6. Always start with a salad
Saying no to a starter salad may seem like a smart way to nix a few excess calories, but it could actually be counterproductive to weight maintenance, according to a study from Pennsylvania State University. Study subjects who noshed on a bed of greens before digging into their dinner actually consumed up to 12 percent fewer calories over the course of their meal. The reason: “Vegetables, like salads, are high volume, low calorie, and a good source of fiber. They will fill you up, so you’ll naturally want to eat less,” explains Smith. “The thing to watch for is the dressing. Be sparse and choosy or you’ll wind up taking in far too many calories before you dig into your main meal.” When you’re dining out, oil and vinegar with some fresh ground pepper is always a safe bet.
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