Eat More For Less
What if you could eat more food for fewer calories? The trick is to fill up on the right foods that satisfy your hunger but carry a lower calorie count. These types of foods tend to be high in water and fiber content so you can eat in volume, feel fuller and consume a lesser amount of calories.
Calorie density is simply the number of calories in a certain volume of food. Low calorie density foods have fewer calories per bite. For example, three cups of popcorn has only 80 calories. High calorie density foods are higher in calories for a smaller amount. One cup of nuts has more than 800 calories. Do the math and that’s eight times more calories than popcorn!
“The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet” by Barbara Rolls, introduces the concept of Volumetrics. The Volumetrics Plan is based on low calorie density options such as water-based and higher fiber foods like fruits, vegetables and broth soups, balanced out with other healthy choices such as high fiber whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean meats. Limit foods high in sugar and fat-even healthy fat found in nuts, avocados and olive oil (because of the high-calorie load).
Many years of research have proven that the quantity of food we eat has a greater impact on satiety than the actual number of calories. Satiety is the full feeling at the end of a meal that signals our brain that we have eaten enough. This is great news for many of us who like to eat a fuller plate of food and still slim down. It follows the My Plate guidelines of filling half your plate with vegetables, one quarter with lean protein and one quarter with healthy carbs. So how is this done? See the tips below for tricks to eat more for less.
How to Volumize Your Diet:
- Pile on the vegetables. Vegetables are one of the best examples of low energy density foods because they contain high water and fiber content for a minimal number of calories. Plus they are super-nutritious! One half cup of cooked vegetables or 2 cups of leafy greens has about 25 calories and an average of two grams of satisfying fiber. Pile your plate with volumes of Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, okra, spinach, kale and romaine lettuce.
- Fill up on fluids. Choose water-rich foods such as fruit to accompany a meal or as a fiber-packed snack. One serving of most fruits has about 60 calories, such as 1 ¼ cup strawberries or watermelon and ¾ cup blackberries, blueberries or fresh pineapple. Other ways to get more volume from fluid is to serve a broth-based soup prior to or with a meal or drink a glass of water or a sugar-free beverage before a meal.
- Slash the fat. Cut down on oil, butter, eggs and high-fat dairy, such as whole milk, cream, full fat salad dressings and cheese. Replace these with lower fat options such as fat free milk, reduced fat cheese, lower fat dressings, egg whites and non-fat yogurt. Choose leaner meats, fish and skinless poultry, and trim any visible fat.
Simple Swaps: Choose This vs. That
- One cup air-popped popcorn (31 calories) vs. one cup regular potato chips (137 calories)
- One cup grapes (104 calories) vs. one cup raisins (434 calories)
- One cup Kashi® GOLEAN Crunch!® Cereal (190 calories) vs. one cup Kellogg’s® Low Fat Granola (380 calories)
- One cup Progresso® Vegetable Minestrone soup (100 calories) vs. one cup Campbell’s® Cream of Mushroom soup (200 calories)
- One Yasso Greek frozen yogurt bar (80 calories) vs. one Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla ice cream bar (300 calories)