You can run a thousand laps on the track, religiously take your sports supplements or squeeze out hundreds of extra reps in the gym, but it will make no difference — a sloppy diet will make you look, feel, and perform sloppy. An easy go-to meal when you want to eat healthy? A salad. Trouble is, in an attempt to add taste or substance to the salad, it’s easy to overload it with calories, sugar, fat, and sodium. Translation: your once-healthy salads becomes a bonafide gut-buster. These simple tips can prevent that from happening …
#1. Use Less Salad Dressing
The wrong type of salad dressing paired with using the wrong amount of salad dressing can turn into a double-whammy of unhealthy. What are the wrong types of dressings? Most of the ones you’ll find on grocery store shelves that are processed and packed with sugar, preservatives, and artificial flavors. If you’re not interested in making your own dressing — and doing so takes all but a few minutes — try to steer clear of creamy dressings whenever possible. Whatever salad dressing you go with, you can scale back the amount you use by dipping the tines of your fork into the dressing and then stabbing the greens instead of pouring the dressing onto your salad directly.
#2. Be Selective With Toppings
Diverse food choices can help you stock up on vitamins and nutrients. However, the wrong add-ons, like bacon bits, cheese, crispy noodles, croutons, and crunchy tortilla chips can cause the calorie count of the salad to skyrocket. Above all, try to make your salad colorful by selecting a wide range of fruits and veggies instead of foods that are fried or processed.
#3. Avoiding Pre-Dressed Add-Ons
Maintain control of what goes on your plate by constructing everything that goes onto it. In other words, instead of piling on pre-made cole slaw or pasta salad — which you have no idea what oils or ingredients were used to dress them — combine the ingredients yourself.
#4. Going Overboard With Fats
Avoid chemically modified fats, like those that are hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated. You’ll commonly find that those oils are used in fried foods, margarine, and frozen meals. Those fats can increase “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and have ties to coronary heart disease. Healthy fats, like those found in avocados, olive oil, and nuts shouldn’t be avoided but should be consumed in moderation.
#5. Ask For Substitutions
When you’re ordering at a restaurant, request the items you’d want to monitor — dressing, cheese, croutons, etc. — on the side. Or you can ask for substitutions, like balsamic dressing instead of creamy ranch, for example. Some restaurants politely decline accommodating guests in this manner, which means you can politely decline giving them your business since they’re unwilling to help you maintain your fitness goals.