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I Lost 15 Pounds, and This Is the 450-Calorie Salad I Eat For Lunch Most Days

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I’m a creature of habit. I like to drink the same 400-calorie smoothie every morning after my morning workout, wear the same three black pairs of leggings, listen to the same pump-up jams that I’ve listened to since high school (what’s up, early-2000s pop/punk). And as a creature of habit, I tend to make the same handful of recipes over and over.

Sure, that’s mostly because I’m a terrible cook and not that adventurous in the kitchen, but eating the same things over and over again can help you achieve your weight-loss goals. I have lost about 15 pounds since January, and I find that eating the same lunches repeatedly has kept me on track and takes the guesswork out of tracking my meals.

Since I usually order a takeout salad for lunch anyway, I thought it would be easier if I just made my own salad and brought it in. My 450-calorie salad is actually delicious and provides all three macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fat) to keep me feeling full and satisfied all afternoon. To make things even easier, I just bring all my ingredients to work and chop the veggies when I get there. I don’t have time to slice up a bell pepper or a cucumber in the morning before work, but I do have time to throw all my ingredients in a plastic salad bowl with a lid and run out the door — I like the 2.5-quart bowl from this Sterilite 8 Piece Covered Bowl Set ($12). Check out my recipe below.

450-Calorie Weight-Loss Salad Recipe

  • Mixed greens (usually bagged Spring mix)
  • 3 ounces of rotisserie chicken (no skin)
  • 1/4 of a cucumber
  • 1/4 of a red bell pepper
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • 2 tablespoons Greek dressing

In my opinion, the dressing makes all the difference. That’s why I love Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette dressing ($21 for two bottles). It’s made with avocado oil, so it’s full of satiating, healthy fats. I also get more healthy fat from one-fourth of an avocado. For protein, I opt for a slice of rotisserie chicken; I buy a rotisserie chicken from the store on Sunday night and have it the whole week. I also love a variety of colorful veggies to add some healthy carbs.

If I have had a hard workout that morning and know I’ll be hungrier, or if I want some crunch, I’ll throw in a handful of crushed Parm Crisps ($37 for a 12-pack) or get in extra carbs by crumbling up some Simple Mills Almond Flour Fine Ground Sea Salt Crackers ($25 for six).

Although it’s probably easier to keep a bottle of salad dressing in the work fridge, I don’t trust my coworkers (kidding! sort of . . .) so I use the GladWare Mini Round containers ($7 for an eight-count). I can measure out two tablespoons and store it easily. I love these little reusable containers for not only salad dressings, but also stashing nuts, nut butters, and berries.

I’ve been tracking my calories using the Noom weight-loss app and love how the Noom food database is huge and includes all of my favorite foods, snacks, and salad dressings. It makes tracking so much easier. Using the Noom app, I calculated that my salad is 445 calories.

By:

Source: https://www.popsugar.com/

Sure, a salad isn’t the sexiest lunch you can have. But this simple combo is quick to throw together, delicious, and leaves me feeling satisfied. I can’t argue with 15 pounds down.

Image Source: Getty / jeffbergen
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Sterilite 8 Piece Covered Bowl Set
$12

Buy Now

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Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette dressing
$21

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Parm Crisps
$37

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Simple Mills Almond Flour Fine Ground Sea Salt Crackers
$25

Buy Now

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GladWare Mini Round Containers
$7

Buy Now

 

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Walk Briskly for Your Health. About 100 Steps a Minute – Gretchen Reynolds

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Most of us know that we should walk briskly for the sake of our health. But how fast is brisk?

A helpful new study of walking speed and health concludes that the answer seems to be about 100 steps per minute, a number that is probably lower than many of us might expect.

Current exercise guidelines almost always state that we should walk at a brisk pace rather than stroll leisurely. But the recommendations do not always define what brisk walking means and, when they do, can deploy daunting terminology or technicalities.

They may say, for instance, that brisk walking requires three metabolic equivalents of task, or METs, meaning that it uses about three times as much energy as sitting still.

Or they might tell us that brisk walking occurs at a pace that increases our heart rate until it reaches about 70 percent of our heart rate maximum, a measurement that few of us fully understand or have the heart rate monitor and mathematical acuity needed to track and parse those percentages.

Even the simplest, often-cited description of brisk walking can be vague and confusing. Used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies in their guidelines, it defines brisk walking (and other moderate-intensity activities) as occurring at a pace at which people can talk but not sing.

That definition seemed impractical to Catrine Tudor-Locke, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, who has long studied how much exercise might be needed or sufficient for health. “Who wants to sing when they walk?” she asks.

So, for the new study, which was published in June in a special issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine devoted to the topic of walking, she and her colleagues decided to see whether there was enough data already available to develop a more precise and useful definition of brisk walking.

They began by looking for recent, good-quality published studies that had tracked people’s walking pace and cadence, which is the number of steps they take per minute, as well as other measures of their effort, such as heart rate or increases in respiration.

They wanted to see if there were consistencies between an easy-to-use number, such as steps per minute, and more technical determinations of intensity, such as respiration.

They also wanted to find studies that had examined people of varying ages and body mass indexes, to see if a single measure of what makes walking brisk could apply to almost everyone.

They wound up with 38 studies that had included hundreds of men and women ranging in age from 18 to elderly and of many different B.M.I.s.But despite the differences in the participants, the data about what made their walking brisk, or “moderate,” was consistent across all of the studies, Dr. Tudor-Locke and her colleagues found.

Brisk walking involved a pace of about 2.7 miles per hour. Or put more simply, it required about 100 steps per minute.“This is a number that is very easy for any of us to measure on our own,” she says. “You do not need special equipment or expertise.”

Just count how many steps you take in 10 seconds and multiply that number by six, she says. Or count how many steps you take in six seconds and multiply by 10. Or count how many steps you take in a single minute and skip the multiplication altogether.

“The good news is that this pace will probably not feel strenuous to most healthy people,” she says.There were some small variations among people in the precise number of steps per minute needed to achieve brisk walking in the various studies, Dr. Tudor-Locke says.

“For some people, it was 98; for others, 102,” she says. “But 100 steps per minute is a good rule of thumb for almost everyone.”Unless you are past about age 60, she adds. The ideal steps per minute for brisk walking among older people were inconsistent in the studies that she and her colleagues reviewed.

“Some older people needed to take quite a few more than 100 steps per minute” to walk briskly, she says, while others achieved briskness with lower step cadences.Dr. Tudor-Locke suspects that differing methodologies in the studies produced the differing results.

She and her colleagues plan soon to study older people and walking to pinpoint just how many steps per minute are needed for their pace to be brisk.Dr. Tudor-Locke also says that knowing that 100 steps per minute makes our walking brisk does not mean that we should stop walking after taking 100 steps.

Volume remains important, she says.The current federal exercise guidelines suggest 30 minutes of brisk walking most days, which would translate into 3,000 steps taken at the 100-steps-per-minute pace.If you are ambitious, you also could ramp up the pace so that your walking becomes vigorous, she says, which is the technical term for more-draining exercise.

Vigorous walking requires about 130 steps per minute, she and her colleagues determined, a pace at which you still are walking. Jogging generally starts at about 140 steps per minute, she says.

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