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I Actually Gained Weight From Eating a Salad Every Day - All Because of This Mistake

PopSugar logo PopSugar 15/4/2018 Jenny Sugar
Is My Salad Causing Weight Gain? © POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar Is My Salad Causing Weight Gain?

I thought eating a big-ass salad made for the healthiest lunch ever. So I'd meal-prep five salads for the week, pile the veggies into a bowl, add a few more nutritious toppings, and chow down. Salads are supposed to be low in calories - perfect for weight loss. The only problem was, I was actually gaining weight.

How do you gain weight eating veggies, you ask? Well, I thought variety was the key to health, so my bowl mas made up of at least 12 different ingredients, none of which were measured. But when I got a food scale, measured out each ingredient, and plugged everything into MyFitnessPal, I almost dropped my salad bowl in disbelief. This was the nutritional breakdown:

IngredientCaloriesFatCarbsProtein50 grams massaged kale (about 1 cup)2550250 grams cucumber (about 1/4 cup)820.550 grams carrots (about 4 baby)2050050 grams red bell peppers (about 1/4 cup)1630050 grams yellow bell peppers (about 1/4 cup)1430150 grams celery (about 1 large stalk)82016 cherry tomatoes140306 grapes2106050 grams red cabbage16041Trader Joe's marinated tofu (1 piece)1609416100 grams diced roasted sweet potato (about 3/4 cup)90.220.821/2 cup cooked quinoa11122041/4 cup chickpeas6511141/2 avocado11711611 tbsp salted sunflower seeds999432 tbsp Goddess Dressing1201222Total:90464.280.837.5

I couldn't believe it. 904 calories? And that's not even counting the oil I used to roast the diced sweet potatoes. Or the handful of sunflower seeds I crunched on while measuring a tablespoon for my salad. No wonder I was gaining weight! I was practically eating two meals in one sitting.

I know all the hacks to make a salad healthy, but I was making the mistake of simply putting too much into my bowl. This just proves that eyeballing isn't the best tactic, even if you're eating healthy foods. My lunch was definitely packed with nutritious ingredients, but it was way too packed.

44044719The Fix

Knowing is half the battle, so now that I knew why I was gaining weight, I could do something about it. I continued to use MyFitnessPal and my food scale, and I just cut some of the ingredients down. In fact, I cut a few out completely. I skipped the quinoa and red pepper, used 1/4 of an avocado, one tablespoon of a lower-calorie dressing, and half the amount of sweet potatoes. I was able to get my salad bowl to just under 500 calories. Since I do intermittent fasting and only eat from noon until 7 p.m. each day, I was happy with this amount.


Learn from my mistake and take this into consideration when meal prepping all your meals and snacks. Measure out your ingredients so you know exactly how much your daily food is adding up to. If you're struggling to lose weight, this could be the one simple thing that pushes the needle!

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