How often have you been to a salad station in a take- out lunch place with someone on the other side ready to fill your bowl? I have many clients that are faced with this situation daily during their work week.

Here you are at the counter with an array of vegetables, fruits, toppings, meats, chicken, eggs, bacon, olives and so many choices. The server listens to your instructions on what to put in that bowl. Therefore you need to take command of the situation; it is your choice. Keep in mind that their goal is to "stuff that salad bowl" so it will cost more money. This has been a major "aha" moment for many of my clients, and together we have devised a plan that puts them in the driver's seat.

So first of all there is a choice of bowl sizes. Needless to say, the server is concerned with charging the most money. Your concern should be portion control. If you elect to fill the majority of the bowl with greens there will be much less room to add. Nowadays chopped salad is the newest trend. Please be aware that chopping the salad decreases the visual amount and therefore you would naturally add more salad fixings bringing the price up. That is "stuffing the bowl" the unhealthful way!

Instead after the greens, go for protein in a portion the size of your fist. All other vegetables should add fiber, color and of course crunch. Omit non vegetable items (croutons, crunchy noodles, bacon bits, etc) and anything marinated in oil, except sardines, tuna or anchovies. Ask for salad dressing in a separate container that you control. If soup is available that may be an option.

Keep in mind you can always have more if after eating and waiting 20 minutes you are still truly hungry.

Salad stations were not always around, they have replaced do- it -yourself salad bars in many neighborhoods, taking away your ability to create your own salad and monitor the portions. Many food items and large portion sizes are included. I have seen ravioli, lasagna, egg rolls, dim sum, spareribs, cocktail franks, meatballs, and white cheesy sauces. This is not in the best interest of the waistline, but in the interest of the business' bottom line. Their added weight represents added revenue to the business. This added weight does not benefit you. On your next visit for lunch you can outsmart the salad serverArticle Search, save money and unnecessary calories.

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