The basic idea of dieting by eating a salad for lunch is based on the principle that fewer calories consumed will cause you to lose weight. The benefits of substituting a salad at lunch time are increased fiber and other vitamins and minerals, as well as less sluggishness in the afternoon from a heavy meal. However, pay attention to the healthiness of your other meals and snacks to increase your chances of weight loss success.
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Calorie Consumption for Weight Loss
Consuming a meal full of low-calorie vegetables will help you decrease the amount of calories you consume throughout the day. Eating fewer calories than you use during a day will eventually help you lose weight. You must use 3,500 more calories than you take in to lose a pound of body fat. According to this principle, if you cut 200 calories at lunch every day for a month without performing any extra physical activity, you could lose almost 2 lbs. of fat.
Bulk Up on Veggies
Veggies are full of vitamins and minerals, including fiber, which helps keep you full for longer periods. Many beans, such as lima beans, black beans, kidney beans, chick peas and lentils, are full of beneficial fiber. Use fresh spinach as your salad base to load up on vitamin A, and add red and green peppers for vitamin C. Incorporate a wide variety of different colored vegetables on your salad for even more vitamins and minerals.
Add Various Healthy Toppings
Salads don't have to only contain vegetables. Add a variety of other healthy toppings to add more nutrients to your mid-day meal. Reduced-fat cheeses give you additional protein and calcium without adding large amounts of fat. Whole-wheat croutons are a complex carbohydrate that offer more fiber and protein than traditional croutons. Do not to add salad dressings that are full of unhealthy saturated fats. Try a low-fat or fat-free version of your favorite salad dressing, or try a mixture of olive oil and vinegar as a nutritious, tasty topping.
To help fill you up to prevent mid-afternoon snacking, toss several pieces of lean meat on your salad. Try lean deli ham or turkey or grilled chicken breast. If you have a taste for seafood and fish, try grilled or boiled shrimp or scallops, or toss a few tablespoons of tuna salad on your veggies. Use tuna salad prepared with low-fat or fat-free mayonnaise to keep your salad lean.