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    5 Reasons Your Healthy Salad Could Be Making You Gain Weight

    5 Reasons Your Healthy Salad Could Be Making You Gain Weight

    Original article by Matt Weik may be found directly on Nutrabio Supplements site.

    When trying to lose weight, what is one particular food that everyone tells you to consume more of?   Salad.  Yes, everyone assumes you need to eat like a rabbit in order to tighten your waistline and drop body fat.  While salad isn’t the only nutritional change you should be making to your diet, when used incorrectly, it could actually cause you to GAIN weight unexpectedly.

    To help you better utilize salad during your weight-loss journey and allow these green leafy gems to work for you rather than against you, there are five things you need to be aware of so you aren’t left frustrated when looking at the scale.  I also provide a bonus tip at the end for good measure.  But first, let’s dive into the reasons you need to watch out for salad.

    You Don’t Pay Attention To Your Dressing

    This is one of the simplest things to change, yet one of the hardest for people to fully grasp and understand.  If you were looking at salad dressing and wanted to reduce the number of calories you consume, there are two things you need to focus on.

    1. The type of salad dressing you are using
    2. The amount of salad dressing you are using

    Seems so simple, right?   Wrong.  The first thing people tell you is to stop using regular salad dressing as it is full of fat.  They tell you to opt for the “fat-free” versions instead to drastically cut down how many calories are coming from your dressing alone.  

    I’m here to tell you that’s a terrible idea.  For starters, a little fat with your salad can help you better absorb some of the nutrients found in your salad.  Also, depending on the kind of fat you use, it’s not necessarily “bad” for you.

    Because both lettuce and fat-free salad dressings are low in calories, you probably won’t feel satiated from the meal – this will cause you to overeat later in the day.  Also, most fat-free salad dressings are using corn syrup (when you look at the ingredient list, it’s normally one of the first ingredients listed) to replace the fat for it to taste good.

    Skip the fat-free dressing, stick with the regular.  All you need to focus on is reducing the amount you use, and if possible, choose some sort of vinaigrette which includes some healthy fats.  If you are getting a salad when you’re out and about, ALWAYS ask for your dressing on the side.  Otherwise, you’re at the mercy of however much (generally WAY too much) dressing they pour on top.

    Adding Croutons

    While adding some texture and crunch to your salad, croutons are one of the worst things you can add as a topping.  Essentially, all the store-bought croutons you find are full of nothing but processed white flour that provides you with no health benefit at all.  Many times, croutons are fried, which adds unhealthy fat to your diet.

    Sure, you could use bread and make your own croutons at home, but again, all you’re doing to your salad is adding carbohydrates which increases the total calorie count.

    My suggestion?   Skip the croutons altogether.   When you go to a restaurant, ask the waiter if you can have your salad without croutons.  They will be more than happy to accommodate your request.

    Skipping The Protein

    As mentioned earlier, lettuce does not contain many calories. It’s mostly made up of water.   Even after adding a little vinaigrette to your salad and tossing in some healthy vegetables like tomatoes, onion, carrots, cucumber, and even some peppers, you’re still not left with a satiating meal that provides any sort of bulk to your meal.  If you want to increase satiety, consider adding some protein to your salad.

    Protein is necessary for building lean muscle mass as well as needed to maintain and preserve it.   Protein is also very filling and can add some quality macros to your salad.  

    Additionally, protein has the highest thermic effect of food (TEF), which means it takes your body more energy to digest, absorb, and utilize this macronutrient than any of the others.  What this means is that your body will burn more calories when you consume protein with your meals.

    Consider adding some lean cuts of steak on top of your salad, some hardboiled eggs, shrimp, grilled salmon, or even the most commonly used protein source, which is grilled chicken.   If animal protein isn’t your thing, you can use tofu or other plant-based protein alternatives to add to your salad to increase the overall protein content.

    Another topping that includes protein that many people forget about is chickpeas.  These delicious little balls of protein goodness can spruce up any salad you add them to.

    Using Too Much Cheese

    While not the worst offender when it comes to toppings on your salad, cheese quickly causes the calorie count to shoot up due to the fat content.  If you get a salad from a restaurant, they tend to go a little overboard with how much they put on top.  When putting cheese on your salad at home, many people have a difficult time eyeballing the correct serving size and don’t necessarily want to weigh or measure everything out.

    The best thing to do would be to skip cheese as a topping with your salad or put on a TINY amount just to add a little flavor if you absolutely must have cheese on your salad.

    The Type Of Salad Matters (They’re Not All Created Equal)

    Without getting into the plethora of names given to salads these days, I just want you to think about what’s available and what you generally find in all of the various salads out there.  

    A salad can come with a taco shell, glazed nuts, dried fruit, wontons, nuts, seeds, processed meat, fried toppings – the list goes on and on.  Every little thing added to your salad will alter the macros and calorie count.

    Many of the toppings mentioned can definitely alter and improve the flavor of a salad and make it more palatable, but at the expense of causing your salad to become more calorie-dense.

    BONUS TIP!

    If you’re packing a salad for a meal on the go or for lunch, there are a few things you need to know.   First, ALWAYS wash and dry your greens before you package them in a container to take with you.  If you pack them up wet, your salad will go limp, and it can ruin the flavor and texture of your salad.  

     The second tip is to never add your dressing on top of your salad if you don’t intend on eating it right away.  Similar to what happens when you don’t dry off your greens, the leaves will wilt, and the flavor will be altered.  Pack your dressing separately and take it with you to add when you’re ready to sit down and eat.

    Original article may be found directly on Nutrabio's site.

    Want to be featured by ICON Meals? Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!

    Five FREE Killer High-Protein Sandwich Recipes

    Five FREE Killer High-Protein  Sandwich Recipes

    Sandwiches are a quick and easy meal for active days, and when there’s fun in the sun to be had nobody wants to spend too much time in the kitchen.

     

    It’s also tough to get enough protein in when you’re running around! We’ve solved both problems with one stone — a short recipe ebook featuring 5 amazing sandwiches that are easy to make. Using two slices of our Protein Bread will add 30g of protein to your macros all by themselves.

     

    [Download FREE Recipes ebook]

     

    Download High Protein Sandwich Recipes

     Order Protein Bread

     

    3 Custom Meals For Fat Loss

    3 Custom Meals For Fat Loss

    Calories put on pounds, simple as that. If you want to lose weight, just cut out the calories, right? Well — it’s not that simple. To stay HEALTHY while cutting you still need to eat well. The key is to load up your diet with foods rich in nutrients and proteins, and low in saturated fats and calories. High-protein foods keep you feeling full longer, reducing hunger cravings — the #1 diet destroyer.

     

    How much protein is enough for you? According to the Dietary Reference Intake Report, the maintenance zone for sedentary people is 0.36g/day for every pound they weigh*. Let’s assume readers of this blog are more active and focused on muscle building, we’ll increase that number to 0.75g/day. If you weigh 220lbs, you need 165g/protein a day.

     

    Build Custom Meals Now

     


    Three Custom Meals Designed To Lose Fat

     

    1. Chicken, Sweet Potato Mash, and Green Beans

     

    It’s tough to get any cleaner than this meal. Our super lean chicken breast clocks in at 6.25g of protein per ounce. Green Beans provide an incredible amount of nutrients in a calorically small package, and our sweet potato mash will keep you feeling full and energetic! This balanced and tasty meal is perfect for controlling weight.

     

    ICON Meals Chicken Custom Meal

     

    2. Shrimp, Red Potatoes, and Broccoli 

     

    Inspired by Louisiana crawfish boils, this meal features low-fat, high-protein shrimp that will keep hunger at bay without piling on the calories. Red potatoes provide valuable healthy fats (necessary for any healthy diet), a reasonable amount of carbs, and a bonus boost of protein. Broccoli provides an incredible amount of nutrients in a calorically small package.

     

    ICON Meals Custom Meals Shrimp

     

    3. Turkey Breast, Sweet Potatoes, and Green Beans

     

    Feeling like some fall-favorite comfort food? Turkey is almost as protein-packed as chicken at 6g/oz, while still being super clean and lean. Add just a little oven roasted sweet potato for flavor balance and fiber, plus green beans to round out the carbs and add even more fiber. It’s a meal that will fill you up on just a few calories.

     

    ICON Meals Custom Meal Turkey

    We’ll Do The Math For You!

    Our website features a macro calculator that updates live as you select between portion sizes. It’s incredibly easy for you to find your perfect macro balance with a few clicks.

     

    Just remember: if you’re active you need to consume roughly 0.5g of protein for every pound you weigh, daily.

     

    Put together your custom meals today.

     


     

    *https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx

    Recipe: Brisket Baked Sweet Potato

    The 4th of July around these parts means brisket. Combine Texas’s favorite cut of meat with a baked sweet potato and you’ve got a dangerously delicious and easy meal. Make it even easier by having us ship the brisket and seasoning directly to your door.

    The Recipe

    Prep time: 45 minutes (mostly baking the sweet potato)

     

    Ingredients

    • Large sweet potato
    • 1 lb brisket
    • ¼ cup ICON Tennessee Whiskey Flavor
    • 2 cups diced tomatoes (fresh if possible)
    • 1 cup water
    • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese (more to taste)
    • ¼ cup green onions (more to taste)

    Instructions

    1. Wash and dry all fresh produce.
    2. Drizzle olive oil on sweet potato, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and bake in oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees until tender.
    3. In a large saucepan combine brisket, water, tomatoes, and ICON Tennessee Whiskey Flavor. Mix until thoroughly combined. Cook on high until simmering, then drop to medium low heat for 15 minutes.
    4. When the sweet potato is done baking, remove from foil and place on serving plate. Cut one deep slice lengthwise and slightly squeeze ends to create a hollow “canoe.”
    5. Fill sweet potato canoe with brisket mixture. Top with cheddar cheese and green onions.

     

    Click here to buy 1lb of brisket

    Click here to buy Tennessee Whiskey Seasoning

    How To Make High Protein Oatmeal

    In this video, Chef Danny walks you through his simple high protein oatmeal recipe using our ICON Cinnamon Honey Butter Seasoning. 

    Ingredients: 

    • 2 Cups Water

    • 1 Cup Oatmeal

    • 1 Cup Egg whites

    • 2 Tbsp ICON Cinnamon Honey Butter Seasoning

    Instructions:

    • Bring Water to a boil

    • Stir in oatmeal, let cook for 1-2 minutes

    ª Whisk in egg whites and seasoning

    • Add more seasoning on top and enjoy!

     


    Order ICON Seasoning: https://iconmeals.com/collections/seasonings