5 Steps To Make The Perfect Weight-Loss Salad Bowl
Are all salads created equal? Well, not really. Chances are that the one you just ordered may have been a lot more calorific than a main meal on the menu. A Caesar salad, on average, is between 500-600 calories owing to the fried croutons, and fat-laden dressing and cheese. On the flip-side, a fish or cottage cheese steak with stir-fried veg would’ve been a far more fulfilling, nutritious and healthier weight-loss salad.
Here’s how you can build the perfect weight watcher’s salad bowl:
Layer 1 of Your Weight-Loss Salad: Lean Greens (20%)
Packed with micronutrients and water, the base of your weight-loss salad can have one or a combination of kale, arugula, lettuce, spinach, collard greens or endives. Dark leafy greens, in particular, are a great source of vitamins A, K and C.
Layer 2 of Your Weight-Loss Salad: The Veggie Patch (20%)
Yes, this is in addition to the greens. Think of vegetables that will lend some texture and make your salad more appetising. They are high in dietary fibre, will keep you feeling full for longer, and give you a whole host of nutrients. You could include zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, onions, sweet potatoes, jalapeños and olives. You could even pick from a selection of fruits like peaches, apples, pineapples and oranges.
Layer 3 of Your Weight-Loss Salad: Protein Power (40%)
A great salad should always have a hero ingredient by way of high quality proteins. For vegetarians, paneer, tofu, soya, beans and lentils are great options, while non-vegetarians can opt for lean cuts of meat like chicken breast, fish, shrimp, prawns or turkey. Also, eggs are a great addition because they’re complete proteins (have all 9 essential amino acids).
Layer 4 of Your Weight-Loss Salad: Dress It Down (15%)
The clearer the dressing, the more you’re on track. Look at lemon, vinegar, soy sauce, yogurt, mint, olive oil and greek yogurt as options. Cheese, too, is a great source of protein and good fat, so long as you exercise portion control. And as a rule, always add the dressing bit by bit, even when you’re eating out. Dressing on the side helps you monitor your portion and ingest only as many calories as was intended.
Layer 5 of Your Weight-Loss Salad: Nuts & Seeds (5%)
It’s the decade of superfoods so by all means, add some almonds, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, pecans or peanuts to your weight-loss salad. You can also add 1tsp of either flax, chia, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower or hemp seeds. Packed with good fats that are rich in Omega-3 and vitamin E, these superfoods are antioxidant powerhouses. That said, they rack up in calories pretty quickly so be very strict with your portions.
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