The Volumetrics diet, first mentioned in the book “Volumetrics: Feel Full on Fewer Calories” by Dr. Barbara Rolls, partially aligns with certain principles of intuitive eating. The volumetrics diet focuses on eating to the fullest while keeping an eye on each meal’s fat and calorie content.
Another day, another diet. The past three decades saw a steady rise in unrealistic diets and beauty standards across the world. The weight loss and weight management market is at an estimated value of 192.2 billion and expected to reach 295.3 billion by the end of 2027. The past decade has been an iconic timeline for the diet industry. On the one hand, diets like the paleo and keto diet, initially introduced as a treatment for epilepsy, gained momentum and were exploited by many in the diet industry.
However, by late 2017, a group of body positivity activists and medical professionals started actively campaigning against the dangerous and demeaning practices of the diet industry by introducing intuitive eating concepts and the “Health at every size” approach. As of 2021, these activists and professionals continue to work against the peddling of fake nutritional advice and unsafe diets on social and mass media. When prescribed for the wrong purpose, a diet to the wrong person at the wrong time is considered a dangerous, unhealthy, and fad diet.
Main Principles Of The Volumetrics Diet
This diet has four main principles, which revolve around adding volume and thus aiding to better satiety with each meal:
- Reducing fat
- Adding fiber
- Adding water
- Adding fruits and vegetables
1. Reducing Fat
Reducing fat in the volumetrics diet is of utmost importance. 1 g of fat gives up to 9 kcals, and a constant and high intake of fat can add up unnecessary calories to the diet. Fat metabolizes slower than carbohydrates and proteins and is stored easily in the body.
2. Adding Fiber
A favorite amongst the weight-loss gurus, fiber-rich foods are the easiest way to consume a huge volume of food, bringing in fullness faster while keeping the calories in the count. Insoluble and soluble fibers are the two types of fiber. Soluble fibers are found in legumes, oats, broccoli, barley, etc. They easily dissolve in water and help in limiting the absorption of fats and other nutrients. Insoluble fibers cannot dissolve in water easily. They play a huge role in providing bulk to the stools passing through our gastrointestinal system. They are primarily found in the skins of fruits and vegetables and whole-grain products.
3. Drinking Water
Now, this is pretty controversial. Having water between meals is a big NO usually, but the volumetrics diet emphasizes consuming water throughout the day to keep the person satiated. This could be before, after, or even in between the meals. This principle ensures that your appetite reduces the number of calories consumed, and you feel full faster.
4. Adding Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are essential in the volumetrics diet as they are rich in many essential micronutrients and another instrumental necessity of this diet, fiber. Fruits and vegetables are some of the most flexible food ingredients that can be tweaked according to the palates of any cuisine. They add unique textures and flavors to food. From the viewpoint of the volumetrics diet, fruits and vegetables provide bulk to the diet and make you full quickly, but the calories remain low.
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1. Add Water To All Meals
Whether it is a starter or part of the main course, try to incorporate fluids into your meals. It could be in the form of soups, broths, or even some meat or vegetable stews. It makes you full faster and is a creative way of consuming water through your meals.
2. Add Fruits To Your Meals
Adding fruits to your meals increase fiber and water intake. Fruit smoothies, fresh fruit juices, and veggie salads, fruit with oatmeal or yogurt parfait are just a few ways to include fruit into your diet. You can drink healthy fruit juices to increase your fiber and water intake in the body. It maintains fluid levels and boosts your metabolism too.
3. Use Legumes
Legumes are one of the most versatile ingredients in the culinary world. They are long-lasting, cheap, and easy to store in air-tight containers for a longer period. You can consume legumes in various forms and are an excellent source of protein and complex carbohydrates. Include legumes into your daily diet by adding them to your soups, pasta, salads, dosa, chutneys, etc. Legumes are used in patties and can be used as a good meat substitute. Legumes are very filling and provide you with a handful of good nutrients.
4. Add Nuts, Seeds, And Dried Fruits
Nuts, seeds, and dried fruits are a good source of fiber. They also have a lot of calories. They are also deficient in water; hence, they should be consumed in moderation. They can be added to your salads, smoothies, chutneys, sabzis, etc.
Is The Volumetrics Diet Really Worth It?
The best diet (irrespective of whether it is for weight loss, weight gain, or weight management) is sustainable over a long time. It means that the diet must be enough to fulfill your energy needs while ensuring that you get enough macro and micronutrients essential for your overall development and daily functioning. While the volumetrics diet is on common ground with intuitive eating, concerning the amount of food that can be eaten, the unnecessary fear of fat and calories can damage both the young minds and the uninformed public.
But, hey, if you aim to challenge yourself and test your willpower for a week, go ahead and try it out!