By Daniella Lavi-DrayThe Volumetrics Eating Plan is based on a basic fact: people like to eat. And if people are given the choice between eating more and eating less, they’ll take more almost every time. The Volumetrics diet doesn’t try to fight this natural preference. It’s creator, nutritionist Barbara Rolls, PhD, argues that limiting your diet too severely won’t work in the long run. You’ll just wind up hungry and unhappy and go back to your old ways.
The hook of Volumetrics is its focus on satiety, the feeling of fullness. Rolls says that people feel full because of the amount of food they eat — not because of the number of calories or the grams of fat, protein, or carbs. So the trick is to fill up on foods that aren’t full of calories. To increase satiety, you want to choose foods that contain the smaller number of calories in the biggest portion. For example, foods with high water content influence satiety (fullness) because water dilutes calories in food, adding weight and volume without adding calories. If you choose water-rich foods, you can have satisfying portions with few calories.
So, while you’re lowering your daily calories by cutting back on high-energy dense foods, you’ll be increasing the volume of your diet with low-energy dense foods (particularly vegetables, fruits and whole grains). In this way, you will still get to eat your normal volume/weight of food and feel satisfied, not deprived.
Do you need to count calories? Counting calories get tedious quickly! The idea of volumetrics is to get you beyond having to count the calories in every morsel. You need to understand where calories are. When you learn to choose foods wisely, you will be eating a nutritious balance of foods that will help you feel full and satisfied without excess calories. However, calories do count. To lose weight you must eat fewer calories than you burn. Each pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. Cutting 500 calories per day equals 1 lb weight loss per week.
With any successful weight management plan, physical activity is necessary for long-term success. Aim for 30-60 minutes of modest-intensity activity on most days. Include resistance training twice a week.
Daniella is a registered dietitian and food & nutrition expert. Her specialties include weight management, bariatric care, cardiovascular health, supermarket tours, nutrition supplementation and various eating plans including Volumetrics, Gluten Free, Vegetarianism etc.