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Eat More, Weigh Less?

Last updated 6 years ago

Sounds like a dream to most, however with Volumetrics this dream can become a reality for some.  Volumetrics was created by Barbara Rolls PhD.  She explains Volumetrics is more of an approach rather than a diet.  It is focused on discovering the feeling of satiety, or the feeling of fullness.  Volumetrics teaches you how to figure out the o density of your food and it comes down to calories per bite.

Food is divided into four groups. Category 1 (very low-density) includes nonstarchy fruits and vegetables, nonfat milk, and broth-based soup. Category 2 (low-density) includes starchy fruits and veggies, grains, breakfast cereal, low-fat meat, legumes, and low-fat mixed dishes, like chili and spaghetti. Category 3 (medium-density) includes meat, cheese, pizza, French fries, salad dressing, bread, pretzels, ice cream, and cake. And Category 4 (high-density) includes crackers, chips, chocolate candies, cookies, nuts, butter, and oil. You’ll go heavy on categories 1 and 2, watch your portion sizes with category 3, and keep category 4 choices to a minimum. Each day, you’ll eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, a couple snacks, and dessert. Exactly how strictly you follow Volumetrics is up to you. Instead of counting calories, you want to be more concerned with the energy density of your meals. 

The staples of the Volumetrics plan are water rich foods like broth soups, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, lean meats and fish.  These foods which are in category 1 and 2 not only help control hunger by filling you up, but they also do it with fewer calories.  Being packed with water and fiber is what makes you feel fuller longer.  Foods found in category 3 and 4 are typically higher in fat and sugar content.  Not only are they less filling, but they pack more calories per bite than categories 1 and 2.  The trick is you want to choose more low density foods over high density. 

Here are Barbara Rolls’ rules for putting this science to work for you:

  1. Add fruits and vegetables to everything.  This helps by not only adding fiber, but also water.  Using fresh or frozen are both acceptable.  For example, a study conducted blending squash and cauliflower in macaroni and cheese found the people ate 360 calories less when compared to regular macaroni and cheese. 
  2. Eat before you eat.  Fill up on a low calorie soup or a salad topped with all the fixings.
  3. Satisfy your eyes first.  To create a bountiful plate without packing on calories use ingredients that add water or extra air such as mousse-style yogurt and puffed rice cereal.
  4. Don’t forget the protein.  It’s key to can satiety, but you can eat half a day’s worth of calories if you don’t choose wisely.  Choose small portions of low fat protein, whether its skim milk with your cereal, beans on your salad, tofu with dinner, or lean cuts of beef chicken or fish.
  5. Clean you plate.  Since the goal is to feel full at the end of each meal, this is practically required.  As long you’re packing your plate with foods from categories 1 and 2, you should be eating everything and feeling satisfied.



Laurie Taunton MS R.D.

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