Volume Eating For Weight Loss

We don’t often think of weight loss and volume eating at the same time because it seems counter-intuitive. Volume eating is a type of eating plan that focuses on eating a large amount of low-calorie foods.

We don’t often think of weight loss and volume eating at the same time because it seems counter-intuitive. Volume eating is a type of eating plan that focuses on eating a large amount of low-calorie foods. This approach is different from the Fitmate approach as at Fitmate we promote eating nutrient-dense filling food that may or may not be low in calories.

However, you can incorporate some of the concepts behind volume eating into the Fitmate approach. For example, fruits and veggies are low in calories and contain fiber that will fill you up. You can add a large volume of these foods, in particular veggies, to your plate so you can eat more without piling on the calories.

However, what’s important to remember is that filling nutrient-dense food like lean proteins is more important to eat than low-calorie foods. When you eat that way, you don’t need to eat large volumes to feel satiated. Up next, we’re going to answer questions like: What is volume eating and volume eating foods? We’ll also tell you how our coaches can help you integrate it into the Fitmate approach of eating delicious filling foods to lose weight.

What Is Volume Eating?

Volume eating encourages you to prioritize filling foods to help increase satiety without increasing your calorie intake. The diet emphasizes filling foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, and other lean protein sources.

Like the numerous weight loss diets out there, the volume eating approach has its positives and negatives. There are two important things to remember with the Fitmate approach to volume eating. The first is that eating low-calorie fiber and protein-rich foods is good. The second thing to remember is that eating large volumes of low-calorie foods with few nutrients is not so good if you want to lose weight and keep it off.

High volume, low-calorie food can help you lose weight.

What Are The Benefits Of Volume Eating?

Some say volume eating is linked with feelings of fullness and even improved nutrition as well as weight loss. We should provide a caveat, these benefits are often for the short-term as eating large volumes of food is not something people can keep up for the long-term.

More Food Leaves You Satiated

Focusing on nutrient-dense whole foods will help to keep you full and satisfied.

Since many high-volume, filling foods, like fruits and vegetables, are rich in fiber and water, they can help to keep you full . They do that by filling up your stomach and slowing down the digestive process leaving you satisfied . This way of eating provides you with a steady supply of energy throughout the day.

However, high volumes of low-calorie food that is not nutrient-dense can do the opposite.

Improved Nutrition Density In Meals

Since high-volume foods are primarily fruits and vegetables, volume eating can be a simple and effective way to increase your intake of nutrient-dense, high-fiber. healthy whole foods. At the same time, those high-volume foods can reduce reliance on high-calorie foods with limited nutritional value.

While the volume diet doesn’t completely eliminate any foods or food groups, most processed foods are high in calories and therefore are limited as part of the diet. Processed foods are generally lacking in key nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein, and are typically higher in calories, sugar, fat, and salt.

Aids In Weight Loss

By focusing on fresh fruit, leafy greens, fresh vegetables, and whole grains you can eat generous portions with limited impact on the total number of calories you are consuming.

In one 2016 review, researchers found that people who ate lower calorie density foods experienced significant weight loss and it also helped to prevent future weight gain.

Additionally, the plan encourages at least 30–60 minutes of physical activity per day which can also help support your weight loss efforts.

Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber which helps keep you full.

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Volume Breakdown Of Food

The volume diet separates food into four categories based on their calorie density.  

Food Categories  Category Type Types of Foods
 Category 1 Very Low-Calorie Density

It’s important to eat a wide variety of these foods in larger portions as they are high in fiber, water, and low in sugar. Examples include fruits and vegetables (except starchy ones), nonfat milk, and broth-based soups.

 Category 2  Low-Calorie Density  Foods should be enjoyed in sensible portions. Examples include grains, legumes, lean meats, and starchy fruits and vegetables..
 Category 3  Medium-Calorie Density  Foods can be eaten in moderation as they are higher in fat and refined carbohydrates. Examples include meats, cheeses, bread, pizza, French fries, and ice cream.
 Category 4  High-Calorie Density  Foods can be eaten occasionally in limited quantities as they are higher in fat and carbohydrates than the other categories. Examples include chips, cookies, candy, butter, and some oils..

High Volume Low-Calorie Foods

When following the volume diet, you eat low-calorie foods that fill you up, which can help you lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived.

The following is a high volume eating, low-calorie food list:

Fruits and Vegetables Low-Fat Dairy Whole Grains Lean Protein
 Apples  Low-fat Greek yogurt  Brown rice  Eggs
 Watermelon  Low-fat cottage cheese  Quinoa  Beans and  Legumes
 Grapes  Low-fat milk  Oatmeal  Chicken breast
 Oranges  Low-fat sour cream  Whole Grain Bread  Tuna and other white fish
 Leafy Greens    Whole Grain Pasta  Tofu
 Asparagus    Air-popped popcorn  Tempeh
 Berries      Ground turkey
 Cucumbers      Extra-lean ground beef or pork

Low Volume High-Calorie Foods

Low volume high-calorie foods don’t provide the best nutrition to keep you feeling full and energized throughout the day and may promote weight gain. The following low volume high-calorie foods should be limited when following the volume diet.

Full-Fat Dairy Fatty Meats Highly-processed and Sweet Foods
 Whole milk yogurt  Ground beef  White bread, white pasta, white rice
 Full fat cheeses  Bacon  Sugary cereals
 Full fat sour cream  Sausages  Candy and baked goods
   Fried chicken  Soda
     Sweetened coffee drinks

Replace sugary liquids with water to reduce daily calories.

How To Start Volume Eating

The best types of diets encourage the consumption of nutrient-dense foods while also ensuring that you are satiated. The positive aspects of volume eating is that type of consumption. Up next are some key things that can help you take advantage of volume eating.

Make Substitutions Over Time

You don’t have to tackle the volume diet overnight. Making small changes over time will help you to be more successful.

You can make simple swaps starting with breakfast. For example, rather than have sugary cereal with milk, you could have low-fat Greek yogurt with berries. The Greek yogurt is loaded with protein and due to their fiber content, the berries will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

At lunch, rather than have a full sandwich, you may have a half of a sandwich with a broth-based soup or a big green salad. For dinner, there are many substitutions to help increase your intake of volume eating foods. For example, cauliflower rice makes an excellent substitute for white rice. And there’s no need to watch your portion of cauliflower rice.

At only 25 calories per cup, cauliflower rice provides just 10–20% of the calories you’d expect from the same quantity of white rice.

Cut Out Liquid Calories

Liquid calories won’t fill you up and they can add up quickly, placing a damper on your weight loss efforts. Try limiting or eliminating your intake of juices, full-fat milk, and coffee drinks and if you’re not a fan of water, try seltzer, flavored seltzer, or tea instead.

Start With Your Snacks

Snacking can fit into your volume diet as long as you pay close attention to what you’re snacking on.

Snacks tend to be low in volume and high in calories making them less than ideal for your volume diet.

However, making simple changes can make a big difference in your calorie intake. For example, you may consider ditching your chips or mixed nuts for popcorn or fresh fruit. These low-calorie filling foods will help to keep you on track.

Incorporate Vegetables Into Every Meal

This may seem overwhelming at first, but you can begin by adding a vegetable to one meal. For example, you can add spinach and tomatoes to your breakfast scramble. At lunch, opt for a side salad, or have carrot and pepper sticks with your sandwich.

At dinnertime, fill half of your plate with veggies, a quarter of your plate with lean protein, and a quarter with a whole-grain carbohydrate. Voilà, a perfectly well-balanced volume diet-friendly dinner!

Work With A Health Coach

Before beginning the volume diet, it’s important to consult a health coach for individualized care, accountability, and to increase your likelihood of success.

The best diet for you is one that you can stick to long-term and that keeps you satisfied and energized throughout the day.

To find the best diet for you and to get support in your weight loss journey, take the Fitmate quiz.

Author Alon Laniado is the founder of Fitmate Coach and certified in Nutrition with Stanford University School of Medicine and with Precision Nutrition. He is a certified Health & Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer with the American Council on Exercise. Alon has helped thousands of clients lose weight and is on a mission to help more people benefit from weight-loss coaches by making the service more affordable and accessible using technology.


What foods are good for volume eating?

The best foods for volume eating are those that are high in volume (filling), and low in calories.

The foods that will keep you full for the least amount of calories will include fruits and vegetables, lean proteins like chicken, beans, legumes, and fish, and minimally processed whole grains like brown rice and quinoa.

Does volume eating stretch your stomach?

Volume eating does not stretch your stomach permanently.

The high-volume, low-calorie foods that you’ll eat on the volume diet will stretch the stomach temporarily which will send a signal to your brain that you are full.

This feeling of fullness, without excess calories, is what allows for weight loss.

Which food has the least amount of calories?

Due to their water and fiber content, most fruits and vegetables have very few calories. Other foods with very few calories include low-fat cottage cheese, black beans, skinless chicken breast, and popcorn.

How many calories should I eat a day when I'm practicing volume eating?

The number of calories you eat per day when practicing volume eating will depend on a number of factors including your height, weight, activity level, and weight loss goals.

Once you establish your calorie target with the help of your health coach, you will want to focus on low-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains which won’t provide excess calories but will keep you feeling full throughout the day.

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