A lot of people turn to salads when trying to lose weight. When ordering in restaurants, it's important to remember to tell them to hold the croutons, cheese & bacon and always get the dressing on the side. When you start piling that all on a salad, you start to ruin the health factor and add all kinds of calories/fat.
Luckily, I'm not a huge salad dressing person. I like it, but I don't need much of it. In a restaurant, I always order it on the side and put on as little as possible (just dip your fork in and sprinkle it on top...add more as necessary). At home, I do things a little differently.
I typically buy "light" salad dressings. I do not like fat free dressings at all. I would much rather have less of the real thing. Besides calories/fat, bottled salad dressings also have quite a bit of sodium, so one more thing to watch for!
One suggestion I have for bottled ranch dressing (as it's a staple here in Texas): add water to the bottle. It thins out the dressing, which will spread easier on your salad without actually having to put more dressing on it. Does that make sense? Also, one reason I like restaurant ranch is that it is usually thin, as opposed to the thick dressings in a bottle. It's just my own preference.
Lately, I've been making my own salsa and put it on the salad. I chop tomatoes, a little onion, jalepenos, cilantro & lime juice....put it in a container and it's ready for the week.
In the past, I've also used the juice from cherry tomatoes as well as pepperochini juice (lot of sodium there too). It helps the salad not be so dry, but without the calories/fat of the dressing.
I've been having to add a protein bar or shake in the afternoons because my salads have definitely not contained enough and I am starving an hour or two after I eat them. This week I purchased Jennie O turkey burgers and have topped my salads with them. It's pretty tasty! Adding the turkey burger does add about 200 calories to my salad but also nearly 30 grams of protein....and it keeps me full longer so I am not snacking within an hour.
So hopefully you now have a couple of alternatives to keep your salads healthy ones!