
So your willpower is strong and even though you are eating out with friends you are going to order salad.
Most places this means you will get basic iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomato drizzled with salad cream with a side of coleslaw and possibly a buttered jacket potato. The meal I just described is all over social media pics from women who are trying to lose weight, hating their food and still not dropping any body fat.
You would be better ordering steak and seasonal veggies!
Again the salad option needs to have a good protein source and a variety of grains, veggies and colour.
If you enjoy salads, choose a good leafy, protein packed salad.
If you hate salads (whatever kind) then eat something else. Weight loss is about consistency. If you cant stick to it, the results wont last.
If you only eat out with your friends once a month and you don't want to order salad, then don't. Get the steak or the salmon, eat your veggies and enjoy yourself.