Sure, every body and everybody’s diet is different. But if you’re a time-strapped dieter trying to lose weight, you’re bound to eat a lot of salad.
And as long as you stay away from fatty add-ons like bacon bits and crispy noodles, your strategy is sure to pay off–eventually. The road to weight loss success can be slow going, but by throwing ingredients in your bowl that scientists say rev metabolism, bust hunger or burn belly fat, your daily bowl of greens can become an effective vehicle in helping you reach your goals even faster—without sacrificing flavor. Whether you’re whipping something up at home or grabbing a make-your-own variety from the corner deli, our delicious topping picks will deliver the results you’re looking for at lighting-speed. Plus, they’re super tasty, too—especially when eaten with the suggested salad pairing we’ve provided for each.
1 SWEET PEPPERS
You may already know that hot peppers can rev your metabolism, but did you know that their sweet-tasting, bell-shaped cousins have similar effects? It’s all thanks to their metabolism-boosting compound called dihydrocapsiate. In one study, participants who consumed dihydrocapsiate experienced a metabolic boost that was nearly double that of the placebo group! But that’s not all: Sweet red and green bell peppers are also rich in vitamin C—a nutrient that fights back against stress hormones that trigger fat storage in the stomach.
Pair it with: Romaine + avocado + onion + black beans + tomato + balsamic vinegar + fresh pepper
Want to save cash, improve your health and lose weight in one fell swoop? Add eggs to your greens in lieu of more expensive protein sources like chicken. In addition to the hunger-quelling effects of the whites, the yellow center is an abundant source of a fat-fighting nutrient called choline. It works by suppressing levels of the hunger-stoking hormone leptin, which fuels between-meal cravings. Yolks also increase your body’s absorption of heart-protecting, cancer-fighting antioxidants called carotenoids, found in popular salad veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, carrots and sweet potato.
Pair it with: Kale + sautéed Brussels sprouts + carrots + mushroom + red wine vinegar + extra-virgin olive oil + fresh pepper
We’ve got some berry good news: According to two recent animal studies, consuming a diet rich in polyphenols–a naturally occurring chemical found abundantly in strawberries, blueberries and raspberries–can decrease the formation of fat cells by up to 73 percent! While we can’t be certain the same will hold true in humans, the sweet fruits are also filled with water and fiber—two nutrients that help ward off hunger—so there are proven benefits to adding them to your plate of greens.
Pair it with: Mixed greens + Gorgonzola + pecans + onions + grilled chicken + balsamic vinaigrette