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Soaking Up Salads for Weight Loss

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Diet Article: How salads can add oomph to your weight loss plan.

Salads before meal time can curb an appetite quicker than a naked leg on a street corner named Desire. Salad tends to be ultra low in fat and calories until we begin to pile on fatty dressings, cheese, bacon bits and yes - those delicious, crunchy and divine buttery croutons.

As long as you add a few of these salad goodies and count them in your overall calories for the day, your salad can still be a very healthy addition to your meal.

Here are a few tips to help you 'Soak up Salads for Weight Loss' without soaking up calories and pounds:

- Choose light, reduced fat salad dressings.

Your healthiest options include those with a fruit base such as raspberry-walnut or strawberry-balsamic.

The vinegar based salad dressings are also a great choice for dieters. Balsamic vinegar contains a tiny five calories per serving - and that's very difficult to beat. The flavor of the balsamic vinegar is very intense without being overpowering. What a fantastic choice that will do any proper salad proud.

- Request that the salad dressing be served on the side.

This is a common tips for weight loss and for slashing calories at meal time but we've been asked more than once, "Why should I do this? I like the dressing on my salad and it's a pain to dip." The reason is that if the salad dressing is served in a separate side dish that you might end-up with a little left over. The less you use of the higher caloric, higher dietary fat salad dressing selections - the less calories and fat grams you'll consume.

If you're opting to use the light dressings, then go ahead and pour it onto your salad. It's all a matter of personal preference at this point. However, if you're unable to resist that full-blown ranch dressing, you'll do best by using the side-dish method.

- Substitute croutons for fresh fruit such as chopped apples and a teaspoon of golden raisins.

These ingredients will add a healthy burst to your salad bowl for nominal calories and fat grams as long as the amounts are kept in check.

If Dieter Delta prepares a healthy salad mix of chopped lettuce, baby spinach, shredded carrot, sliced cucumbers, sliced mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and light salad dressing such as the balsamic vinegar we suggested above - then she has an awesomely delicious and healthy salad mix.

If she adds chicken, chopped apple, English walnuts and golden raisins to her salad, she will go from delicious to gourmet at light speed.

BUT - she can't add 2 cups of chopped lean chicken, 1/3 cup of chopped English walnuts, 1/4 cup of golden raisins and one extra large behemoth apple in its chopped stage to her bowl. First, she'd need to raid the kitchen of a giant to obtain a bowl, or perhaps prepare her salad in her grandmother's heirloom punchbowl.

Second, it would take the caloric values of her gourmet salad over the moon, alongside of Elsie the cow. Bad mooove, if you will.

And if you do use croutons, limit them to the recommended serving size. If you're dining away from home and do not have the ability to view a nutrition label for croutons - or if the restaurant doesn't list the caloric values on their nutrition guide, then enjoy about five and be done. The restaurant will probably serve no more than this amount along with your salad order - but just in case they do, this makes a very good guideline.

- Dieting is more than about salads with a lettuce base and a few tomatoes tossed on board.

Broaden your salad recipes by embracing diet-friendly cabbage slaws, healthy carrot and raisin salad and spinach and dried cranberry salad.

Baby spinach goes exceptionally well with fresh fruit. Try this quick recipe for a quick, healthy salad fix: 3 cups of baby spinach, 1/2 cup of sliced fresh sweet strawberries, 2 Tablespoons of low fat strawberry-based salad dressing. So yummy for the diet tummy!

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