Volumetrics Diet

Is The Volumetrics Diet Right For You?

Don’t let the word “diet” fool you.  Volumetrics is more of a complete lifestyle change. In 2005 Barbara Rolls, a PhD and nutrition researcher came up with a straightforward approach to losing weight and co-authored a book called The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan. What does it mean to follow the Volumetrics weight loss plan?  It’s simple! It means you get to eat more food while consuming fewer calories. Unlike many diets that leave your plate looking bare, the volumetrics diet advocates eating enough food to fully satisfy you.

Forget about cutting back on all your favorite foods and saying goodbye to dessert for good.  Rolls understands that traditional diets that severely cut calories and eliminate sweets fail! No matter how much someone wants to lose weight, they won’t stick with a plan that leaves them hungry and craving sweets. What good is a diet that doesn’t help people develop a lifestyle that is sustainable?

The Basic Principles

Just like the name of the plan implies, this diet is all about the volume of food eaten rather than the number of calories consumed.  With volumetrics you eat until you’re full! The plan is based around the concept of calorie or energy density. This is essentially a way of measuring how fulll your foods will keep you. low energy density foods have few calories but keep you feeling full for a long time. These foods are high in water and/or fiber, which both help promote feelings of fullness. High energy density foods, on the other hand, are packed with calories and can still leave you feeling hungry (think McDonald’s), leading to unhealthy snacking later on.

The guiding principle behind the volumetrics diet is that people tend to eat about the same amount of food each day.  This fact, however, doesn’t mean that people consume the same amount of calories.  If you choose high energy density foods, you’re eating way more calories than if you eat low energy density foods. If you substitute the high calorie foods for low calorie foods, you don’t need to cut out food from your diet – only replace it with the right kind of foods and you will soon be on your way to losing weight!

What Can You Eat?

The great thing about Rolls’ plan is that there isn’t a banned foods list.  She doesn’t say no chocolate cake or ice cream, potato chips or cheeseburgers, but she does support moderation in choices that may not be the healthiest.  What’s not to love about that!  Instead of constantly opening the freezer, sneaking glances at the pint of Ben & Jerry’s, you can dish out a small serving. After all, isn’t it better to have an occasional small serving of ice cream than to go without?  If you decide you have a craving for a cheeseburger and fries, Rolls doesn’t want you to completely abandon it, but to learn how to judge calories and then decide for yourself whether the meal is worth the caloric cost.

Recommended Low-Density Foods:

*Non-starchy vegetables

*Skim milk

*Non-cream based soups


High Density Foods:








Does It Work?

Volumetrics is far from a fad diet! In fact, it closely resembles the healthy eating guidelines provided by the U.S. government. Just like the food pyramid, Rolls proposes diets high in fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean protein sources while limiting the intake of fats and oils.  Her book comes with calorie plans (1600 and 2000 calorie plans) and plenty of recipes for each meal of the day, including casseroles, stews and fruity desserts.  The plan also encourages moderate physical activity, another practical way to lose weight and keep it off. If you’re looking for choice and variety while eating healthy, then volumetrics is for you.  What do you have to lose – except the weight!

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