Nutrition
A Complete Guide to A Salad Only Diet for Weight Loss

A Complete Guide to A Salad Only Diet for Weight Loss

Salads are a brilliant way to approach weight loss because they are a great source of fibre, protein and healthy fats.

However, it’s important to be careful about what kind of salad you’re eating because it’s easy to gain weight on a salad only diet.

THINGS TO AVOID WHEN EATING SALAD ONLY DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS

A Complete Guide to A Salad Only Diet for Weight Loss

Most salads contain leafy greens and lean meats, which can automatically make you assume that they’re healthy. However, some salads are thousands of calories.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, a Cobb salad is 1130 calories, a chicken salad with crispy chicken is 1140 calories.

Some salad dressings and additives like bacon will also add calories.

Bacon can add up to 400 calories and 30g of fat to your salad. They’re also not made of lean meat, so they add no nutritional value. They contain trans fats, salt and sugar. Opt for peppers instead if you’re looking to have a healthy salad.

Salad dressings have different calorie counts.

-Blue cheese dressing contains 146 calories and 15g of fat

-Ranch dressing contains 114 calories and 14g of fat.

Fat-free dressings are also not advisable for a low-calorie salad as most dressings compensate for the lack of fat flavour with additional sugar.

Cold-cuts also contain lots of calories. One slice of salami contains 43 calories.

Avoid adding honey-glazed nuts or cheese if you’re trying to keep the calories at a minimum. Cheddar cheese, which is a popular adding to salads, is a protein and calcium source; however, it is loaded with saturated fat.

Beef is also a popular addition to salads. Lean beef can also be beneficial to people trying out a healthier diet. However, make sure you only add lean grilled steak.

THE BEST SALAD INGREDIENTS FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Because it’s easy to gain weight eating a salad only diet, you should choose appropriate ingredients.

You will need ingredients and dressings rich in flavour, packed in nutrients, lower in fat.

You also need to make sure you add ingredients that form a heavy metal that is big and satisfying enough to replace the usual high-calorie meals.

These are the best ingredients for a salad only diet for weight loss.

1.      GREENS

The base of your diet should be leafy greens. Salads made with pasta or potatoes are high in fat content and calories.

Choose leafy greens to add crunch and volume. Many people like to choose lettuce. However, you should use spring greens such as arugula, spinach, chard.

You can also use romaine lettuce or pre-mixed cabbage.

Chopping up the greens and mixing them helps.

2.      COLOURED VEGGIES

A salad only diet for weight loss will also include multi-coloured veggies.

Red veggies such as tomato, radishes, red onion, red pepper, beets or red potatoes are a great addition. Other coloured veggies are:

-Orange: Carrots, orange bell peppers, squash, sweet potato.

-Yellow and white: sweet onion, yellow beets, mushrooms, shallots, cauliflower, white asparagus.

-Blue or purple: Purple potatoes, purple cabbage, eggplant.

-Green: Green onion, green tomato, artichokes, peas, broccoli, peeled cucumber, Brussel sprouts and celery.

Add potatoes and beets in moderation since they’re rich in starch. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different veggies.

3.      ADD HEALTHY FATS

Your salad might still be lacking flavour without some fats. It’s important to note that even healthy fats are rich in calories. Make sure you add them in moderation.

Perfect good fats for your salad only diet for weight loss include:

-avocado

-olives

-olive oil

-nuts

-seeds

4.      PROTEIN

A lean source of protein can provide muscle-building benefits to your salad only diet.

Adding protein also helps you stay fuller for longer.

These are the proteins you should add to your salad:

-meat: grilled lean steak, grilled chicken, turkey, shredded roast pork, lean ground turkey, sliced roast beef

-seafood: salmon, tuna, shrimp, sardines

-grains: quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, barley, couscous

Always be aware of the extra calorie content. Ensure that you note the extra calories from the additional dressing you will need to add for the extra proteins.

5.      HERBS AND SPICES

This is the easiest way to add flavour to your salad only diet.

Dried herbs can be added to a tossed salad. They have no calories and can easily make your salad gourmet-quality.

They include:

-basil

-chervil

-chives

-cilantro

-dill

-parsley or coriander

-tarragon

-thyme

Sometimes adding herbs can even negate the need for salad dressing.

6.      SALAD DRESSING

Many shop-bought dressings are laden with calories and may not be appropriate for your salad only diet for weight loss.

However, you can make your healthy dressings at home. Many low-calorie recipes exist online.

If you create olive oil-based dressings, they can help you better absorb fat-soluble nutrients and phytonutrients.

If you can’t make your salad dressings and have to buy them, you need to consider serving size, added sugars, quality of oil used and extra ingredients.

Some ingredients contain very high sugar content, such as:

-high fructose corn syrup

-fruit juice concentrate

-cane juice

-barley malt

-dextrose

-sucralose

-fructose

-glucitol

As we mentioned earlier, some salad dressings are fat-free but contain high amounts of sugar. Look for dressings with 1g of carbohydrates or less per tablespoon.

The best oils to use when creating your home-made salad dressings are the ones rich in monounsaturated fats and low in omega-6 fats. You can use olive oil, soybean oil and canola oil.

If you have those oils, vinegar or lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper and herbs and spices, you can make a great low-calorie salad dressing. If you need to thicken it, add mustard. If you need to thin it, add lemon juice.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU EAT SALAD EVERY DAY?

If you are on a salad only diet, your diet will change significantly.

Experts say adding pumpkin, sunflower, flax seeds, chia to your salad will boost your intake of good fats.

Your diet will increase your fibre intake, which will help you achieve your weight loss goals. Studies show that having a diet rich in fibre helps with weight loss.

Having a diet that’s rich in plants helps lower blood pressure. This is helpful for people suffering from high blood pressure.

The proteins in a salad can help with building lean muscle mass. Nutrients found in spinach help improve bone strength and improve mitochondria’s performance, which is the cell’s powerhouse.

A salad only diet for weight loss will help reduce levels of bad cholesterol. Soluble fibre regulates levels of LDL cholesterol.

Due to the high fibre content of salads, your digestion will improve. Salads also contain ingredients with probiotics that feed gut-friendly bacteria in the small intestine.

Research shows that salads help improve heart health. A salad with romaine lettuce contains folate and fibre, which help reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Further research shows that salads can help boost energy.

TAKEAWAY

Eating salads only can help you achieve your weight loss goals, especially if it’s a low-calorie salad. Creating a calorie deficiency will help you shed weight.

However, when eating only salads, it’s important to note that you will lack food variety for a period.

This creates a deprivation effect which can lead to cravings for heavier foods and make you prone to over-eating. This can lead to weight cycling, which is bad for your heart.

Experts recommend a more diverse calorie-deficit diet that includes complex carbs as well.

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