Many people brag about going “on a diet, eating salads every day to lose weight”. What they fail to mention or understand is that not all salads are worthy of being low calorie if you are watching your waistline.
We all know that the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables are way beyond your imagination. Doctors, in every corner of this world lay emphasis on the use of vegetables for every person whether healthy or sick but we find most people start incorporating healthy salad ideas when they really need to lose weight fast? But shouldn’t we eat healthy salads every week as part of a normal healthy diet? To do so, we have helped you out by sharing some healthy salad ideas that will make that boring vegetable salad into a tasty, yet healthy low calorie salad full of goodness.
Not only are salads recommended for a healthy lifestyle, they are important if you want to shed some pounds, but they also have many other benefits such as keeping out stomach digestion healthy and making our skin look radiant.
Another important issue we want to discuss is that many people, when starting out at losing weight, start incorporating salads into their daily meal plan or diet in order to lose weight. What they don’t know is that the extra mayonnaise, cream and too much olive oil are a nightmare for weight loss.
So a salad full of extra condiments full of calories no longer becomes a low calorie salad. Yes it a salad with mayonnaise, creamy dressings, loads of olive oil are not considered unhealthy but for weight loss, these are not the ultimate way to lose weight. For example, if you add a lot of creamy dressing to your salad (which these condiments can be up to 300 calories per serving) and you categorize it as a low calorie salad and beneficial for weight-loss then it’s like you are asking for a diet coke after eating cheesy pizza.
Such diet blunders are worth avoiding and we are here to help you avoid them. Here are a few of our fitaddict low calorie salad recipes for weight loss, tips, tricks and easy salad ideas:
Healthy Salad Tip No. 1 – Protein Salad
Protein is a special component of any diet so while having a light diet primarily around eating salads, we should keep protein at the forefront on our mind. Here are some great ways to add protein to your salads which is a great salad idea to ensure you are not hungry after eating your salad:
Chickpeas: Chickpeas are immensely full of protein and are great to add to any salad. Take 3/4 of a cup and it will provide you with 11g protein.
Egg Whites: If you want to get a good amount of protein but don’t want to accumulate the calories in your salad, cook the egg whites, slice them and add them to your healthy salad meal. 4 egg whites is equivalent to 14g protein an only 65 calories.
Whole Egg: If egg whites don’t suit you and you prefer the whole egg, that is ok too. However, just make sure you don’t include more than 2 hard boiled eggs as although it will provide you with 13 g of protein it comes at a calorie price tag – a whopping 165 calories.
Boneless Chicken: With 3 Oz of grilled chicken added to your salad will give you 20 grams of protein and only 100 calories.
Grilled Salmon Fish: 3 Oz grilled salmon added to your salad will give you 19g of protein and 175 calories.
Turkey: 3 Oz of it turkey is an extremely good way to add protein to your salad. Turkey will give you 36 grams protein and 115 calories.
Tuna: 3 Oz of Tuna (one of the most popular ways to add protein to your salad) will give you 20 grams protein and 100 calories.
Sirloin Steak: Gives 26 grams protein and 126 calories if you have 3 oz of it in your salad
Tofu: Although not a favourite of ours, many people love to add tofu to their salads to get that extra bit of protein. ½ cup tofu will give you 20 grams of protein and 180 calories.
Healthy Salad Tip No. 2 – Avoid Excessive Extras
Adding cheese, walnuts, raisins, and the likes, to your salad may sound really great and all and really enhances the taste of your salad but such extras may be much higher in calories than the prepared salad. Think a ceasar salad is a healthy choice if you are on a diet? Think again. Loading up a salad with croutons, ceasar dressing and cheese can have more calories than a normal meal.
We totally understand that from time to time adding these extra higher calorie condiments spices your diet up but our advice, use them sparingly; we are not asking you to completely leave them out but just have a little control over the spoon.
To understand what we are talking about, it’s worth a mention of the popular extras that are added to healthy salads that really increase the number of calories (you will also see the controlled portions which you really need to stick to if your end goal is overall weight loss). Although these extras are ‘healthy’ and make up some good healthy salad recipes, just be mindful of the number of calories if you are trying to lose weight.
Croutons: Croutons are very popular to add to salads, however you really only need a few before you go over your caloric limit. We recommend no more than ¼ of a cup which is 45 calories.
Raisins: 1/4 cup raisins in your salad will give an extra 120 calories.
Granola: Adding ¼ cup of Granola to your salad will provide you with 115 of calories.
Chinese Noodles: If you are wanting to incorporate carbohydrates into your salad, only ½ cup boiled noodles will give you 150 calories.
Avocados: Yes avocados are calorie dense but a popular addition to any salad; half an avocado gives 150 calories, also a great snack under 200 calories that is very nutritious.
Feta Cheese: Feta is a beautiful tasting cheese, however it adds the calorie component to any salad; per ½ cup feta cheese equals 190 calories.
Olives: Add 10 small olives to your salad, full of flavor and 40 calories.
Chopped Walnuts: You only need ¼ of a cup to get 180 calories. Infact you can add any nuts to salads, just watch the serving as all though they are a great healthy snack used for a well balanced weight loss diet, they are high in calories.
Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Cheese should only be used occasionally on your salad as only ½ cup of it is 225 calories.
There are other extras too like pumpkin, sunflower seeds and many others if used frugally then they are worth adding in the times that your normal salad doesn’t interest you anymore.
Healthy Salad Tip No. 3 – Green Salad
You can’t go wrong with green salads. The basic salad and the healthiest salad there is. A few green vegetables which are worth having are lettuce, mustard leaf (which is a package source of vitamin A, vitamin K, and carotenes as well) and spinach. Always go for fresh green produce of farms. There are other varieties of green vegetables that are source of antioxidants too and are light enough for dieting.
Healthy Salad Tip No. 4 – Colorful Salad
Get a variety of colorful veggies other than green ones above; you can opt for orange carrot, deep reddish capsicum, dark green broccoli and vegetables which enhance immune system capabilities, reduces cancer, reduces cholesterol, reduces chance of heart attacks, prevents strokes and many beneficial advantages which are proved by researches and a variety of studies.
Another excellent trick is to add a bit of fruit to your salad. Pick a fruit that you like for example, strawberries as they are full of natural sugars that will sweeten up your salad and make it taste delicious without going over your daily calorie limit.
For diet control, we can have these veggies fresh or cooked (either boiled or steamed) because having them cooked in oil or in cream will not make it a calorie-free salad. You can have cauliflower, radish, onions (source of iron and a medicine for killing harmful cells in the body), cucumber, capsicum of any color (not only delicious but also a nutritional as well), carrots (also good for eye sight and for clear skin), broccoli and mushrooms.
Healthy Salad Tip No. 5 – Easy & Low Calorie Salad Dressing
Salad dressing is the most value-adding step to the salad in terms of taste. If you think that you can add as much you want to; it is the biggest blunder when it comes to healthy eating. One spoon may not be the problem but we are never satisfied on 1 spoon. We add at least add 4 spoons of oil which means we get hundreds of calories just out of dressing. Also, watch out for pre-made salad dressings as they are loaded with calories. Opt for home made low calorie salad dressings instead.