Instead of counting calories when dieting, you should be concerned with the energy density of their foods, according to "The Volumetrics Eating Plan." The book, a New York Times Bestseller by Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., recommends low energy density foods over foods that are high in energy density. Energy density refers to calories per gram. Foods that have low energy density are bulkier but have less calories. They are high in fiber and water content, making you feel full after consuming them.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber and water. Rolls calls water the "secret ingredient" to weight loss because it makes foods more bulky. When eating these foods you will feel full, but you will not be consuming any excess calories. Rolls recommends snacking on fruits and vegetables and adding them to meals. Replace potato chips with vegetables and low-fat dip. Add vegetables to other dishes that normally don't call for vegetables, such as macaroni and cheese. Rolls' research showed that adding a salad to a meal reduces total calories consumed, according to Newsweek.com. To stay on the plan when eating salad, use light cheese and fat-free dressing. Make substitutions, like replacing syrup with raspberry sauce. Try adding fruits to foods that don't normally contain them, such as grapes to a chicken salad sandwich.
The plan emphasizes moderate consumption of lean meats instead of high-fat red meats. Lean meats are an important source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals. Choose poultry and fish most of the time. If consuming red meat, look for cuts labeled "lean,""extra lean," "choice" or "select." Trim any visible fat before preparing the meat. When buying ground beef, look for packages labeled 90 percent or higher lean meat.
Choose whole wheat instead of refined white flour. The diet highly recommends making your own food instead of eating prepackaged food. Try making macaroni and cheese yourself the Volumetrics way. Use whole wheat pasta, rich in fiber. The recommended serving size is 1/2 cup, at 100 calories. Add nonfat milk and reduced-fat cheese. Then, add some low energy density food to the meal by adding vegetables.
Fats are an important part of any diet. They aid in nutrient absorption and are a major source of energy. The trick is to watch what kind of fat you eat. The "good" fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The "bad" fats are saturated and trans fats. "Good" fats lower total and LDL cholesterol, the unhealthy type of cholesterol, while "bad" fats increase total and LDL cholesterol. "Good" fats are found in nuts, seafood, canola, olive, corn, soy, safflower and sunflower oils. "Bad" fats are found in animal products, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, commercially packaged foods and commercially fried foods. While no food is off limit on the Volumetrics plan, omit unhealthy oil and butter from recipes and substitute healthy fats instead.
Dairy products are important because they are a good source of calcium, certain vitamins and minerals and protein. Milk, yogurt and cheese are the best sources of calcium. "The Volumetrics Eating Plan" recommends consuming dairy products, but doing so in moderation and choosing low-fat or fat-free options. Choose nonfat milk over whole milk. It has the same amount of calcium, but 64 fewer calories per 8-ounce glass.