Omg it’s like, almost summer. Time for salads and smoothies until you can’t see straight but you’re like, super fit and skinny. But heading to the salad bar or opting for the fast food power salad isn’t necessarily the best choice. We all have a tendency to overindulge, add too much shit, or not add enough good stuff. If you’re going the salad route because your beach bod is more reminiscent of a Pillsbury mascot’s than a fitness Instagrammer’s, it may be time to take a hard, investigatory look at what you’re putting in your salad and how you’re sabotaging your bod.
1. Croutons, Wontons, And Tortilla Strips
I know a little handful of toasty, crunchy bread snacks doesn’t seem that bad, but anytime you’re adding on croutons, wontons, tortilla strips, or another deep fried (or even baked) bread snack, you’re adding empty calories. They’re literally just unhealthy carbs in every case, and they greatly up your caloric intake. Just say no to bread (unless it’s pizza).
2. Dried Fruit
Sugar central. Dried fruit can be great when pooping isn’t happening (much love, apricots and prunes), but topping your salad with shit like dried cranberries or raisins is raising the sugar levels. Just a ¼ cup of Craisins has 29 grams of sugar. Way harsh, Tai.
3. Creamy Dressing
No surprise here, but if you’re layering on the ranch, creamy Italian, or really anything that isn’t oil and vinegar, your salad just became hundreds of calories heavier. A lot of creamy dressings use mayo or cream as a base, which, isn’t as healthy as say, lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Try making your own with Greek yogurt or just sucking it up and not layering lettuce with blue cheese dressing, you unhealthy fuck.
4. Nuts And Seeds
Yes, adding a handful of walnuts or almonds boosts the healthy fats in your salad, but adding more than ¼ cup of nuts or seeds can sabotage your diet big time. Keep in mind that healthy fat is still fat, and a ½ cup of walnuts is like, 190 goddamn calories. Sunflower seeds? Just ¼ cup has 186 calories. Stay woke, fam.
Like we said, healthy fats are still fats. Adding four to six slices of avocado to a salad may not seem like a lot, but it’s almost half of an avocado, weighing in at about 115 calories. On the flip side, this is one of the healthiest toppings you can get for nachos, so it really just depends on your situation.
6. Iceberg Lettuce
If you eat Iceberg lettuce, you’re trash. I’m not even sorry. Who goes out of their way to get this shit when you have the option of non-contaminated Romaine, beautiful artisan spring mix, kale, spinach, and our bestie, arugula? Garbage people do. This has no flavor, is mostly water, and, yeah, has like no calories, but it sucks in every way. Fuck you, iceberg lettuce. Stop ruining America’s salads.
Yo, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have had to add this, but I did. Yah, you’ll get some extra calcium (strong bones AMIRITE), but half a cup of cheese is like, 250 calories and 20 grams of fat. That’s gonna go right to your thighs, which are already causing some chub rub, aren’t they?
9. Getting The Biggest Bowl
Not a food item, but heading to the salad bar and grabbing the biggest bowl or plate you see and LOADING it with shit isn’t going to help your arteries. Opt for a medium size or even a small bowl or plate, then go for seconds if you’re really THAT hungry.
10. Eating Only Lettuce
If your goal is to be hungry in two and a half hours, grab a bowl and load it with only lettuce and cucumbers, then top it with straight vinegar. That isn’t going to keep you full for very long (and probably tastes very sad). You can add some of the things on this list—like nuts and seeds and avocado—just in moderation. It’ll keep you fuller longer, i.e. you’ll borderline forget about the trash bag of popcorn in your desk or the gummy worms you found on the floor that still look okay.
Images: Giphy (7)
It’s almost June, and with Memorial Day coming up this weekend, you might be wondering why your summer body is taking so long to show up to the party. I mean, you’ve been doing two-minute planks and eating raw kale salads for the past few weeks, but let’s be real, you look the same and this shit is getting frustrating. Like, you didn’t pay extra for two-day shipping just for your body not to be ready for your new swimsuits. If you feel like you’re taking all the right steps and your efforts aren’t paying off, it could be because some subtle things you don’t even notice you’re doing are sabotoging all your progress. You know, just like in all your relationships.
1. You’re Underestimating Your Portion Sizes
We’re not telling you to buy a food scale and weigh out all of your portions (though that would help), but portion sizes do exist for a reason, even if we feel personally victimized by the nutrition label on a jar of peanut butter. If you’re not paying attention to your portion sizes, it doesn’t matter how healthy you’re eating. You could be eating way too much and be consuming a lot more calories than you think. Try to pay more attention to how many servings you’re eating and see if that makes a difference.
2. You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
Not drinking enough water can majorly alter your results if you’re trying to slim down for summer. First of all, water literally fills you up, so if you’re not drinking enough, you probably feel more hungry and are more likely to eat more throughout the day. Plus, water helps everything move through your system and keep your digestion on track, so you could be bloated or constipated from not drinking enough, which definitely isn’t helping your summer bod.
3. You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism By Not Eating Enough
If you’ve been known to do extreme crash diets or starve yourself for the sake of a thigh gap, you’ve probably butchered your metabolism by not eating enough. Dieting is obviously about eating less, but if you’ve been cutting calories for a long time, your body might be crying for help. It sounds weird, but try adding in more calories for a few days and see how your body reacts. It might be holding onto any fat you’re consuming because it’s in starvation mode and needs a dieting vacation.
4. You’re Relying On Cardio Way Too Much
If you’re doing spin classes, HIIT, or any other types of cardio to lose weight for summer you’re on the right track, but it’s possible that you’re overdoing it, and your body is telling you to chill. Too much cardio can actually make your body retain water, which could make you look bloated. Try adding in some strength training to your workout routine to tone your muscles instead of just burning calories. You’ll find that once you have some muscle definition, your body will burn more calories on its own anyway.
5. You’re Not Volumizing Your Meals
If your summer diet isn’t getting any easier, it could be because you’re not volumizing your meals. Meal volume is all about eating the most food for the least amount of calories, so you’re getting the most bang for your buck. For example, instead of eating a 250 calorie protein bar that won’t fill you up, eat a 250 calorie grilled chicken salad, which will keep you full for hours. Adding volume through things like fruits, vegetables, and seeds makes a huge difference in your hunger levels.
6. Blame It On The Alcohol
Sorry to really kill the vibe on your summer rooftop blackouts, but your alcohol binging could be the reason you’re not seeing results. If you’re working out all week and paying attention to what you’re eating, you could be ruining that progress by taking tequila shots three nights a week. I mean, a drink or two over the weekend won’t do anything crazy to your body, but if you’re drinking multiple times a week, the calories add up and your body will start to hate you.
7. You’re Relying On Artificial Ingredients Instead Of Real Food
It’s easy to rely on things like Diet Coke and sugar-free gum when you’re trying to cut calories, but the fake sugars might actually be sabotaging your body’s hunger signals. Studies have shown that fake sweeteners actually increase your sugar cravings, which is why you end up craving ice cream and donuts after eating a zero-calorie snack. Skip the Splenda and the sketchy ingredients and instead focus on whole foods. They might be more caloric, but they’ll keep you full and actually give you the nutrients your body needs to lose fat and function properly.