Well, this is one question for which all the people on the higher end of the weight scale would die to know the answer for! To be honest, you couldn’t point to an exact answer but read on to know why.
Salad is the essential diet food, but it is used in so many contexts that it is hard to even pin it down to a single food group. Typical salad ingredients like fresh veggies and fruits are low in calories and ideal for steady weight loss, but usually, those are not the only ingredients the salads comprise of. Salads are often accompanied by rich dressings and other additions, which are less than light. If you intend to lose weight by eating just salad for a month, it is best that you visit your doctor or a dietitian before you begin, so that you don’t run low on the necessary nutrients your body needs.
Can You Lose Weight by Eating Salad?
According to food historian and reference librarian Lynne Olver, salad is generally defined as a dish of mixed leafy greens with some type of dressing. However, a broader definition is in order, because people consider dishes that hardly have any greens like macaroni salad, tuna salad and warm grain salads as salads. Whether your salads will help you lose weight depends on its ingredients. You need to create a calorie deficit to be able to slim down over time, so choose ingredients that have lower calorie counts, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meats, eggs, beans and legumes, low-fat cheeses, tofu or other soy products.
Go Easy on The Dressing
One reason, why we can’t say for sure whether you will go on a calorie deficit if you diet on salad for a month is because of the dressings that usually accompany your dish. Most are oil-based and have generous amounts of fat and calories per serving. In fact, if your salad is made up of primarily veggies or fruits, it’s possible that a small amount of dressing has more calories than the entire bowl of food. Three cups of spinach, for example, has just 20 calories and less than 1/2 gram of fat, but a 2-tablespoon serving of ranch dressing has 125 calories and more than 13 grams of fat. So, it’s best to avoid the dressings if you are looking for reducing your weight.
Eating only salads for a month comes under the category of fad diet. It is a type of diet that promises quick weight loss but restricts you to what you can eat. Since such type of diets comprises of exclusively one type of food, you are bound to ignore some essential food groups like dairy and grains. This leads to nutrient deficiency and weight loss. But, trust me, this type of weight loss is not what you are looking for! The weight you lose here is mostly water and muscle mass. Also, fad diets tend to affect the metabolism, making future weight gains highly likely. If you still plan on going on such a diet, be sure that you include all the food groups that provide you with the essential nutrients.
Like it was mentioned above, a balanced diet is what you should be looking for. Eating a variety of nutritious food while losing no more than 2 pounds a week, is by far the best strategy. A fad diet of salads might make this a tad more difficult, but it’s not impossible. For example, a low-calorie salad that contains healthy foods from all main food groups may have a base of greens, some citrus segments and other sliced veggies and fruits, 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa, a hard-boiled egg, a few crumbles of feta cheese and a dressing consisting of small amounts of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Now that you know enough information about this stuff to decide the answer to the question yourself, are you willing to go along with your plan?