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Volumetrics Diet

What is it?

The Volumetrics diet is an eating plan that aims to help you quit on-and-off dieting by living a healthy lifestyle based on nutritious food and regular exercise. Developed by Dr. Barbara Rolls, the Volumetrics diet plan focuses on the energy density of foods. According to Dr. Rolls, awareness of the energy density of food, which is the number of calories in a specific amount of food, is the key to achieving healthy, long-term weight loss.

Volumetrics relies on foods with a low-energy density and high water content, such as fruits and vegetables. Dr. Rolls believes that by eating low-calorie foods you can eat as much as you'd like and eliminate the feelings of hunger, fatigue, and depression that often accompany other diets.

This low-calorie, high-volume eating plan includes foods with a lot of water and fiber, since both supposedly increase your sense of fullness. It doesn’t ban any food, and you can enjoy calorie-packed foods as long as you stick within the recommended calorie intake.

Foods with low energy density include:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • low-fat dairy
  • whole grains
  • beans
  • lean meat

The Plan

Dr. Rolls believes the key to healthy weight loss is to fill up on low-calorie foods. On the Volumetrics diet, you’ll decrease your caloric intake, which encourages weight loss. The diet promises a 1- to 2-pound loss each week, and it promises that you’ll maintain a steady weight loss for as long as you stick to the plan. The Volumetrics diet also promises that it won't drive you to give up and fall back on bad habits.

Pros and cons

Healthline says

This is a positive approach to long-term weight loss that’s nutritionally sound. Volumetrics provides a well-balanced guide to eating that incorporates tips on exercise, which is just as important as food for achieving a healthy weight and lifestyle. You’ll evaluate your foods based on their calories and nutritional value, but you won’t have stringent rules about what's healthy and what's not. Dr. Rolls emphasizes a varied, nutritious diet and suggests keeping a food diary to follow your progress and identify any issues. We like this diet. It's balanced, nutritious, and offers the flexibility needed for successful long-term health.


Content licensed from:

Written by: Tracy Stickler
Medically reviewed on: Jun 15, 2016: Natalie Butler, RD, LD

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your health care provider. Please consult a health care professional with any health concerns you may have.
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