October 11, 2021

How to Use the Volumetric Diet to Build Healthy, Sustainable Eating Habits

One of the most common complaints about diet is that they lead to a lack in satiety. People who follow diets are known to be hungry. This is because they restrict food, quantity, and macronutrients such as carbs and fat. Your body will not feel as satisfied if you eat all the foods you desire in whatever amounts.

Recent research has shown that obesity does not increase the risk of death. All bodies deserve love and good nutrition. Sometimes, however, weight loss or a change in diet may feel like the right thing to do. It’s important that you find a plan that doesn’t lead to a crash diet, doesn’t limit the nutrients and vitamins your body requires to function.

It’s better to have a long-term, moderately healthy diet than one that is only temporary. In recent years, diets like the Meditteranean or DASH have been popular. Because they are more moderate, they produce better results and people can stick with them for a long time.

Another example of a moderate and less restrictive way to eat healthier is the volumetrics diet. It’s simple to understand, easy to follow, and produces solid long-term results. Continue reading to find out more about it and how it works.

Volume Is Key

It’s not surprising that the volumetrics diet was based on the idea of eating more food making you feel fuller and more satisfied. Barbara Rolls, Ph.D. developed the diet to eat the most foods with the lowest energy density and the least amount of food with high density. This works well for weight loss, as when you consume large quantities of food, your stomach actually gets fuller, which triggers the release of satietyhormones, even though you are consuming less calories.


Barbara Rolls, Ph.D. is a Penn State University nutrition sciences chair and professor. She is the author of numerous studies and books on volumetrics.

You don’t have to eat any restricted foods. This alone can result in weight loss. Stress can cause our bodies to produce cortisol, the key stress hormone. This leads to weight gain. This diet is generally safe because you don’t need to eliminate any essential nutrients or nutrient categories.

The Four Food Categories

The volumetric diet divides food into four categories. You should aim to eat as much from each category as possible.

Category 1: Foods with the lowest energy density have the most water. You can eat more of a food with more water. Non-starchy fruits and vegetables are good examples of foods with high water content. Soups made from broth-based ingredients are also good options.

Category Two: This second category contains more calories than the first, but has more fiber which can lead to fullness. These foods should not be eaten as often as fruits and vegetables, but they can still make up a significant portion of your meals. These foods include whole grains and legumes, lean proteins, low-fat milk, and low-fat dairy.

Category Three: A lot of your favorite ingredients can be found in category three. While you should eat less than category 2, it is still possible to include them in your diet. These include full-fat dairy products, high-fat meats, and bread.

Category Four: You won’t be surprised to find that you limit your intake of alcohol, fried foods, cakes, cookies, and other sweets on this diet. Nuts and seeds are the only food that can be considered healthy when you eat sparingly. You can still eat them, but you’ll be eating less than those in other categories.

How Often You Can Eat

Volumetrics doesn’t limit the amount of meals you can eat. It’s actually quite generous in its recommendations for how much you should eat. Daily, the diet recommends three meals, two snacks and dessert, as well as daily recommendations. You’ll need to follow the category guidelines for each meal and snack. The first category will have the largest amount of food, while the fourth one will have the smallest.

Calorie Limits- Diet

This diet’s numeric premise is that you can lose between one and two pounds per week if your daily intake of calories is reduced by 500 to 1000 calories per day. This is a standard in the diet industry based on the idea that one pound of body weight equals three thousand calories. This theory has been subject to some controversy in recent years but it is still the best.

This means that you can adjust how many calories you eat based on your goals and your body’s needs. To adopt the volumetric diet’s moderate, long-term plan, you will need to find a balance to ensure you are properly nourished.

The Science Backing on Diet

There is a direct correlation between energy density and weight, according to studies. A meta-analysis of multiple studies found that people’s energy intake and weight are directly related. You’ll be able to stick with your new lifestyle and have a healthy, balanced diet that gives you energy and keeps you full while still enjoying the foods you love.

What a Day Looks Like

There are many books available on volumetrics, including detailed explanations of its methods and recipes that have been proven to work for their followers. The process is straightforward and you can do it with a simple calculation, unless you are looking to dive into the details. This is an example of how a day could look if you follow this diet, with the quantities being dependent on your usual calorie intake before starting.

Breakfast: Oatmeal and a citrus fruit such as grapefruit or a vegetable frittata or melon or cereal with low-fat milk (or unsweetened plant based) milk.

Lunch: A salad with chicken breasts and a slice whole grain bread.

Dinner: Baked fish with brown rice, greens, chicken with mixed grains, Brussels sprouts and chicken, or bison steak with a vegetable mixture.

Snacks include low-fat yogurt or fruits, whole grain crackers, and hummus.

Dessert: A fruit, sugar-free pudding or fruit crumble.

Important Note: You Still Need Fat in Diet

This diet emphasizes eating foods with low density and high quantities. You’ll need to ensure you get enough fat. Fat is as high in calories as food. You may feel tempted to skip fat in favor of richer foods, but you should not drastically reduce your intake. You need to eat enough fat to support brain function and skin health. Healthy fats can be found in avocados or olive oil.

How to Get Going

You only need to change the way you eat food in order to start volumetrics. There are no meetings or supplies you need to purchase. Just factor the basic information about what you want to eat into your next grocery shopping trip and you will be well on your way.