Despite the limits set by the weight-loss plan I adopted for my lifestyle change, I chose to eat as many non-starchy vegetables as I wanted, as long as I wasn’t adding extra salad dressing or fat. I gave myself license to indulge both at meals (I made as many green beans as I wanted) and if I was hungry between planned eating times. I felt this was a more realistic approach to the challenges that would confront me.
Sometimes I would be really hungry and just need to eat. Sometimes I was battling with some emotion, but not aware enough of what was going on to stop myself from eating. Either way, I figured that if I really felt the urge to eat then I would be happy to eat naked vegetables. If you’re really hungry, sugar snap peas, raw carrots, and cauliflower are appealing and satisfying. If you are emotionally grazing, the guilt of indulging isn’t nearly as bad.
How many undressed vegetables most of us willing eat is pretty self-limiting. They aren’t nearly as appealing as carrots dipped in ranch dressing or cauliflower covered in cheese sauce. And they don’t have the same allure as potato chips–the addictive combination of carbohydrates, fat, and salt. Even when I’ve binged on half of a head of roasted cauliflower, I was okay with it. I hadn’t eaten very many calories, cauliflower is a really good source of nutrients (versus pigging out on a box of Cinnamon Life cereal), and I must have been really hungry to have eaten that much. Caving to the urge to eat but not giving in to gorging on empty calories helped to free me from feeling guilty. It’s a worthwhile trade-off when dealing with hunger, or even emotionally-driven eating.