Eating a salad or a cup of soup before your meal can be a habit that pays off in pounds. Chosen correctly, these low calorie starters can fill you up, curb your appetite, and prevent overeating.
Choose a broth or vegetable-based soup like minestrone rather than a cream or milk-based soup that is higher fat and calories. When your soup is packed with vegetables, it will fill you up and provide the fiber and nutrition you need to be slim and healthy. If you're using a ready-made soup, you can add more vegetables -- fresh or frozen.
Top your salad with low calorie dressing. Or even better, use vinegar (try balsamic, rice, and flavored varieties) or a squeeze of fresh lemon to add flavor with minimal calories. A classic leaf lettuce salad will do, but the greater the mix of vegetables the more interesting and healthy it will be. Try adding broccoli slaw, sliced cucumbers, onions… even skipping the lettuce. Be adventurous!
However you construct your soup or salad, it's important that it's tasty, low in calories, and enjoyed before your meal. Or better yet, make it a little bigger and make it your meal!
Megan Porter, RD