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Old 11-27-2010, 10:27 PM   #1  
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Default Why don't vegetables satisfy me?

I love vegetables, I honestly do, and I eat a lot of them. But they just don't seem to satisfy me as much as other foods. I can eat a lot of them since they're low calorie, but even though the bulk and volume makes me feel full, I still feel unsatiated for some reason.

I ate a HUGE salad for dinner tonight; it filled a large mixing bowl. There was romaine lettuce, mandarin orances, craisins, quite a bit of ham, a little bit of cheese, and pineapple salsa for dressing. It was actually fairly high-calorie for a salad. I ate it, loved it, and I was stuffed full, but I still felt like I needed to eat something more "substantial." Like bread or a big chunk of meat or something.

I dunno, I really think it's just a mental thing. Do any of you feel unsatisfied if you primarily eat vegetables for meals or snacks?
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:01 PM   #2  
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I usually eat protein with my vegetables and protein always makes me feel full.. I don't eat meat but usually if it's a salad I'm having I'll have a greek salad with feta, or a smoked salmon salad, bean salad etc..

I think if I had the same salad you had tonight I'd definitely feel full although if a salad was JUST vegetables I might not feel as satisfied..
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:21 AM   #3  
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It isn't just you!

I don't know if it's a mental thing or an ingrained habit or what, but no matter what size a salad is, it still seems like the thing you eat before a meal and not a meal unto itself. I'm also a veggie-lover and have no problem getting more than my allotted servings of vegetables in any given day, but eating a snack or meal composed almost exclusively of vegetables/fruit leaves me unsatisfied.

I deal with it in a couple of ways. Sometimes I just make sure to add enough fat and protein to a salad to make it "stick"--kind of like what you did with the ham on your salad, only more so. Other times, I eat a big, but light salad before a meal, even if that "meal" is actually only a small snack of nuts and cheese.

It also helps to vary temperatures and textures. A salad, regardless of how many tasty ingredients it has, generally contains cold stuff. Crunchy cold stuff, tangy cold stuff, sweet cold stuff, but...yeah. My taste buds fail to stand up and salute. Drop a few slivers of hot, garlicky roast chicken or heated leftover turkey on there and they seem to perk up a little and recognize a salad as food.

For me, there's definitely two different gauges in my brain: empty/full and unsated/satiated. Filling myself with bulky veggies is about as likely to result in satiety as filling my car's gas tank is likely to replenish my windshield wiper fluid.

I could try to fight my nature on this and tell myself that a sufficiently huge salad really IS dinner, but I doubt I'd believe it this time any more than I have any other time I've tried to find satisfaction at the bottom of my salad bowl. Instead I just try to work with the brain I've got--eat the cheese and meat items separately from my salad so they feel more meal-like, for instance, or heat stuff up so my salad has a 'hot meal' component.
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:30 AM   #4  
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Salads never fill me up unless they have a considerable amount of meat (3 oz). Doesn't matter what type of vegetable are included. I rarely eat just a salad for a meal, I'm hungry 2 hours or less later.
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:39 AM   #5  
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I eat lots of vegetables that don't "look" like vegetables; in other words instead of eating a bowl of broccoli or something I'll have a meal with little bits of broccoli(and other veggies) incorporated in the main dish. I allow myself all kind of creative freedom with this since I'm vegan and the vegetables I eat this way really bulk up my meal without giving me the mental "oh, I only just ate a bunch of vegetables, I need something more substantial with that" that might happen otherwise.
(Ironically, considering that I'm vegan, I never ever eat salads, though.)
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:08 AM   #6  
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I'm completely 100% with you. I could eat a whole pound of carrots and not be satisfied (though stuffed from a volume perspective).

A few of my tricks are to spice up my salad with chicken, dried fruit, cheese, and fun salad dressings...not enough that the calorie count is outrageous, but enough that it registers that I'm not eating just lettuce...however, the amount of protein that I put on has to be warm and "substantial" (3-4oz) for my brain to go "oh, okay this is lunch."

However, I've also gotten into a habit of having a lighter breakfast, lunch, and snacks and heavy supper (as I eat pretty early sometimes). So, If I was to say suddenly go from 600 calories meat and potato style supper to 400 calories in a salad I would think my body would notice the density difference and go "wait...where's the carbs?"? Something to think about
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:01 AM   #7  
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Totally with you. And the thing that goes through my brain is why on earth am I sitting here eating all this if it doesn't help me feel full? Vitamins... hmm, could just take a pill instead of pointlessly eating leaves. Not a helpful thought process, but I just feel that if the only part of the meal that is actually working for me is the "real food" part - say, the chicken - then why have I wasted time, money and effort preparing chicken on a salad? May as well eat 3oz of chicken and call it dinner. Haven't quite got to the point of understanding why I'd bother to put it on a salad, if all I want is 3oz chicken I'll just but it on skewers and cook it in tiny cubes so it looks like a lot and then eat it - minus the salad.

The only reason I wish I could stomach a big salad is so I can order it in a restaurant, but even then I'd be thinking I wish I could have the chicken salad with no salad, just bring me the cubes of chicken.
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:48 AM   #8  
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Well, I think your need for something "substantial" is mental. You could probably end that feeling if you ignored it a few weeks.

But, you still have to be aware that vegetables are mostly water - so, you literally digest them much quicker. It is easy to be hungry two hours later if your meal consisted mainly of fruits or veggies. And that hunger is certainly NOT mental.

Maybe your need for something substantial is really what you unconsciously do to ward off the hunger that you know you would have, if you did not eat the substantial item.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:32 AM   #9  
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It may be exactly the body craving protein. If you choose to try to avoid the chicken or other meat, you might add some beans or nuts.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:54 AM   #10  
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Thanks guys

I've been at the weight loss thing for over a year now, and salads just do not fit into my meal rotations. I like the occasional salad, I love salads as snacks and sides, but no matter what is on it, it doesn't register in my brain as "that was a meal." On the salad that I ate the other night, there was a significant amount of ham on it, 5 ounces, in fact. Ham, cheese, craisins, salsa, mandarin oranges, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and a ton of lettuce. The whole salad was 475 calories, and it was a huge bowl. Lots of protein, some fat, lots of bulk. And even though my tummy felt full of food, my brain was still waiting for the main course.

RoseRodent, I'm the EXACT same as you. I eat the vegetable part of the salad, and I honestly enjoy it. But I always pick off the "real food" portions of the salad (meat, cheese, nuts, etc) and safe it for the end. I want them to be separate. Because then I've eaten my vegetables and I had a main course. So why the heck do I bother putting the "real food" goodies in with the salad? I would be so much more satisfied if I just ate a big plain side salad and then ate my meat and whatever else separately. Like my salad from the other night, I would have felt more satisfied if I'd eaten a big plain salad with a ham and cheese sandwich and a side of fruit as opposed to it all mixed up.

I dunno, I'm not complaining really. I know how to feed myself to feel satisfied. I just think it's an interesting, even if a bit irritating, mind trick that my brain plays on me. It just can't let me believe that salads are real food, haha.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:10 PM   #11  
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Yeah, I have often wished that I could be one of those "just a salad, please" people who can cheerfully eat them as dinner. I've also wished I could be six feet tall so an extra five pounds wouldn't show up on me so readily, but that ain't gonna happen, either.

When I eat salad, my brain is all, "Yaaay, salad, that means there's a meal on the way!" I just can't persuade it to behave otherwise despite three decades or so of trying.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:03 PM   #12  
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I just watched a BBC documentary which explains why vegetables do not satisfy our dietary needs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRV772jLWGc
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:46 PM   #13  
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Howdy,
I enjoy salads for lunch. I eat them for dinner only if we are traveling and McDonalds is the place chosen. I then get a Southwestern salad because the chicken is hot. I do not like cold dinners- regardless if it is summer or winter.

So, I get what you are saying.
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