The Power of Salad for Rapid Weight Loss

November 15, 2007

Need to lose weight in a hurry? There are so many approaches that work, but this one is more effective than most. Eating salads that contain protein like chicken or egg whites is a quick way to get trim. This isn’t anything new, but sometimes we need to be reminded of simple approaches that work.

Salad Diet
[Pictures of Salad are Boring. This One is Much Better. Who Else Wants to Pull That String...LOL!]

So Why is Salad So Effective for Weight Loss?

Salad is an effective way to diet due to the fact that lettuce is a fibrous carbohydrate. Fibrous carbs are foods such as leafy green vegetables like lettuce and broccoli that are filling, but don’t contain many calories. These are vastly different than starchy carbohydrates. Starchy carbs are foods like potatoes, rice, and breads that are much higher in calories. Since salad’s main ingredient is a low calorie, yet filling food…it is the perfect diet food.

Making a Salad Into a Power Meal

I figured salad was just a food women ate for weight loss. I never thought it would provide enough nutrients for a man and that I would lose every ounce of muscle that I had on my body. Well…you have to think a bit differently about salad to get the greatest benefits. First of all, you need to add protein in the form of chicken, nuts, cheese, eggs, etc. Then you need to make a salad big enough to satisfy your hunger. I actually eat my salads out of a small mixing bowl. Finally, you have to add a variety of ingredients to make it tasty.

What a Good Salad Would Look Like

I normally buy those bags of pre-cut lettuce with a variety of veggies already in the bag. I’ll take two boiled boneless chicken breasts and chop up into cubes. I’ll take around two ounces of cheese and chop up into cubes. Then I may add a hard boiled egg and chop up into pieces. I may add a 6-12 cashews or almonds. I might throw in some dried cranberries…add a peperochini or two, etc. It really depends upon the type of salad I’m going for. Since the salad is large and I need a large amount of dressing…I chose rice vinegar because I can use a lot with almost zero calories. The nice thing about rice vinegar is that it enhances the flavor of the veggies, it doesn’t mask the flavor like other salad dressing.

Customizing Your Salad to Fit Your Goals

That salad above is a big 500 calorie salad with 40-50 grams of protein. This is the type of salad I would eat if I was just eating 3 meals per day. If someone was eating more meals or was aiming for lower calories they could make a smaller salad…or cut out the cheese, ect. If a person was following the one-meal-per-day diet plan, they could add more chicken, more cheese, and maybe even a bit of ranch dressing.

Common Ingredient to Create Your Own Custom Salad

1 medium head of lettuce: 55 calories – 5 grams of protein
1 medium bag of lettuce: 45 calories – 3 grams of protein
1 boneless chicken breast: 80 calories – 16 grams of protein
1 hard boiled egg: 80 calories – 6 grams of protein
1 ounce of cheddar cheese: 115 calories – 7 grams of protein
1 dozen almonds: 90 calories – 5 grams of protein
1 medium carrot: 25 calories – 1 gram of protein
1 Tbsp olive oil: 40 calories – 0 grams of protein

Note: You can get away with adding a lot of vegetables without much impact calorie-wise. The main thing to watch out for is that you get enough protein without adding too many calories for your goals. The best ingredient for a high protein-to-calorie ratio is boneless chicken breasts. Cheese is pretty calorie dense, but if you need to add calories to meet your requirements, it really makes the salad tasty. You could also add higher calorie salad dressing, but that typically won’t have the high quality protein that cheese has. Over time you will be able to create the perfect salad to meet your needs!

Going on a Short Term Salad Only Diet

If you need to lose weight in a hurry, going on an all-salad diet can work very well. You only want to do this for 3 weeks max…it is pretty hardcore, but works. The problem with going over three weeks in a row is that your metabolism will slow down and then this diet becomes less effective (plus eating really low calories isn’t a good idea long term). Here is the diet in a nutshell. Multiply the body weight you are aiming for by 8-10. If you wanted to get down to 120 pounds…you would get 960-1200. This is the amount of calories you are allowed to eat each day. Divide the total daily calories by three. You will want to eat three 300-400 calorie salads each day for three weeks…nothing else. After three weeks is up you are done. Please don’t go longer than 3 weeks. Also, make sure you get at least 20-30 grams of protein in each salad. This is as simple as it gets for rapid weight loss!

Believe it or Not McDonald’s Has A Decent Salad!

Out of curiosity I went to McDonald’s website and found out the nutritional info on their salads. They actually have a couple of good ones. Their “Asian Salad With Grilled Chicken” has 300 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 32 grams of protein. Their “Southwest Salad With Grilled Chicken” has 320 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 30 grams of protein. This is without the salad dressing, so you would want to chose the “Newman’s Own® Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette”, which adds only 40 calories. So there is no excuse to eat badly even if you are hitting a fast food joint for lunch.

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Rusty Moore

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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Amber September 3, 2012 at 1:13 am

Hi everyone :) I just want to thank you guys for this article and the feedback as well. I have been working out and making major life changes since May and am down 50 pounds so far (I am still fairly big and have about 30-40 more pounds to go). I was looking for something to change up my diet so I don’t lose interest and this seems perfect! I’m going to switch to the salad only diet (of course combined with workouts) tomorrow and I will visit this site periodically (probably at the end of the first three weeks) with updates. Hope you all reach your target goals :)

ms m September 19, 2012 at 7:43 am

hi gals. Stumbled across this blog. Im currently on intermittent fasting. But results are too slow for me. Im gonna try the salad diet with my IF. Wil get back to you in a week or so.

Gem October 22, 2012 at 2:25 am

I originally lost 68lbs doing this!! Back to doing so! Question out one meal a day though will it mess my metabolism?

sheila April 26, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I stared six days ago I have lost 3 pounds I feel that my cloths are loser. Sheila

love May 2, 2013 at 8:27 am

I started two days ago;

Agro June 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I started this morning, starting At 5’6, 158.8 lbs. Need to lose weight for a concert in 5 weeks. Will update on my progress. Also, I get rid of my cravings first thing in the morning, then I workout for about 45 mins. By lunch My stomach is growling again, so I know I burned it off. I keep the portion small though. Rest of the day goes easier, and no cravings at night. If I get a craving, I chew mint gum or have tea with lots sweetner. Keep you posted daily on progress.

Marvo June 22, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Just stumbled onto your site. I am 5’4″ and weigh 186lbs. Need to be 145lbs, will definitely try this and let you know my progress as time goes on.

Marvo

MandhiG June 25, 2013 at 6:13 am

I just completed a week of this salad diet, cheated a little everyday, and drank some white wine. Consumed roughly 900 calories per day. I am female, 27 , 5’6″, started at 158.8, am now 156.2, after 7 days. Going to try harder this week, will update in a week. It works because I haven’t been able to lose weight as I’m on depo provera but I’m finally seeing some small results. Very happy.

Dominique August 29, 2013 at 7:53 am

I been doing this for a week. Combined with daily workouts. Ive lost 7 lbs n im still goin strong!!!

Christie September 1, 2013 at 9:28 am

I started this diet about a week ago, and haven’t noticed much of a difference. My salad consists of lots of veggies, black beans and some walnuts. I’m quite concerned, am I doing it wrong? I do just stick to salads, sometimes adding different veggies and snacking on walnuts and raisins with some green juice everyday, AND drink lots of water. What could possibly be the reason that I’m not losing weight? I do feel a difference in inches though, my clothes fit better, but that’s about it! Is 1 week to soon to draw conclusions?

Vonceil September 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Today is September 10,2013 I am starting the 3weeks salad along with reading a scripture a day for strength. I am 50 pounds over weight. My weakness is sweets and late night eating. I will leave a comment daily of my progress along with my meal and intake of the day.
9/10/2013 breakfast, brocolli and cheese lunch, 1/2 apple pecan chicken salad from wendys, dinner 1/2 apple pecan chicken salad 6 cups of water.
Good night all until we chat…..

Vonceil September 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Day two, still focused however I am craving right now any suggestios….

Vonceil September 11, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Day 2 it was a bit of a struggle today breakfast broccoli and chesse, lunch and dinner salad with turkey 6almonds and a half of apple. I weighed in today 5’3 169 pounds. Hoping to lose at least 15 pounds by the 3rd week

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