The volumetrics diet is a plan for losing weight created by Barbara J. Rolls, PhD, a renowned nutrition researcher. One of the drawbacks of standard diets is that they restrict what the person can eat, in fact many otehr diets completely remove many foods – think of any of the low or no carb diets for a start and you will know what I mean about restricting food. This is actually one of the main reasons people abandon diets.
The volumetrics diet focuses on foods that are calorie dense, that is food that have plenty of water in them and foods with fibre in them. If you have already thought “I bet that means fruit and vegetables” then award yourself a gold star – that is correct. As I have mentioned the recommended foods on the Volumetrics diet have low calorie density. This means that they promote a sense of fullness, without a mass of calories.
Foods that you avoid on the Volumetrics diet are energy dense, meaning even if they have a lot of calories, you need to eat more of them to feel full. This applies for a lot of fast food – the saying I ate my burger meal but still didn’t feel full up after it – that’s one of the reasons.
Now the plan has been explained in a book by Dr Rolls and this book also includes meal plans for 1,600 calories per day and 2,000 calories per day. So as you can see if you follow the 2000 a day plan then you will still be reducing calories but not as severe as the 800 calorie diet. Eventually you may be able to swap between 2000 and 1600 meal plans.
To give you an idea of what a typical day on the 1600 calorie plan is it would be a 400 calorie breakfast, a 500 calorie lunch, a 500 calorie dinner, and a 200 calorie snack. That is an example and in general you will be able to eat three meals, two snacks, and a dessert each day.
Work out the Calorie Density of Foods
Using the nutrition information that should be present on all food labels, you can determine the calorie density of different foods quite easily. Here is how you can do this
Locate the label on the back of the food package.
Locate the serving size of the food. Beside the serving size, you will see the weight of the serving in grams.
Look for the number of calories per serving. The number of calories in each serving is the top line under “Amount per Serving.”
Divide the number of calories per serving by the number of grams in one serving. Lets see an example
Lets say your food has 250 calories per serving, and one service is equal to 100 grams, then 250 divided by 100 is about 2.5. This is the calorie density of that food.
Once you have figured out the calorie density the food is then all into 1 of 4 Volumetrics categories
Volumetric Diet Categories
Once you’ve determined the calorie density of your foods, you then choose your portion size.
very low calorie density category – 0.6 or lower calorie density
These foods include fruits, non-starchy vegetables and broth-based soups.
You can eat as much as you want of these foods as long as you stop eating when you feel full.
These are some general guidelines:
Vegetables (non-starchy): 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables, 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables or 1/2 cup of vegetable juice.
Fruits: 1 medium piece of fruit, 1/4 cup dried fruit, 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit, 1/2 cup fruit juice.
low calorie density category – calorie density of 0.6 to 1.5
Whole grains, legumes, lean protein and low-fat dairy mostly fall into this category. Eat reasonable portions of these foods.
Grains: 1 slice of whole-grain bread, 1 ounce of dry cereal, or 1/2 cup of cooked rice, pasta or cereal.
Fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products: 1 cup milk or yogurt, 1-1/2 ounce cheese
Lean meats, poultry and fish: 1 ounce cooked meats, poultry or fish, or 1 egg
Legumes: 1/2 cup cooked legumes (beans, peas, etc.)
Eat modest portions of medium calorie density category foods.
This category contains bread, dessert, fat-free baked snacks, cheese and higher-fat meats.Pair these foods with larger portions of very low or low CD foods.
Bread with refined flour: 1 slice
Cheese: 1 ounce
High-fat meat: 1 ounce
Dessert and fat-free baked snacks: Follow the serving size on the label.
Limit your intake of high calorie density foods.
Fried snacks, cookies, nuts, oils and candy all fall into the high CD category.
While you want to include small servings of healthy oils and nuts each day, you should limit your indulgence in fried snacks, cookies and candy.
Fats and oils: 1 teaspoon soft margarine, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise or 1 tablespoon salad dressing
Nuts and seeds: 1/3 cup of nuts, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of seeds.
Sweets and added sugars: 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon jelly or jam, 1 cup lemonade
Volumetric Diet Tips
Eat foods that are high in water content, like broth-based soups, salads and fruits and vegetables..
Avoid high calorie density foods as much as possible
Start by adding 150 steps a day to your routine, use a pedometer. The first goal is reaching an extra 1,000 steps by the end of the week. The ultimate goal is to log 10,000 steps a day.
You don’t need to invest in expensive recipe books – choose cookbooks that focus on fresh ingredients and plant foods, are low in fat and sugar, and contain nutrient information.
Eating out : starting your meal with soup or a salad so that you are less hungry when the main meal arrives.
Volumetrics Diet Summary
This is basic stuff when you think about it but the general idea is you can lose weight by eating fewer calories yet still feel full. This is why the food needs to be calorie dense, thats not to say you eliminate foods completely but again restrict these
The best resource is the book by the author – you can get this for as low as £3.99 if you have a kindle or a kindle reading app in the UK.
The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off – Amazon UK link or Amazon US link