If you want to know, Can salads make me gain weight? Keep reading this article. You might have heard that salads can make you gain weight, especially if they’re high in fat and calories. But you won’t find any mention of this myth in the scientific literature.
In fact, all the studies I’ve looked at show that people who ate salads lost weight or didn’t gain any weight. So, who told you that salads could make you gain weight?
Salads are an excellent way to keep from gaining and losing weight. In fact, a big plate of salad can be extremely filling, and it takes a lot of calories to produce.
I do admit that some salad dressings are high in fat and calories. However, the good news is that fat-free or low-fat dressings can now be found in most supermarkets.
In this article, I’ll tell you how salads can help you lose weight by satisfying your appetite while keeping the extra fat off your body.
Salads are so good at making you feel fuller longer because, unlike most foods, they are very high in water content and fiber.
Can Salads Make Me Gain Weight?
Salads are often described as “weight-reducing” food. But that’s not exactly true. Most of the research shows salads to be an effective weight-gain prevention strategy, not to mention their ability to help you shed weight.
Don’t think that a typical salad made with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and a few shredded carrots will fill you up for hours or keep you satisfied.
Some of the most filling salads, though, are those with added fiber and protein—such as mixed greens with nuts, beans, and eggs; chopped spinach or romaine lettuce with shrimp; or cucumber and yogurt topped off with some brown sugar and walnuts.
7 Ways You Can Get Fat From Eating Salad
1. High-Fat Salad Dressing
This is a mistake that many dieters make by adding lots of salad dressing to their salads. If your salad contains a lot of fat, such as mayonnaise, you’ll load up on the calories from the dressing.
That’s simple math. Salads are filled with all kinds of good stuff, so remember that it’s better to pile on the vegetables than to drown them all in dressing.
2. Fried Salad Greens
Salad greens coated in bread crumbs and fried in oil are a high-fat treat. Even the greens are loaded with fat, but that’s where you’re going to find it. I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry after eating a salad, I tend to eat the dressing first rather than the vegetables.
3. Soup, Stew & Chili
A chili made with lots of beans, salsa, cheese, and sour cream is likely to be high in fat. This combo is so perfect for making your weight “go up.” Just make sure you’re not eating the sour cream.
4. Restaurant Salad
So-called salad bars are loaded with fat, particularly if you add some of the salad dressings that are available at these establishments. Worse yet, some people add dressing to their salads from their salad bar!
5. Breaded Salad
You’re going to eat a lot more calories when you pile on the bread crumbs instead of just adding bits of raw lettuce or spinach here and there on each bite.
I must admit that croutons are a great addition to a salad, but they are likely to be loaded with fat, especially if you add some oil to the mix.
7. Fried Chicken Salad Sandwich
Many restaurants now serve fried chicken on a salad. This is just inviting trouble for your weight. By eating the salad, you’re loading up your plate with lots of extra calories, and you’ll probably find yourself eating as much food as you would if you had actually ordered the tender white meat itself.
Can Somebody Survive By Eating Only Salad?
Yes, it is possible to survive on salads only if they are low in fat and calories, which is not always easy. I’ve seen many people survive on salads by combining them with other foods, such as stews, soups, and chili.
If you want to try something different, though, then you can do a lot worse than eating a salad made from greens, a piece of lean meat such as grilled chicken or turkey breast, low-fat yogurt, and fruits like pineapple chunks or grapes for dessert.
Best 7 Ways Eat Too Much Salad But Never Gain Weight?
1. Add Some Beans
Salads are often made with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and other vegetables that are low in calories. And that’s absolutely fine if you eat them in moderation. But if you have many crunchy veggies on your plate, you can eat hundreds of calories without even realizing it.
So the first thing to do is to create a low-calorie salad with beans that are also high in protein, like pinto, cannellini, and black beans. You can add them alongside the main ingredients or toss them in with the lettuce at the last minute for maximum flavor and a meaty texture. Try this yummy salad dressing recipe.
2. Add Some Protein
Just like beans, protein is another high-calorie food that can make salads fill you up more than they should. Having a large plateful of greens with beans and hard-boiled eggs will keep your belly full and your cravings at bay for hours.
You can also mix cooked quinoa with some diced vegetables to make a delicious salad with all chicken and beef flavors.
3. Add Some Low-Fat Cheese
If you love cheese, then you’ll be happy to know that even the less-than-stellar cheeses are more than just filler on a salad.
I recommend eating low-fat cheese on your salad, not because it will make it taste good (it won’t), but because it will take the edge off your hunger and keep you from overeating.
If you want to go all out and pile on the calories, then I suggest pairing your cheese with other high-calorie foods like creamy soup or chocolate pudding.
4. Add Some Nuts
Like most things in life, nuts are a good thing in moderation. And as far as salads and weight gain go, the same holds true for nuts. I suggest adding a small handful of roasted nuts that are low in salt, although you can also pair them with the cheeses mentioned above.
5. Don’t Drown Your Salad
I’m all for generous helpings of salad dressing, but sometimes it’s better to put a little on your salad and then eat it rather than pouring more on after you’ve already eaten about half of it.
This will help keep you from consuming too much dressing, where you’ll find fat and calories you just don’t need.
6. Dippers Are Better than Drowners
If you’re eating your salad with cut-up veggies, then make sure that you dip rather than pour. I suggest dipping your veggies in low-fat salad dressing or hummus for best results. This way, you’ll get to taste the delicious flavors of your favorite foods without adding many calories.
7. Make Your Own Salad Dressings
Since you’re likely to avoid bottled salad dressings, I’m guessing that most of them are high in fat and calories. If that’s the case, then try making a simple homemade dressing using olive oil, vinegar, and salt.
The results, though, may surprise you. I’ve noticed that the homemade dressings are low in fat, which means that my salad tastes better and helps me eat less!
The Bottom Line
Salads are a great way to get your daily nutrition, but they can be high in fat and calories when you don’t limit yourself to lettuce and other vegetables. To avoid gaining weight, try to think of salads as being more like appetizers rather than shakes.
If you want to eat a salad as your meal, then make it with lean protein, low-fat cheese, and whole-wheat pasta. That way, you’ll get all the nutritional benefits of salad without the extra weight gain.