Here's tip #2 - Eat at least two salads a day (with your meals).
I'm not talking about having ONLY a salad. The salad will be half your meal.
Most of us are eating 3 meals a day and possibly 1 to 2 snacks. No matter how many calories you're consuming you want to make sure that you're feeding and nourishing your body as well as keeping hunger at bay.
Before I went plant based I didn't enjoy salads. In my quest to be healthy and lean I would eat a salad with some protein in it. I would add tons of salad dressing or vegetables that were cooked in oil and some cheese, anything to make it taste better, only to be hungry an hour later. I was especially trying to avoid carbohydrates because I thought carbs make you fat. But complex carbohydrates are necessary to give you energy, keep you full and prevent you from grazing. It wasn't until I started adding carbohydrates to my salads that I really started to enjoy them.
I am currently eating 2000 calories a day because I'm training 5 days a week with heavy weights and I want to make sure my meals are both filling and satisfying. I get VERY hungry every few hours so I need to fill up until my next meal. I also want to make sure I'm getting all my macronutrients and essential vitamins. I am certain to be getting all I need by incorporating salads and vegetables with lunch and dinner.
You don't need to be in the gym or spending hours of your time burning calories to benefit from ADDING salads to your meals . Remember the only way to lose weight is if you're in a calorie deficit.
These days I eat a big salad for lunch and dinner with rice and beans or potatoes and tofu. I will sometimes make "piggy hash" with spinach, sweet potatoes and farm fresh eggs for breakfast! If I want to change it up I'll have steamed broccoli and artichokes instead of a salad. I buy containers of mixed greens and keep them handy to toss in a salad bowl with other favorite additions like tomatoes and cucumbers. I also buy frozen veggies and reheat for quick and easy meals. When I was working full time in the city I would meal prep a huge salad on Sundays and keep it in air tight container in the refrigerator. The night before my commute I would portion out the salad for my lunch.
Yesterday's tip #1 when I talked about calorie density you learned the volume of food we are able to consume compared to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Vegetables are very low in calories and can be very filling. So when you're sitting down to eat your lunch and dinner have a BIG salad with your favorite vegetables (carrots, scallions, peppers, arugula, mixed greens, etc.) . Remember to use fat free dressing so that you can load up on more vegetables instead of using the calories from oil. This will help fill you up and the fiber in the vegetables will keep you full longer.
If you're eating out make sure to get a salad without dressing and look out for items such as candied nuts, cheese and processed croutons that can rack up the calories very quickly. Most restaurants will let you customize your salad so you can leave these items out. Skip the iceberg lettuce and opt for dark greens such as romaine, arugula and spinach.
Starting your meals with salads has so many benefits. For starters it ensures that you're getting your recommended daily allowance of vegetables. Studies show that people who eat salads have significantly and consistently high blood levels of key nutrients that protect against heart disease as well as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure immune system problems, eye and skin disorders, and even wrinkles!
Don't like salads? Try harder! Salads are very important to your health. There are so many options to chose from and you don't have to eat what you don't enjoy. Visit your local farmers market whenever possible and chose delicious, in season vegetables that you will look forward to eating.
If you haven't read tip #1 you can find it here.
Try it and let me know what you think!