Another came rolling through again. The obligatory salad post with some “diet” caption attached to it.
I see them often.
The person is usually getting on the diet wagon and where else do you start, but by eating salads, right?
Now hear me out.
I’m not knocking salads. I love them. They are often my lunch of choice because well, I simply enjoy eating veggies, they fill me up, don’t make me feel sleepy, and leave me feeling energetic.
Salads done right are a wonderful meal and offer endless amounts of creativity with them.
Sadly, some I see, I’m left thinking that the poor person will be starving soon ( no protein in salad) and often lacking a good variety of veggies in it.
We have also been conditioned to think of losing weight and getting healthy in forms of deprivation.
Nothing fun or tasty.
A boring iceberg salad mix with a few cherry tomatoes thrown in, a bit of cucumber, and maybe some shredded carrot.
Yay. Go to town on that.
After all to lose weight, you gotta suffer right? Be miserable? Hungry all the time?
No, not really. Not at all.
Well, what works then?
There are many things on the market promising weight loss. There are lots of “trendy” new diets you can commit to if that’s your thing.
None of them are magic. None of them have some super power over the other. Some offer restrictions, others take food groups away from you, some have you eating gobs of fat, some give you barely enough calories to operate on, some offer “meal replacements”… gosh the list can go on….
At the end of the day it’s simply science.
We lose weight when we take in less calories than our bodies need for daily functioning.
You could achieve it on an Oreo and milk diet although I wouldn’t recommend that…. mainly ’cause I’m not into Oreos 😉
You create a deficit by calories and activity level and in a slow and steady way weight loss will occur.
You need to reduce your daily calories by about 350-500 a day to lose weight.
How the heck do I do that?
I’d say start with things that might not matter a lot or that you could easily reduce. Do you stop for some sugary drink at Starbucks or the local coffee shop?
Do you have any idea of the calorie, fat, or sugar content of it for the size you buy?
Go ahead… I’ll wait.
Google it up and look.
Are you shocked? Most people are.
How much sugar or creamer do you add to coffee? How many sodas or sugar drinks do you consume? Alcohol?
I’d say the best thing to do is simply write down all you eat in a day for about a week.
Be honest. Don’t try and hide anything from yourself. This will give you a guide of what you eat.. the good and not so good.
This will be your starting place to look at where to weed out those 350-500 calories a day.
We often mindlessly stuff things into our mouths without recognizing that yeah, those calories do count.
So do an honest assessment with yourself if you want to see where you can reduce or cut out to help lower those calories while keeping the more nutritious foods in place.
Speaking of nutritious foods…..
Consider foods you like that are healthy and offer your body good nutrition. You know I don’t really like to label foods, but let’s be honest, there are many foods that offer more to our health, feeling good, being energetic and losing weight than others.
Whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean meats, dairy products all offer an abundance of goodies for us to choose from to plan our daily nutrition needs.
Vegetables and fruit… consider this…
On average, only 14 percent of American adults consume at least 2 servings of fruit and at least 3 servings of vegetables daily.
Sadly, in my communication with people I’m always staggered at the truth of that. The very idea of vegetables is something repugnant being offered to them.
You can eat a whole lot of veggies that fill you up, keep you feeling energetic, and come in really low on the calories.
They can be eaten raw or cooked in all kinds of ways that are delicious.
Here’s the deal… if you’ve trained yourself to eat not so nutritious foods, you can train yourself to eat foods that support good health and weight loss.
And you have trained yourself to eat and drink the way you do now…..
It just will take some time and intentional effort on your part…. you know… that habit thing I always blab about….
I was at a dinner party recently and the couple across from me were, well honestly, really over weight. The wife was telling me how she was trying to get him to eat vegetables and he was telling me about ones he had been “trying” and she said “I’m even trying to get him to eat brussel sprouts!”
I said “Oh, how are you preparing them?” (Help me. I already knew the answer before it came)
“Oh, I boil them!” she said smiling at me
I tried to contain my face and not imagine them boiled and rolling around the plate like little green heads… boiling them is like the kiss of death. Boiling them is the reason people rebel against eating them 😉
I told her for a change, that would be tasty and healthy, to slice them up, toss them with a little olive oil, cracked pepper and sea salt then roast them till they started to get crispy.
Her hubby definitely perked up to that.
Seriously though. Learn to experiment with vegetables. Roasting brings out the best flavors in them. Some do better lightly steamed but most anything can be roasted.
Now about those salads….
Just a few tips on making a good salad for your meal.
~include a variety of colorful veggies. Peppers, radishes, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, broccoli, really anything can be added.
~ don’t be afraid of tossing some fruit in. Blueberries or strawberries can make a good addition to a green salad.
~ Don’t forget a healthy dose of protein… this keeps you from getting hungry soon. Feta cheese, grilled chicken, canned tuna, boiled eggs etc can be great options to add in.
~ healthy fats like avocados or walnuts are a good addition to your salad
~ go easy on salad dressings or this will negate all the good efforts of your salad. Be mindful of calories and fat and the fact a serving size is usually like 2 tablespoons… yeah.. go ahead and measure that out… look for low calorie ones or better yet learn to whip up your own healthier alternatives.
I’ve found the more creative the mix of my salad, the less I really want any dressing or at best just a minimal amount.
So post those salad pics…..
Seriously, if you’re on the road to dropping some weight, good for you! Salads offer a fun, tasty and super healthy way to get there. Make them satisfying to your tastes and share your creativity. It’s ok to enjoy your fruits and veggies.
Keep in mind as well, a balanced nutrition plan, with a small daily reduction of calories, will lead to weight loss and keep your energy level up in the process.
What is the way you find most successful to lose weight? Are you good at eating your fruits and veggies?