1 of 5
"I worry when a client comes in and says that she just has a salad for lunch," says Elisabetta Politi, RD, MPH, Nutrition Director at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, North Carolina. Why? Because a salad could just mean a helping of iceberg lettuce, some shaved carrots and Ranch dressing. And loading your bowl with veggies and skimping on protein and carbs means you're not getting enough calories to power you through the rest of your day. "If you're eating a 200-calorie pile of broccoli and lettuce, it's no wonder you feel hungry and tired at 4 p.m.," Politi says. Your dressing of choice could be adding to the problem. "You might think you're doing the right thing by eating a salad, but if you add a dressing like honey mustard or raspberry vinaigrette, both of which are usually high in added sugar, that'll probably lead to an energy crash later," says Marisa Moore, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Pick Yourself Up:
Make a base of non-starchy vegetables
like mushrooms, cauliflower or peppers and leafy greens like kale, then add protein like chicken or chickpeas and complex carbohydrates like quinoa or edamame that'll give you slow-burning energy. As for dressing, try extra virgin olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice.