Stop Eating Salad to Lose Weight!

As the saying goes, I wish had a dime for every person who said to me, “I’m trying to fit into this dress so I’ve started eating more salads.” Or “Why are you eating a salad? You don’t need to lose weight.”

Actually, skip the dime. Let’s go with a dollar. After all, I have a kid in college and will have from now until 2027. Sometimes there will be two in college at once. I can absolutely use all the dollars I can get. Fives and tens are also welcome. And also some Kleenex because that’s a lot of graduations to get through. (I might have already started crying over the fact that I’ve got another guy graduating next spring.)

Stop eating salad to lose weight!

Stop Eating Salad to Lose Weight

Please notice that this admonition doesn’t end with the word “salad.” I have not said, “Stop eating salad.” I’m telling us all that none of us should eat salad as a way to lose weight. Instead…

All of us should eat salad as a way to gain nourishment.

Salad greens are some of the healthiest foods we can eat, and we should eat them every day if possible. (P.S. If you didn’t already know this – the greener the greens, the better they are. Iceberg lettuce isn’t bad for us necessarily, but it’s also not as packed with nutrients as other varieties of lettuce. The basic rule of thumb to follow is to pick the greenest of the greens because the greener it is, the more packed it is with nutrients we need.)

But no matter how green they are, never eat them in an effort to lose weight. Eat them because you know your body can utilize the nutrients they contain.

Why does it matter?

It matters because if you only eat salad in an effort to lose weight, if/when you fall off your diet wagon, you’re likely to think of salad as “diet food” and stop eating it.

It matters because if you are thin, you might not consider eating salad as a necessary option.

It matters because when it comes right down to it, none of the food choices we make should be based on whether or not we need to lose weight. We need to make food choices based on what will best give our bodies nourishment.

Just eat real food, people. (With the very occasional side of fries, because keeping an intentional balance is best and ultimately healthiest, in my research-based opinion.)

You might find that eating a great salad every day does result in weight loss if that is a need for you. But the bigger celebration should be in knowing that your body is loving all the goodness you’re putting into it. You will feel so much better! You will have more energy!

From now on, no one shall ever talk to me about eating salad to lose weight. Don’t think I won’t start asking for those dimes. Dollars. Kleenex. Whatever.

Are you a salad lover? 

P.S. Check out the cheater way I serve my family salad every day!


  1. Jane says

    Easy for you to say: you are tiny!!!
    Still I agree about eating salads for health. I love salad, but I do balk at the prep,time for making them (for six). The washing and drying of lettuce especially.


  2. Mrs K says

    I eat salad because I like it! A huge chopped salad with lots of variety is a really satisfying lunch and doesn’t way me down for the afternoon. my 4 year old also loves her salad, which makes me feel good!


  3. Jessica says

    I would LOVE to know how you eat salad everyday, lol….only because while I do enjoy salad and I also enjoy serving my family salad (because it is so good for you!) I really dread the prep-time!! I usually wait until the weekend to make it because then my husband is home and I’m not trying to keep an eye on the children while making salad and it helps me want to make the extra effort because I know he will enjoy it as well. :)


  4. Jill says

    One of the best gifts I’ve ever received is a salad spinnner. Takes SO much of the work out of washing greens. I also give myself grace and buy pre-shredded carrots.

    “eating salad to lose weight” can also be a fool’s errand if your “healthy salad” is drowning in an excessive amount of dressing, full of cheese, and covered in toppings like chinese noodles, croutons, sesame sticks or tortilla strips. 90% of your salad should be veggies with maybe 10% being the dressing, cheeses and other non-produce toppers. Otherwise it’s just as bad as junk food!

    And veggies alone don’t keep us full til the next meal so “eating salad to lose weight” won’t do you much good if it’s not paired with a protein of some kind and/or a long-lasting complex carbohydrate of some kind to keep you full. Meats, nuts, and even beans all make good salad proteins.


  5. Cassie says

    I too eat a lot of salads, but now I don’t eat them to lose weight, I eat them to get more veggies into my day. My hubby and I just completed a Whole 30 (meat, fruit and veggies….that’s it) plan and it really showed me how little fruits and veggies I was getting during a normal day. My plan now is to cook/prep a whole chicken (usually using my pressure cooker) on Sunday. That gives us enough meat for our salads for the week. I’m also making my own ranch dressing. Love it! Love adding boiled eggs, nuts and other shredded veggies to our salads. The salad fills me up at lunch without feeling sleepy an hour later.

    I’m reading a really interesting book right now, Why we get fat and what to do about it by Gary Taubes. He narrows it down to all the carbohydrates and sugar we eat here in the western world. So, true. Trying to cut out sugar from a normal processed food diet is a hard thing to do. It’s in everything. My husband and I both lost 10 pounds each on the Whole30 plan and I know that was mainly because of the no grains and no sugar changes we made. Trying to stick to those changes we’ve made but I do have to sneak in a piece or two of chocolate! (oh, yeah, made your low sugar chocolate cheesecake recipe Saturday night….yum!)


  6. Cynthia Miller says

    I enjoyed your article. I got so burned out on salads when I did Weight Watchers umpteen years ago. As you said, to me it was “diet” food. I do like salads now, just not all the prep that is necessar y. I usually keep it simple. My favorite salad is spinach, red onion, clementines or strawberries, with pecans. Yum.


    Cynthia Miller Reply:

    I forgot to say, this is a side dish. To make a meal, add grilled chicken or pork.


  7. Karen Dee Davidson says

    Prep time. Yep. That is what keeps me from eating more salads. I need to make more of an effort to keep a big bowl of salad made up. I have come to enjoy a light dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead of blue cheese and ranch!


  8. Roberta says

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented before, but I’ve been reading for several years now.

    We love salads–especially when we can harvest fresh produce from the garden to supplement whatever we buy. I, too, use a salad spinner to help w/ the prep, and I make a large enough salad to last a couple of days. (I know some people frown on salads if they’re not just-picked fresh, but we’re not especially picky.)

    We also eat salads for the nutrition rather than for weight loss (plus my oncologist says to “eat a rainbow” and salads are a relatively easy way to get more color into our meals). That said, Hubs and I have lost a considerable amount of weight since changing our diet to “real” foods and eating out less following my health scare a couple of years ago. Our son is lean–of course he’s 12, male, and a swimmer so he burns through the calories. Lucky kid. :)

    On another note, I’ve learned so much from this blog. Thanks so much for your hard work.


  9. says

    Great read and couldn’t agree more! Eating salad for weight loss won’t work in the long run, at least healthy weight loss. The smart approach to weight loss includes both exercise and diet as part of the protocol. The nutrition you use will help fuel your workouts, giving you maximum energy while ensuring that your body is utilizing body fat as a fuel source. Eat a salad for your health!


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