It seems the second I say those six famous words "I'm having a salad for dinner", I am automatically transformed into a healthy-eating guru, right? Well, not necessarily. It's no secret I've been dieting since I married my wife Donna. Donna can cook, and she is an amazing cook. That's my first problem. My second problem is that I am not afraid to eat.

But just when I think I'm eating healthy and slimming down, along comes this article at about how salads can make a person like me fat and/or fatter. This is for real?

Those restaurant salads with the famous Texas ranch dressing can have over 1,000 calories. WHAT? How can a plate of lettuce, tomatoes, carrot slivers, and ranch dressing make the scale in my bathroom look like a Ferrari when it goes from zero to 275 in two seconds flat?

Simple  - it's all the added extras like croutons, boiled eggs, sunflower seeds, raisins, cranberries, ham bits, salad dressing, and even some of those tasty honey-roasted pecans I get from that kiosk in the mall.

It's the add-ons and that wonderful ranch dressing in which I drown my salads. Here are's top 5 reasons why your salads might be making you gain weight.

1. The Dressing: We are not paying attention to the dressing. That wonderful Texas favorite ranch dressing is rich in calories.

2. The Croutons: Adding that crunch to the salad is running up the calorie count.

3. Skipping the Protein: First off DON'T. The protein is necessary for building lean muscle mass as well as maintaining and preserving it. Protein is also filling and can add some quality macros to your salad.

4. The Cheese: It's not the worst offender, but cheese quickly adds to the calorie count due to its fat content. When in doubt, don't.

5. The Salad Matters: Here in Texas, especially West Texas, a salad can come in a taco shell, with glazed nuts, dried fruit, wontons, nuts, seeds, processed meat, and fried toppings. Every little thing added to your salad boosts the calorie count.

Just remember to think before you build your next salad. Yes, Texas Ranch dressing is the bomb and I'm not cutting it out, but I will be cutting back on it. See you at the table.


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