This "Healthy" Salad Is Almost 1,000 Calories — Don't Make These Mistakes

You think you're doing good by eating a salad for lunch. It's the perfect meal for weight loss, right? The problem is, calories can add up, and as you can see from the comparison photos above from a registered dietitian, the salad on the left is almost 1,000 calories! If you're eating two other meals this calorically dense, plus snacks, you'll be consuming well over 3,000 calories, which is probably more than you need, especially if you're trying to shed a few pounds.

That means the very salad that's supposed to be helping you lose weight could be making you gain weight! Here's why:

On the left:
1 cup cooked pearl barley
70 grams halloumi cheese
1/3 of a zucchini
2 broccoli florets
1/4 of a red pepper
50 grams eggplant
3 cherry tomatoes
200 grams poached chicken
1/2 cup herbs
Dressing made with 2 tsp EVOO and 2 tsp balsamic vinegar


On the right:
1/2 cup cooked pearl barley
35 grams halloumi cheese
2/3 of a zucchini
5 broccoli florets
1/2 of a red pepper
100 grams eggplant
5 cherry tomatoes
100 grams poached chicken
1/2 cup herbs
Dressing made with 2 tsp balsamic vinegar and 2 tsp seeded mustard

This is an easy fix! All you need to do is watch your portions of the higher-calorie foods, such as cooked whole grains, cheese, protein like chicken, and oils from salad dressing. Then increase the amount of lower-calorie ingredients, like fresh veggies, and use fresh herbs and vinegar for added flavor. Keep these tips in mind the next time you make mason jar salads or hit up the salad bar!