The basic fact of achieving weight loss is that you must reach a caloric deficit. Being in a caloric deficit usually means being hungry at some point in the day and that poses a real challenge in your fitness goals.
This is one of the main reasons diets fail - because hunger is uncomfortable. Eventually we give in to temptation and eat beyond our required calorie allowance.
So, what are the foods that can help reduce hunger? Volume eating may just be the answer you were looking for.
What is Volumetrics (aka Volume Eating)?
Volumetrics (or volume eating) involves eating foods that are higher in volume, but lower in calories. This practice tricks your system to the feeling of fullness but meeting the caloric loss that was mentioned earlier. When coupled with a planned diet and correct exercise, eating high volume foods can become even more effective because you are still hitting your protein, fat and carbohydrate goals (your macros) for the day.
How to Identify High-Volume Foods?
The simple practice is to look at how many calories are in 100 grams of that food. The lower the calories per 100 grams of food, the higher the volume of that food you can consume.
100g peanut butter = 588 calories 100g strawberries = 33 calories Peanut butter is a very low volume food per calorie, and strawberries are a very high volume food per calorie.
By knowing calorie density of foods you can take an adaptive approach to a diet whereby you move your daily calorie allowance as you progress, slowly allowing your body to handle the deficit .
For example, you can start a diet using sweet potatoes (90 cal/100g) as a carb source. As you progress, you can eventually switch over to white potatoes (78 cal/100g), then butternut squash (45 cal/100g) and finally, if need be, spaghetti squash (31 cal/100g). This way your plate is always full and you keep making fat loss progress!
Below is a short list of some high volume foods that can be incorporated to a diet or meal plan:
Unsweetened Puffed Cereals
Puffed kamut, puffed corn, and puffed millet cereals give you quite a large volume of food for very few calories and carbs.
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Unsweetened vanilla almond milk contains 30 calories per cup and is absolutely delicious.
Strawberries have about 7.7g of carbs per 100 grams. This means you can eat an entire pounds of strawberries for roughly 33g of carbs, plus it contains a ton of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Note, tropical fruits, such as bananas, mangoes, pineapples, and also dried fruit or fruit juices are very carb dense and much harder to work in when volumetric eating.
Vegetables, particularly non-starchy ones, are naturally the lowest calorie and highest volume foods per gram… ever. Vegetables also happen to be incredibly micronutrient dense.
Air popped popcorn, of course, is high volume and a great snack when topped with some salt and nutritional yeast. Yum!
Most people are surprised to find out that white potatoes are actually lower in calories than sweet potatoes.
Pickles contain tons of flavor and crunch, and they contain very few calories by volume. Don’t just limit yourself to cucumber pickles! Pickled green beans, asparagus and even sauerkraut all meet the requirements of high volume and low calorie foods.
Silken tofu is a high volume food. It’s also a great base for creamy dressings, sauces, and even desserts when combined with some cocoa powder and stevia (or your sweetener of choice).
Butternut Squash & Spaghetti Squash
Squashes are so versatile and you can do so much with them. Spaghetti squash can take the place of noodles in any pasta dish.
Powdered Peanut Butter
As your daily fat needs get lower, powdered peanut butter can be a great food to utilize. You can put powdered peanut butter in oatmeal, smoothies, or you can bulk up smaller amounts of actual peanut butter with this peanutty goodness
Although this isn’t a high volume food or even a category of food, having protein with your meals will absolutely help you feel fuller. And while protein shakes are great, liquid protein will not keep you as full as food you actually have to chew on. So why not mix it up a little?
Try turning your protein powder into a tasty recipe, such as pudding, ice cream, or a mug cake so that you have filling protein you can actually bite into!
Nuzest Sugar-Free Protein Balls
- 4 tbsp Smooth Vanilla Clean Lean Protein
- 2 tbsp mixed seeds
- 1 tbsp cacao
- 2 heaped tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp chia seeds/psyllium husk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2-3 tsp stevia powder/6 vanilla stevia drops
- 1/4 -1/2 cup warm filtered water
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut, for rolling
- In a high-powered blender or food processor, add all the ingredients and blend until the mixture is smooth. If the mixture is too wet, add more Clean Lean Protein or LSA mix; if the mixture is too dry, add a splash of warm water.
- Spread the desiccated coconut over a plate.
- Roll into balls of your desired size and roll in the desiccated coconut.
- Place balls into an air-proof container and refrigerate for up to 7 days.