Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Are Salads Healthy?

Ordering/Making salads can be really tricky when it comes to your calorie intake. I have heard so many people say:

" I don't understand why I haven't lost any weight, I have only been eating salads."

How does that work?

1. You have to make very careful choices when it comes to your dressing choice. You are better off making a homemade dressing so you know exactly what is going into it. (My favorite are a ginger, and apple cider vinaigrette ) Dressings can be heavy, and full of a lot of fat and calories. For example: If you go out to eat at a restaurant and order a salad. It can be over 1000 calories, that is a whole days worth of calories in one salad. If nothing else is sounding good, that's fine get a salad. But you can do a couple of things to help:

A. Ask for dressing ON THE SIDE. That way you can control how much you use. Restaurants don't care, and COVER the salads in dressing sometimes. Then you can dip your salad in it, and it is amazing to see that you won't even end up using all of it.

B. Order a lower calorie dressing. Ranch, Blue Cheese, and Honey Mustard has the most fat and calories (even though they are amazing! Trust me) order a vinaigrette instead. If you are picky, that's ok get just watch the amount you are eating.

C. Ask to have some of the toppings taken off, because they can really add up. For example: Chilis salads range from 500-1300 calories... for a salad! By taking the bacon and cheese off that can remove up to 250 calories.

2. Eat a smaller portion salad. If you are eating at a restaurant, get the house salad, or a small wedge (I split a wedge with my boyfriend, or whoever is with me most the time. And I ask for no bacon. )

Enjoy what you eat, don't feel the guilt. Get what you want, just be cautious, and aware: SMALLER PORTIONS, REQUEST DRESSING ON THE SIDE, REMOVE SOME TOPPINGS (AKA BACON AND CHEESE MAINLY)

However, an important factor when you are eating, and working out is PROTEIN! So if fried chicken comes on a salad, switch it to grilled chicken. Or add grilled chicken.

There is a phone app that I use occasionally to help me make better decisions when I eat out called My fitness pal. You type in anywhere you are eating, and the portion amount. And it will tell you exactly the fat, sodium, calories...etc. I love it!