Whether you're going for a slimmer waistline or simply a more nutritious meal, salads can be a solid standby--as long as you choose ingredients wisely. When visiting a salad bar or a create-your-own-salad restaurant, loading your bowl with fattening add-ins or even too many healthy options can quickly turn a diet-friendly mix into a calorie bomb. "People don't realize how quickly it adds up," says Karin Hosenfeld, RD, a Dallas-based dietitian. "If you have a quarter cup each of croutons, cheese, sunflower seeds, raisins, and bacon bits, you're already up to 400 calories. Three tablespoons of ranch dressing adds another 215." To keep your weight in check, cap your calories at 500 (600 if you're less weight conscious). Here are seven simple ways to do it without skimping on taste.
Related: Flatten your stomach with the hundreds of powerfood meals in The New Abs Diet Cookbook!