When it comes to losing weight, even the greens you put on your plate can make a huge difference in your journey to your fitness goals. However, not all salad bowls are made the same, and not all of them can help you lose weight. Some can be waistline busters as certain salads are loaded with calories and carbohydrates, either from the dressing or the chosen toppings you’ve added to spruce up the meal.
It seems rather disheartening that even something as lightweight as the salad will need a selection of ingredients for it to help you, but there’s no need to worry about eating wilted greens and tasteless dressing. When done right, salads can be packed with delicious ingredients that can burn calories and increase your metabolism to help you drop weight. To that end, here are some green mix-ins to give your salad a boost of flavor and texture:
Tip #1: Mix Up Your Greens
All diet-friendly salad must start with greens – anything other than that such as pasta, potatoes, or even beans will have higher fat and calorie content, which will not only beef up your weight but also leave you unsatisfied with the small number of typical salad servings. In that regard, the best way to build your salad is to play around with different greens to add volume, weight, flavor, and different textures all in one bowl. Experiment with spring greens like arugula, spinach, chard, watercress, mustard greens, mache, and beet greens to add a refreshing flavor. Meanwhile, support the base with milder, crispy greens like iceberg, bibb, romaine, radicchio, escarole, endive, leaf lettuce, and frisee for a boost in volume and extra crunch.
Tip #2: Add a Visual and Tasteful Pop With Colorful Vegetables
The green may be your base, but your vegetables should support it both for visual appeal and add more depth of volume to the flavor of your diet-friendly salad. You can choose between a wide range of colors, all of which have their set of healthy nutrients:
- Red – chopped or sliced tomato, shredded or sliced radishes, chopped red onions, sliced peppers, cubed beets, cold sliced red potato.
- Orange – Shredded or thinly sliced carrots, slivered orange peppers, cold cubed squash, heirloom orange tomato, cold diced sweet potato.
- Yellow and White – Diced sweet onion, cooked fresh corn kernels, quartered yellow tomatoes, sliced yellow beets, cubed jicama, quartered or sliced mushrooms, finely chopped shallots, cauliflower, white asparagus.
- Blue or Purple – Diced purple potatoes, shredded purple cabbage, slivered purple peppers, eggplant.
- Green – Thinly sliced green onion, chopped green tomatoes, quartered artichoke hearts, chilled peas, broccoli, seeded and sliced cucumber, brussels sprouts, diced celery.
Tip #3: Add Healthy Proteins to Your Salad
Your goal may be to lose weight, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your muscles on stand-by. In that regard, adding a lean source of protein will balance the lightweight meal and leave you with a more satisfying sense of fullness. Not to mention, it is packed with muscle-building benefits that help you stay lean and strong. There’s a delicious range of proteins to choose from – deli meats, grilled chicken, grilled or smoked salmon, edamame or tofu, nuts, and seeds.
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