Volumetrics: Take in Fewer Calories by Eating More

Volumetrics is a concept developed by Dr. Barbara Rolls that allows you to eat MORE foods (like fruit and vegetables) while consuming fewer calories.
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149399972

Fruits with scale

Photo by: Levente Győri

Levente Győri

Back in October 2012, I attended the biggest nutrition conference of the year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. One of the most interesting sessions I attended featured Dr. Barbara Rolls and Ellie Krieger. They discussed how you can take in fewer calories by eating MORE food—this concept is known as Volumetrics.

Volumetrics Basics

Penn State professor and researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, developed the concept after her research concluded that folks don’t like to starve themselves in order to lose weight (I agree). She has conducted extensive research exploring human eating behaviors and presents this plan as a way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Rolls suggests enjoying large portions of healthy, satisfying foods to fill up without overdoing the calories. As you might imagine there are lots of fruits and veggies involved. Broth-based soups, nonfat dairy, lean protein and high fiber grains are also on her hit list. Sweets, alcohol and other higher-calorie foods like pizza, they aren’t off limits, but are only to be enjoyed in strict moderation.

In the Kitchen

Ellie Krieger helped bring the concept of Volumetrics to life with her simple, practical and even budget-friendly tactics. She presented countless ways to apply the theory of Volumetrics in your own kitchen with all the foods that Dr. Rolls recommends.

Getting More Fruits & Vegetables
  • Add fruit purees to baked goods and hot cereals
  • Replace maple syrup with a fresh berry sauce
  • Add cauliflower to mac and cheese or mushrooms to meatloaf and burgers

Lowering the Fat
  • Use 1% milk or evaporated milk to thicken sauces
  • Replace sour cream with yogurt
  • Get a good nonstick pan and use less oil

Enjoying Higher-Calorie Foods
  • Thinly slice meat to make portions appear larger
  • Serve dessert in bite-sized portions

Pumping Up the Volume
  • Try whipped cream and whipped butter to slash the fat and calories
  • Snack on air-popped popcorn and other “popped” snacks
Recipes to Try:
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