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How to Use Volume to Feel Full and Eat Less

Jun 27, 2008
Use Volume To Feel Full With Less Calories

As we all know, obesity is rampant in this country. People have to finally admit this and begin to make a conscious effort to change their lives and circumstances. Until you make that life changing decision and stick to it, you will never improve the quality or length of your life. This statement in itself should be enough to help you make this decision.

I take this personally because my entire family has always struggled with weight problems including myself.

So you ask: What does this mean? Volume vs. Calories?
It's very simple.

Your food choices play a major roll in using energy density (volume) to feel full. This is not a diet gimmick but sounds like it could be. The fact is; the concept of energy density will help you feel satisfied with a lot less calories. By consuming fewer calories you CAN and WILL lose weight over time and will be able to keep it off for the long term.

All foods contain calories along with a certain amount of volume. Foods such as processed foods, desserts and candy have a high energy density. So a small amount of these foods have a large amount of volume.

Other foods such as fruits and vegetables have low energy density. So you can consume a larger quantity of these and get a lot less calories. Now that makes sense.

The two (2) major factors that play an important role in what makes food less calorie packed and more filling are:


Most fruits and vegetables contain a high content of water, which provides volume instead of calories. One example is grapefruit. It is about 90% water with only 39 calories in a half-fruit serving. Another example is carrots that are about 88% water with only 52 calories per cup.


Foods high in fiber such as; fruits, vegetables and whole grains; not only provide volume, but take longer to digest which makes you feel full longer.

What Are The Best Food Choices?

1. Protein/Dairy:

This group includes foods from both animal and plant sources. The best choices are those high in protein but low in calories and fat; such as; Lentils, Peas, beans and Legumes. Foods that are high in protein and also contain a high amount of fiber are; skinned white-meat poultry, fat-free dairy, egg whites and fish.

2. Vegetables:

Vegetables such as; Zucchini, Broccoli, Green Beans, Salad Greens, and Asparagus are very low in calories but have a larger volume. Each serving is approximately 25 calories, and the average serving size is; 1 cup raw, one half cup of cooked, and 2 cups of leafy.

Starchy vegetables like; Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash and Corn are a little bit higher at approximately 70 calories for a half cup serving.

3. Fruits:

Just about all kinds of fruits are considered part of a healthy diet. Some are better choices than others. They are; All whole fresh, frozen, and canned fruits are the best choices as long as they don't have added sugar. They average about 60 calories per serving.

Fruit juices and dried fruits contain concentrated sources of natural sugars making them higher in calories.

4. Carbohydrates:

Most of the foods in this group come from either whole grains or are made from grains. They are cereals, breads, pasta and rice. The best choices are whole grains because they are high in fiber and other important nutrients. Some examples are: Whole-Wheat Bread, Whole-Wheat Pasta, Brown Rice, Whole-Grain Cereal and Oatmeal.

If you choose to eat sweets; eat them in moderation. They are high in fat and calories and are very low in volume.


When you finally make this life changing decision to get healthy, Please basic common sense. Incorporating an increase in vegetables, fruits and whole grains in your diet; You always need to leave a little space for a few of your favorite foods such as a scoop of ice cream or a small portion of chocolate. If you plan it correctly, you will not feel deprived or become desperately hungry. So it's OK to treat yourself on occasions in moderation and not feel guilty about it.

A Few Ideas To Make This Work For You:

A. Always begin with a salad or soup with Lunch and Dinner: Soups should have a broth-base or be filled with vegetables. Salads should be large with a small amount of fat free or low fat dressing. These types of foods take a lot longer to eat and will help to curb your appetite. Your main course should consist of an extra portion of at least 2 vegetables with a small serving of lean protein.

B. Increase the ratio of vegetables and fruits with each meal: You can always add fresh berries in your morning cereal; or you may try to add peach or mango slices to whole wheat toast with a little honey or peanut butter. That sounds delicious.

C. Experiment: This does not have to boring. You can try new combinations such as; fresh fruit slices or grapes on salads, sautéed vegetables in some tomato sauce placed over pasta or rice. Use your imagination but stay within reason.

Now you have the basics; Let's see what you do with it. Just remember; by eating larger portions of foods with less calories, you kill all the hunger pangs which will give you a better feeling about the meal and yourself all the way round.
About the Author
Wanda Dixon had a 35 year career in the nursing field and has amassed knowledge about wellness, weight loss and disease prevention. She authors a blog at http://www.stayhealthyandslim.com to provide information on those topics. She also markets an effective weight loss product that contains a herb that has been featured on Oprah and other news shows here at www.behealthyandslim.com
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