Are you still hoping to fit into your swimsuit this summer?

Are you still hoping to fit into your swimsuit this summer?

If so, here’s a slimming summer solution! Start your meal with salad. A Pennsylvania State University study suggests that starting your lunch with a salad can make you feel full enough to reduce your calorie consumption for the rest of the meal.

The study examined the impact of starting a meal with or without a salad and how many calories would be consumed at the meal.

In the study, subjects were offered a small or large salad 20 minutes before the meal.

Here’s what they found: Eating a large salad that is low in calories before your meal may help you eat fewer calories at your meal. The low-calorie salad keeps the calories low while filling you up.

However, if the salad is loaded with cheese, bacon, croutons and high-fat salad dressing, then the total calories consumed at the meal will be much higher.

There are several things you can do to keep the calories from climbing on your summer salads.

 Fruit adds fun sweet and sour flavors. Consider mandarin oranges, strawberries, kiwi or pears.


Keep salads interesting by loading them with different crunchy and colorful vegetables. The salads used in this study were loaded with tons of veggies including iceberg and romaine lettuce, carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery and cucumber.


Try low-fat vinaigrettes like raspberry or balsamic.


Cracked pepper, dried oregano, fresh parsley and fresh basil are excellent choices to add flavor.

The bottom line: Serve a large low-calorie salad before meals at home. When you go out to eat, ask the server to bring a large tossed salad minus the croutons and bacon bits and with the dressing on the side

Peppers and orange spinach salad

Source: recipe courtesy of Mrs. Dash

Preparation time: 10 min

Serves: 6

All You Need:

2 medium green bell peppers, cored and seeded, julienne

1 medium orange, zest removed, peeled and sectioned

1 head Boston lettuce, washed and torn into pieces

2 cups fresh baby spinach

1/2 small red onion, cut into thin rings

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Table Blend

zest from orange (above)

All You Do:

Prepare peppers and zest orange before peeling and sectioning.

Toss lettuce and spinach together, divide between 6 plates.

Arrange pepper slices, orange sections and onion rings on top of the lettuce.

Make dressing by combining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Mrs. Dash® Table Blend and orange zest.

Prepare dressing just before serving.

Drizzle salad with dressing and serve.