The sun has been out at least three times this week and it’s getting marginally warmer. So you’ve decided to eat outside on your lunch break, maybe you have made your own lunch.

Whilst enjoying the warmth from one of the day’s seven minutes of sunshine on your face, you’re thinking about that holiday coming up in a few months where you’ll get to enjoy a whole lot more of that feeling. Then you start thinking about the fact that you’ll be spending it less clothed. That’s why, instead of a sandwich, you’ve gone for a salad. Because it’s better for you than a sandwich right?

Probably. But consider this:

It’s filler that isn’t filling (at least not for very long anyway). You’ll be more likely to overindulge and to give in to cravings later in the day if you’re eating mainly leaves at lunch. So firstly, make sure it has some protein with it; meat, fish, eggs or cottage cheese. Then finish it off with a little good fat from avocado, olive oil or nuts. That will help blunt hunger.

Yes it’s green, but it’s largely pointless. To be clear – I’m talking Iceberg here. The leaves themselves are nothing more than a potential vector for food born pathogens and toxic chemicals (unless you buy organic, and then it’s just the pathogens) to get into your body.

If you are going to eat leaves, go with darker lettuces (such as red leaf or romaine) that contain more antioxidants and nutrients than the typically lighter-colored heads (such as iceberg). Even better, go with something that has even more nutritional value like spinach, rocket or watercress. Better still, have a salad based on dark green vegetables like broccoli, kale or chard. And then have lots of brightly coloured vegetables with it.

And then the dressing. If it’s covered in something made from sugar or ‘bad’ fats, don’t con yourself into thinking you are making a ‘healthy’ choice. Just go with the sandwich. Or a burger.

I’m not even going to touch on ‘pasta salad’

That’s it. Now you can make a better salad and a more informed choice.