Whenever someone tries to lose weight, salads are usually first on the list.

While salads are good for dieting -- well, actually, they are great -- be careful about the salad dressing you pick and how much you use. Be sure to measure it.

Don't just grab the bottle and begin pouring, because chances are that you will pour on too much. Use a tablespoon to spread the dressing and only use two tablespoons.

If this doesn't sound like enough, try putting your dressing in a separate container and dip sparingly. While cream-based dressings, such as ranch or blue cheese, may be more appealing, find a vinaigrette that is tasty.

And if you really want to be creative, whip up your very own dressing using olive oil and a low-fat recipe.

While salads may be part of your new health regiment when you set out to lose weight, be sure to watch your sodium intake ...

salt shaker shaking out salt

No. 2: Sodium

A lot of people do not realize that sodium or salt intake will decrease the chances of shedding pounds.

As you drop items in your cart at the grocery store, be sure to pay attention to the sodium on the nutritional value content label. If you really want your weight loss tactics to be effective, reduce your sodium intake to about 1,000 milligrams.

Sodium is a necessary nutrient, but too much of it will cause you to retain water.

Another way to avoid higher levels of sodium is to avoid processed foods, which are typically loaded with sodium. Also avoid salted nuts, chips and snacks. Instead of using seasoning salts that contain massive amounts of sodium, use herbs, peppers and vegetables to season your food.

But even if you decrease the amount of sodium, don't go crazy with smoothies ...

Smoothie

No. 1: Smoothies

There's a huge craze going on right now and it may just be packing on the pounds and you don't even know it. Smoothies can be healthy and tasty, but if not made with the correct ingredients can pack on the pounds.

When making or buying a smoothie be sure that it isn't made with some sort of pre-made concoction that will add calories. The best smoothies are made with fresh or frozen fruit, low-fat milk and yogurt.

If you use any additive such as fat burner or protein, pay close attention to the nutritional value. Be sure to check out the sugar grams so that your smoothie is truly a healthy addition to your diet.

And be sure to get a nutritional content chart when ordering from smoothie bars and fast-food restaurants to be sure that the smoothie is a good choice. You also may want to consider getting the smallest size because of course it would have the fewest calories.

Distributed by Internet Broadcasting. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.