We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Self here on FitSugar!
Have you ever wished that you could eat the same amount of food (or even more) and still lose weight? Well, actually, you can! Studies have shown that people tend to eat about the same amount of food (volume-wise) each day. That means if you can build your diet around foods that have fewer calories but more volume, you can lose weight without eating less food. This principle is called volumetrics and was developed by Barbara Rolls, PhD, of Pennsylvania State University. She's written several books on this topic, including The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet, which is scheduled to come out this April.
So how do you make volumetrics work for you? It's all about knowing what foods have a lower calorie density (less calories per bite), which are primarily foods with higher water content. Then you can make smart swaps using those foods. To make it even easier, here's an easy list of swaps you can make today!
Read on for the list.
- Swap meat for mushrooms or beans at least once per week. Self has reported that one study found that when people replaced animal protein with mushrooms, they ate 42 percent fewer calories.
- Swap jelly for real fruit. If you follow my meal posts, you see that time and again, I choose to use real berries on my PB&J or morning toast rather than jelly. It provides me with more filling fiber and less calories per bite while still offering plenty of flavor.
- Swap pretzels for lightly salted edamame. One ounce of edamame has less than half the amount of calories as one ounce of pretzels. Plus, edamame's fiber and water content will keep you fuller longer.
- Swap potato chips for popcorn. Volumetrics works visually, too. In other words, since we eat with our eyes first, if we see a bigger portion (even if it has the same number of calories), it tends to be more satisfying. A serving of popcorn is about three cups popped vs. a measly ounce of potato chips (small handful).
- Swap plain pasta in a creamy sauce for whole-wheat pasta with steamed veggies in a marinara sauce. This will allow you to have a bigger portion of pasta, and it will provide more nutrition and fewer calories!
- Swap orange juice for an orange. Although juice has a high water content, it is also a concentrated source of calories and has no filling fiber. If you switch your glass of juice out for a whole orange, you will find that you feel a lot fuller on half the calories.
- Swap your normal appetizer out for a bowl of broth-based soup. Dr. Rolls previously told Self that studies have shown that people who start their dinner with a bowl of broth-based soup consume 100 fewer calories overall. She also recommends going for soups with high-fiber ingredients, such as beans and vegetables.
By now you are probably getting the hang of how easy it can be to make some simple swaps in order to lose weight while eating the same amount of food. Now you can kiss those starvation diets good-bye for good!
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