Volumetrics. It’s a concept that revolutionized the way that I eat, but something that I haven’t talked about that much here on HGK. I was first introduced to the concept by Bethenny Frankel, you know, that famous New York Housewife who writes those books about being “Naturally Thin.” She’s got some interesting ideas in her books, but none so powerful as the one I am focusing on here today. It’s such a worthwhile topic and there are quite a few new readers of HGK that might not be familiar with it that I am dedicating this post to it. (Please forgive me if this is review for you.)
“The Volumetrics Eating Plan is based on a basic fact: people like to eat. And if people are given the choice between eating more and eating less, they’ll take more almost every time.
Unlike diets that are based on deprivation, the Volumetrics diet doesn’t try to fight this natural preference. Its creator, nutritionist Barbara Rolls, PhD, argues that limiting your diet too severely won’t work in the long run. You’ll just wind up hungry and unhappy and go back to your old ways.
Rolls’ approach is to help people find foods that they can eat lots of while still losing weight. The hook of Volumetrics is its focus on satiety, the feeling of fullness. Rolls says that people feel full because of the amount of food they eat — not because of the number of calories or the grams of fat, protein, or carbs. So the trick is to fill up on foods that aren’t full of calories. Rolls claims that in some cases, following Volumetrics will allow you to eat more — not less — than you do now, while still slimming down.
Rolls doesn’t ban food types as part of the Volumetrics diet. She doesn’t divide foods into the good and the bad. But she does urge people to evaluate foods based on their energy density. This concept is crucial to the whole diet.
Energy density is the number of calories in a specified amount of food. Some foods — especially fats — are very energy dense. They have a lot of calories packed into a small size. Water is the opposite, since it has an energy density of zero. If you eat foods with high energy density, you rack up calories quickly. If you go with less energy dense foods, you can eat more and get fewer calories.” http://www.webmd.com/diet/volumetrics-what-it-is
Very low-density foods include:
Unsweetened nut milk like almond milk
Very high-density foods include:
If you are a more visual learner, than the next two Jeff Novick videos are for you.
A note about the blender/blended food issue: I drink a green smoothie almost every morning. Mr. Novick questions the benefit of that when the goal is weight loss. He brings up a very interesting point. Whole unprocessed foods are clearly the best as far as weight loss goes. Eating a whole apple is better from a weight loss perspective than a blended up apple.
But, the reality of that is another story. The contents of my morning green smoothie these days are spinach, celery, apple, grapes, kale, parsley, almond milk, ground flax seed and ice. Would I ever sit down to a bowl of spinach, celery, apple, grapes, kale, parsley in the morning? What dressing would I have to put on that bowl to make it palatable for me? Would I have the time and energy to chew all of that food given my incredibly rushed mornings?
My conclusion is this: even a blended green smoothie is healthier for me than any other breakfast I could consume. And it does fill me up until lunch. So, on that scorecard, even if eating the contents of the smoothie in their whole form would be BETTER for me than in their blended form, I would never be able to do it. So, in balance, a green smoothie is the best, most realistic option for me. I’m sticking with it.
But, if you are trying to lose weight, it is worth your while to consider what you are putting into your smoothies. Would you eat all of that food if it wasn’t blended up together? It might just be something worth thinking about.
Here’s a good example of a recipe that would be included in a Volumetric way of eating:
Were you familiar with the Volumetrics concept prior to reading this posting? How has it impacted your diet?
Do you think about it when you choose food off of a menu in a restaurant?
Do you think about it when doing meal planning at home?