Nutrition

Do Salads Help You Lose Weight ? – The Truth

salad and abs
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Eating a salad is probably the first thing we all think of when it comes to weight loss, but does it actually help with weight loss ? Of course salads are supposed to be very healthy and low calorie, but only if you use the right ingredients. In fact some salads can contain more calories than a normal meal especially from restaurants/fast food places because many off them add a list of high calorie ingredients to make it taste better. However, if you cut out too many ingredients like dressing and protein your salad will end up being too skimpy making you feel unsatisfied with the meal.

Luckily for you we have the perfect healthy mix of ingredients to include within your salad that makes it satisfying while also being low calorie, but first understanding what a caloric deficit is and how it will help with weight loss is very important.

Creating A Caloric Deficit For Weight Loss

The most important principle if you want to lose body weight is that you have to be in a caloric deficit and there is no way around that. This deficit can either come from the diet or exercise or a combination of both. Although, doing a combination of both has been proven to be the most effective for consistent weight loss.

treadmills at gym

So remember to focus on a caloric deficit and make most of your calories (70%) come from healthy whole unprocessed foods, you’ll see instant results. Now eating a salad can help you lose weight, but only if it helps you decrease your total caloric intake so that you’re in a deficit.

The 4 Ingredients To Include

Now that you fully understand what a caloric deficit is here are the 4 ingredients to include to make a perfect salad for weight loss:

Use A Variety Of Leafy Greens

Vegetables such as spinach, kale, iceberg lettuce and a few others are what we call leafy greens. They have several properties which make them the perfect food for weight loss since they’re low in calories/carbs also containing a high amount of fiber, nutrients and water. For optimal nutrition, mix up the greens you have in the salad and try not to just have 1-2 types in the bowl.

leafy greens

Lean Proteins

No matter if you choose grilled chicken breast or canned tuna having some lean protein will allow you to feel less hungry while being in a caloric deficit, this is because eating protein gives you a higher satiety.

grilled chicken breast

A Handful Of Nuts

Eating just 10 grams of nuts/seeds a day will lower your risk of developing chronic diseases such as respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Furthermore, nuts are high in dietary fibre, nutrients, protein and healthy fats which make them the perfect addition to any salad. Although, you must remember to add only a handful of nuts and nothing more because nuts are a very high in calories.

mixed nuts

Good Oil & Vinegar For The Dressing

Oil ? yes oils may contain a lot of calories and fats, but many nutrients found in your leafy greens will be absorbed better when there’s fat around. Specifically the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and k. Try 1 teaspoon of either olive oil, coconut oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil or canola oil because the monounsaturated fats in these oils help keep your blood cholesterol levels in check and reduce your risk of heart disease.

vinegar and oil

As for the vinegar it doesn’t really matter which type you choose since their nutritional values are relatively similar. This is great because you can alternate between different vinegars so the taste of your salad can be different every time ! Vinegars are a proven fat releaser and studies have shown that it can help prevent blood sugar spikes after meals, but always remember to look at the nutrition label as some cheaper vinegars often contain a lot of added sugars.

Hopefully this article has given you a good idea of what to put into your salad to make it effective for weight loss and if you have anymore questions about salads or weight loss in general then leave a comment down below.

8 thoughts on “Do Salads Help You Lose Weight ? – The Truth

  1. Great article !! I am currently studying to be a personal trainer and the first thing that most people say to me is: “All I’ve been eating is salad.” if that’s the diet you want then that’s fine, but that is how so many people end up giving up on a diet because it is the same thing every day and they think they are stuck to ‘just salad’. Love how you said it needs to be the right ingredients because it’s so true !

    1. Hey Mallory,

      Yep that’s very common lol especially with people just starting out there diet and good luck on getting your personal trainer certificate !

  2. Hey Andrew, thanks for this information, as a person trying to lose weight and a huge hater of salads this makes me very happy. I know greens are important, but it’s good to see I have other options for healthy eating and don’t have to always eat greens. Will take all this into consideration in my continuous diet, thanks again.

  3. I do agree with your points here that NOT all salads are helpful for losing weight and healthy. I didn’t know about it before, but until one of my friends told me so that the dressing is the main part of the salad. If we use the wrong dressing then the whole salad would be a waste which doesn’t serve the purpose.

    Right now I am using the organic dressing instead of the common high calories dressing like mayonnaise, burger sauce, thousand island etc.

    1. Yep the dressing is a massive part of your salad, remember to try the oil and vinegar combination as your dressing next time if you get the chance. 

  4. It’s interesting that a salad can have as many calories as a regular meal. I sometimes like to order a salad as my meal, but I don’t do it to lose weight. I will usually only do this if I can have an unlimited supply of bread to supplement what the salad can’t give me… carbs.

    However, I do try to be as healthy as I reasonably can. I like the idea of mixing different types of greens with some grilled chicken or fish and some walnuts or cashews.

    Thanks for breaking down the oil and vinegar elements of a healthy salad. I will be thinking about this the next time I go for a salad.

    Blessings,
    Mike Jay

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