Volumetrics: The “Eat More, Gain Less” Diet

400 Calories, by Volume

Here’s a thought. Eating high foods that fill up your tummy will keep you satisfied longer. If these foods are calorie sparse, they will actually help you lose weight. This is the idea behind “volumetrics.”

According to the inventor of the system, nutrition professor Barbara Rolls, PhD, “It all comes down to calories per bite”. And there is a big difference between a mouthful of salad, and a mouthful of candy bar.

Rolls, a professor of nutritional sciences at the Pennsylvania State University, has spent 20 years studying the science of satiety — that feeling of fullness at the end of a meal — and how it affects hunger and obesity.

Research shows that the amount of food we eat has a greater effect on how full we feel than the number of calories in the food. If you’re sated after eating, you’re likelier to stick with a diet. read more…

Unsurprisingly, the recommendations in this diet plan (see the book on Amazon.com - The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet) are the usual suspects: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat proteins. Snacks pumped with air, such as popcorn, also gets honorable mention.

Another interesting idea is to “eat before you eat”. Mostly by drinking soups or having high volume appetizers (salad) before the heavy stuff.

What do you say? Are you thinking volumetrically when it comes to food?

Get FooducatediPhone App Android App Web App  RSS or  Email

Follow us on twitter: twitter.com/fooducate on facebook: facebook.com/fooducate

Get Fooducated

  • http://www.thefrugaldietitian.com/ Nancy

    One of my favorite recommended books to my clients/patients.

  • Lauren

    Agree with Nancy, I love this concept/book too. I see it as we tend to eat the same volume so better if this volume is less dense. I did a week of raw food and have to say, even though I eat salad everyday the volume of the greens was huge and I was never hungry even without fish/dairy and all the things I generally eat.

  • Ken Leebow

    No doubt, that is the secret sauce for losing weight and gaining health. It also dispels the myth: “Eat Less, Exercise More”.

    It’s very simple to accomplish volumetrics because there are only two nutrients that provide the feeling of satiety. Combine satiety with taste (foods with health benefits that taste great) and you are well on your way to eating more, losing weight, and feeling great.

    And, you will leave the Western diet forever!

    Ken Leebow
    http://www.SatietyandTaste.com

  • http://twitter.com/moving4wellness Bobby Fernandez

    I’d like to see the studies cited. To reduce the human being to a thermodynamics equation is a simplistic and reactive response. It will be the major failing of all contemporary obesity research and policy. Specific to this concept, I do feel that we all could eat more veggies and less meat and grains. I do however, hesitate to suggest filling the stomach with water (in foods or otherwise) because it may lead to poor digestion/absorption (diluting gastric juices and increasing the time spent in the stomach).

  • http://twitter.com/moving4wellness Bobby Fernandez

    I do agree that “Eat LEss, Exercise More” is a myth but this Volumetrics theory is just a slightly different form of it. The “Eat Less” part is layman’s terms for, “consume less calories”. Rather than tricking the stomach, I’d rather see us manage our stressors so that we stop producing hunger hormones. Obesity is about endocrinology more than energy balance.

  • Vince

    I haven’t read the book, but came to similar conclusions through my own experience. I aim for high nutrient-density in a low calorie-density dish. 

    Foods like broccoli, spinach, zucchini, and tomato (even judiciously garnished with oils, meat, and starches) are wonder foods that you can eat to your fill while gaining amazing nutritional value and avoiding waistline expansion.

  • http://www.semisweetonline.com/ Sarah @ Semi-Sweet

    Anyone who’s ever counted calories before has come to this realization on his/her own – you can eat a heck of a lot of broccoli/salad/vegetable soup as opposed to, say Cheetos, for the same # of calories. Some days, you might want a few Cheetos (or a cookie, or some other calorie-dense option). But it clicks fast – you feel better, more full and more satisfied eating nutrient-rich, low-calorie, fiber- and water-filled foods. And you’ll likely lose weight if you just switch over b/c your daily calorie intake will drop significantly!

  • http://www.semisweetonline.com/ Sarah @ Semi-Sweet

    Anyone who’s ever counted calories before has come to this realization on his/her own – you can eat a heck of a lot of broccoli/salad/vegetable soup as opposed to, say Cheetos, for the same # of calories. Some days, you might want a few Cheetos (or a cookie, or some other calorie-dense option). But it clicks fast – you feel better, more full and more satisfied eating nutrient-rich, low-calorie, fiber- and water-filled foods. And you’ll likely lose weight if you just switch over b/c your daily calorie intake will drop significantly!

  • Pingback: Links We Dig – Quality Reading For A Healthful Lifestyle

  • Abbi

    I changed my diet to real, whole foods on January 3rd. The only meat I eat-maybe once a week-is chicken and the occasional bar-b-qued rib when available. I eat beans and fruits and vegetables. Nothing “fast”, nothing packaged-I know what goes in my body. Down 41 pounds and over 100 trigceride points, I feel better than I have in MANY years and I have a more sustained feeling of fullness than when I was eating burgers and fries, pastries and sugar-laden snacks and sodas. This works because this is what our bodies NEED and CRAVE. I actually CRAVE chick peas now, NOT chocolate covered malted milk balls. It’s a miraculous thing and I feel so blessed to have FINALLY found a new life diet that will not lead me to an early grave.

  • Karen

    Hey, I like my high calorie foods every now and then! Moderation in eating will get you where you want to be, along with exercise.We can’t be satisfied for long with only “puffy food” water or air filled foods. They have a big part in our diets but spice it up every now and then!

  • http://hayleeatkinson.blogspot.com/ Haylee

    I do this subconsciously, which is perhaps why I’m thin. Who knows. 

  • Simplestuffblog

    Yes this makes lots of sense. Remember calories & exercise are the other two legs
    Of your heathly lifestyle stool. Check out the @exerciseworks blog – packed full of great exercise ideas. The “mindless eating” website is also great for getting a handle o the psychology behind your snacks.

    Epigenetics plays a part in how your body adapts to the environment you put it in. You can do it. Stop buying the biscuits and heaving the pasta

  • Evan

    Just eat five-six meals a day and light workout. Youll guarantee to lose weight! Make those meals small! Around 300-400d cal per. Easy!

  • Brian

    Satiety is something that has interested me for quite some time now. I used to be a calorie counter, and found that it was terribly unrealistic for me to follow the USDA recommendations without feeling like I was starving most of the time. I changed my diet to a high nutrient dense diet which included mostly vegetables, meats and natural fats (ie: coconut oil, butter, etc… not the processed oils like corn or soy oil.) I found that I was never as hungry as I used to be, and I could actually get through an entire day without needing snacks, and without the hunger pangs. (Also, lost 30+ lbs, and 100 point drop in triglycerides.) Since then, I’ve read a lot about satiety, and there are a lot of interesting ideas about it. Some deal with the idea that we are missing nutrients, or we are eating a lot of foods that rob our nutrients (phytic acid containing foods like wheat), so it makes us hungrier because we are missing those nutrients. Others talk about the idea that we are actually more readily adapted to burn fat (natural fats), not carbs, so higher fat diets help keep us feeling fuller longer. All very interesting to look at and take in…

  • Pingback: Roundup | Eternity Matters

  • http://www.cochinechine.com/clothing.html?cat=51 Lisa Hillyman

    I have tried this before.This type of diet never seems to work for me.The more I would eat, the more I will likely to gain a lot more weight even if I’m eating good foods. It sucks.