Dec 04, 2023 Magazine \ Self Improvement

How to Eat More and Weigh Less
Volumetrics is an eating plan developed by Dr. Barbara Rolls, a nutrition researcher at Penn State. Her discovery is that each day, in our efforts to feel satiated, we all eat about the same weight or amount of food. What this means is that if you choose to eat foods that are packed with calories (calorie dense), then you are going to gain weight.

Of course, the opposite is also true: If you consume the same volume or weight of less calorie-dense foods, you'll still feel full and satisfied and you'll also lose weight.

A food's energy density can be found by dividing the weight of the portion in grams by the calories in that portion. Look at your food labels: for example, one cup of Cheerios has 100 calories and weighs 28 grams. The energy density of a cup of Cheerios, then, is 100 28 = 3.5.

Energy density is divided into four categories:

Very low energy density: 0 - 0.5
Low energy density: 0.6 -1.5
Medium energy density: 1.5 - 4.0
High energy density: 4.0 - 9.0
The goal of the Volumetrics plan is to eat less of but not avoid altogether the high energy-dense foods, while eating more of the very low and low energy-dense foods. That way, you can eat the same volume of food you always have (or even more), while maintaining or even losing weight.

Higher energy-dense foods include such items as chips, cookies, bagels, nuts, oils, and high-fat meats. Vegetables, fruits, skim milk, beans, and lean meats are all lower energy-dense foods.

Try calculating the energy density of some of your favorite foods to see if you can swap some less energy-dense items into your diet.

© 2007 Johns Hopkins University. All Rights Reserved. This article from Johns Hopkins University is provided as a service by Yahoo. All materials are produced independently by Johns Hopkins University, which is solely responsible for its content.
Posted on 13 Mar 2008
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