Seven Foods You Can Compulsively Overeat without Getting Fat
Earlier this week, we talked about compulsive and emotional eating in recognition of Emotional Overeating Awareness Month.
Even if you are not struggling with a regular pattern of emotional overeating, it’s still common to sporadically run into moments where you find yourself compelled to eat out of stress, nervousness, or boredom. Whether you’re feeling distressed or battling with oral fixation, and you just need something to snack on, the trick is finding a middle ground by surrounding yourself with foods that you can eat in abundance without adding to your waist line or damaging your mood and health.
Here are seven foods you can eat, and keep eating, without an ounce of guilt or remorse:
Broccoli is a low-calorie powerhouse of nutrients, and for a non-starchy vegetable, it has a decent amount of protein. Broccoli is both filling and delicious, eaten raw for a satisfying crunch, or steamed for warm, comforting nourishment.
Hearts of palm are incredibly flavorful and healthy, delivering a rich concentration of potassium, B6, and fiber in its velvety, tender texture. Hearts of palm are delicious to snack on right out of the jar and also taste wonderful sliced up in tossed salads.
Cherry tomatoes are nature’s candy! These shiny red globes of flavor are sweet and savory at once, providing a high quantity of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects the skin and lowers your risk of diseases caused by cellular damage. For a summery and vitamin-packed snack, eat a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes—whole for a refreshing burst, or halved and mixed into your salad.
Water chestnuts are especially satisfying because they taste richer than they are. Their crunchy yet smooth texture says ‘potato’ to the taste buds while packing a relatively tiny caloric value and zero fat and cholesterol. Munch on these for a filling snack that feels more indulgent than it is.
If you’re staying away from sugar but wresting with a sweet tooth, reach for an apple, or two, or three! Apples will relieve your sugar craving with their sweet juiciness while delivering plenty of fiber, a host of vitamins, and most importantly, pectin, which aids in digestion and prevents the build up of bad cholesterol.
Have you every heard someone say that celery burns more calories than is contains? Well it’s true. Celery, comprised of about 75% water and 25% plant fiber, takes more energy to digest than to eat and nourishes you with extra vitamin A, C, and K to boot. You can really go to town on this veggie—the more you eat, the better!
The flavorful, delicate flesh of artichokes supports digestive health and liver function and provides tons of cancer-fighting antioxidants. High-flavor, low-calorie artichokes can be eaten in a variety of ways: hot or cold, grilled or steamed. Artichoke hearts make a perfect appetizer or addition to a salad, and the meat at the base of steamed artichoke leaves makes really fun finger food.
If you’re feeling a compulsive need to eat, you can go to town on each of these foods without a trace of worry about the consequences. It’s difficult to stop depending on food as an emotional soother, and, in the process of breaking habits of emotional overeating, it’s normal to experience setbacks. The most important thing is to have compassion for yourself in this process, and to support yourself by planning ahead and making healthy options available and plentiful.