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Losing Weight With Green Lettuce! Yes, but…

It is a commonly held belief that green lettuce can make us lose weight. In order to lose weight, many people morph into rabbits and start eating salads at each meal. Sure, lettuce is a nutritive and refreshing dish, but it is not a complete meal in itself!

First of all, it is true that green lettuce is very low in calories, but only at one condition: you should not use too much salad dressing! If your salad turns the colors of your dressing, you have used too much of it. Use it sparingly!

Green lettuce is nutritious, just like other vegetables. However, a few lettuce leaves and a dash of dressing will not provide you with enough carbohydrates and proteins to satisfy your hunger. Remember that a meal should provide a minimum of 45 g of carbohydrates, 8 g of fiber, and 15 g of proteins. To do so, you need to integrate one serving of each of the 4 food groups to your salad:

User’s Guide


1. Start by adding one vegetable to your salad

  • 250 ml (1 cup) of lettuce (romaine, frilly, iceberg, etc.), spinach, or cabbage
  • AND/OR 125 ml (½ cup) coloured vegetables (sweet peppers, mushrooms, grated carrots, etc.)

2. Add one grain product

  • 250 ml (1 cup) whole-wheat croutons or sweet corn
  • OR 125 ml (½ cup) chinese noodles, brown rice, couscous, or barley

3. Add one dairy product

  • 60 g cheese with less than 20 % M.F.

4. Complete with one meat or meat alternative

  • 90 g (3 oz) beef, pork, chicken or turkey
  • OR 120 g (4 oz) fish or seafoods
  • OR 2 eggs
  • OR 45 ml (3 tablespoons) nuts or seeds
  • OR 125 ml (½ cup) legumes
  • OR 150 g (5 oz) tofu

5. Decorate with a fruit if you like

  • 60 ml (4 tablespoons) dried fruits, such as cranberries
  • OR 1 fruit (apple, orange, etc.)
  • OR 250 ml (1 cup) blueberries
  • OR 375 ml (1½ cup) strawberries or blackberries

6. Add a few drops of salad dressing and mix thoroughly

  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) regular salad dressing
  • OR 30 ml (2 tablespoons) low-fat salad dressing

For healthy salad dressing ideas, read Healthy vinaigrette ideas for your salads. The Zero Diet book by Karine Larose also suggests an interesting range of complete, healthy, and filling salads.

By Vanessa Martin, nutritionist

Vanessa Martin

A newcomer to Nautilus Plus, Vanessa Martin holds a degree in nutrition from the Université de Montréal and is a member in good standing of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec. She also works in the hospital setting and loves to blog in her spare time. Passionate and versatile, Vanessa plans on enhancing her knowledge in the field of psychology with an eye to better guiding and motivating the habit-changing endeavors of her clients. Member of a running club, she enjoys taking part in the competitions organized in her area. Vanessa is currently training for a 21 km race and would like to run her first marathon!

Losing Weight With Green Lettuce! Yes, but... is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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