If you want to be polite, order a salad, right? Don’t just pop on your back just yet! Classic Cobb with chopped bacon, eggs, blue cheese, avocado and cream uniforms at over 1,000 calories. Likewise, a restaurant’s standard salad is usually stocked with Swiss cheese, roast beef, eggs and dough – and will set you back about the same. Not so ideal.

Instead, reduce your cravings using these four simple guidelines.

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Rule # 1: Load on vegetables.

What’s more, more … and everything goes. Stick to raw or cooked vegetables and steer clear of those that are fried or swim in oily marinades.

Rule 2: Add plenty of protein.

Think grilled chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, egg whites and tofu. And don’t forget about beans, such as black beans and chickpeas, that reap health benefits.

Rule # 3: Choose one or two accessories.

Here’s where you can decorate your salad with 1 to 2 tablespoons of sprinkles of nuts, seeds, avocados, cheese (even croutons or granola!). But try to reduce the parts to keep the calories in check – few of these benefits go a long way.

Rule # 4: Go easy on dressing.

Restaurant and bottled bandages are usually very warm! A large spill can quickly add up to more than 300 calories, which is before you think about the salad below. So, place with 1 to 2 tablespoons to keep the salads bright.

Or, make these easy-to-prepare DIY dressings that are low in calories (and sodium) but apple-packed with flavor.

Joy’s Balsamic Vinaigrette: This delicious vinaigrette, at just 28 calories per tablespoon, is easy to toss together and uses only a few of the main ingredients you probably already have on hand. Get a recipe!

Joy’s Buttermilk Ranch: This zesty recipe gives a calorie laden ranch a run for its money. It is equally creamy and tastes like the real thing. Not to mention, this version is an ant of 11 calories per tablespoon. Your greens will surely make the best dressed list. Get a recipe.

Joy’s Caesar Dressing: Last but certainly not least, try this wonderful Caesar dressing for only 20 calories a tablespoon. It adds a dose of healthy fats and nutrition and flavors it to perfection. Get a recipe.

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