Quick Tips to Make a Salad for Weight Loss

healthy salad bowl
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You probably know how to throw a few ingredients in a bowl to make a healthy salad. But do you know how to make a healthy salad for weight loss? A diet-friendly salad combines two essential nutrients to help curb hunger and boost your metabolism.

How to Make a Salad for Weight Loss

When you build a salad for weight loss, it's important to include both protein and fiber.  Protein foods help your body to build healthy muscle to increase your metabolism and fiber-rich foods help you to stay satisfied after your meal so you eat less during the day.

But that's not all. If you fill your salad bowl full of protein and fiber, you displace other ingredients that can cause weight gain. That means there is no room for the high starch, high fat, and unhealthy salad ingredients that will derail your diet, like fried toppings, bacon or starchy croutons.  

3 Steps to Build a Weight Loss Salad

To build a healthy salad, start by choosing a lean protein.  Save time by cooking or preparing a large amount of your favorite protein source. The n divide the food into single serving containers that you can grab later in the week when you need to make a quick meal.

  • Cubed chicken breast
  • Cooked/seasoned ground turkey
  • Grilled salmon
  • Tuna (seared or packed in water)
  • Beans (garbanzo, kidney, black, pinto, lentils)
  • Hard boiled eggs

Then throw in fiber-rich vegetables (or even fruit!) to add color and crunch.

  • Spinach (also a great source of protein)
  • Mixed greens or slaw mix
  • Red or yellow peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Avocado (keep your serving small)
  • Lima beans
  • Cubed,chilled, boiled red potato
  • Peas

Finally, add a very small amount of a dairy product or salad dressing. Choose one or the other. For example, if you choose to add a small amount of cheese, then dress your salad with lemon and herbs instead of an oil or dairy-based dressing.

If you skip the cheese (and croutons, bacon bits, and sunflower seeds!) then add salad dressing. But, keep in mind the calorie count of salad goes through the roof when dressing is added. The calorie count of most restaurant salads is over 500 calories and most of that is due to high-calorie dressing.

So choose your dressing wisely. You'll find some yogurt-based dressings that are creamy and low in calories. You can also choose to make your own low-calorie creamy dressing or make your own vinaigrette. Homemade dressings are often lower in fat than store-bought varieties.

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