Friday, May 18, 2012

The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet

Patricia Ann Redihan, Extension Resource Educator (

Are you having trouble losing weight and keeping it off?  Do you feel hungry all the time while you diet?  Tired of eating the same foods?  The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet addresses all these issues and more and may just be the eating plan for you. 
The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet, created by Pennsylvania State University professor Dr. Barbara Rolls, is rated the #1 New York Times Bestselling Diet for good reason.  This research-based eating plan expands on Dr Rolls’ earlier work on Volumetrics and  includes a  12 week weight loss and healthy eating plan, user-friendly tools for monitoring hunger and satiety, an emphasis on exercise, and 105 delicious and filling Volumetric recipes.    
You may be saying , “sounds familiar” but I assure you that Volumetrics is different.  The major premise of Volumetrics is that we tend to eat the same volume or weight of food over the course of several days.  When you eat that same amount of food, you tend to feel full.   Volumetrics works with this principle by using a concept called calorie density.  As Dr. Rolls phrases it, “ foods vary in the number of calories they pack into each bite.  Reduce the calories per bite-that is the calorie density (CD)- and you can eat the same amount of food while saving calories”.  Here’s an example of Volumetrics - the five following snacks all provide 100-calories each: 16 jelly beans, ¼ cup raisins, about a cup of grapes, close to 2 cups of apple slices, and almost 4 cups of cherry tomatoes.    Note how much more of the water-rich, fresh fruits and vegetables you can eat for the same amount of calories as the relatively small quantities of jelly beans and raisins.

Adding water and/or fiber to recipes are two ways to reduce the calorie density of foods.  In other words, the more vegetables and fruit you incorporate into your meals and snacks, the greater the volume of food you can eat and the fuller you will feel.   For example, cut back on the protein item or grains in a stew, casserole, and stir-fry and add more vegetables to bulk up the product and at the same time reduce the calorie density.  You will feel just as full at the end of the meal and yet consumed fewer calories.

At your next meal, try this Volumetrics strategy: begin the meal with a big green salad or a large bowl of broth-based or tomato-based soup.  Be sure and keep your portion to 100-150 calories.  Dr. Rolls’ work demonstrated that subjects who consumed 3 cups (100 calorie) of salad at the beginning of a meal consumed 100 fewer calories from their meal.  In another study, those who consumed a low CD soup as a first course reduced their overall caloric consumption from that lunch by 20%.  

For a copy of the Volumetrics Soup recipe used in the above study and/or first course green salad recipes that provide 100-150 calories/portion, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County at 607-535-7161.