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The Volumetric Diet - Lose Weight Without Starving Yourself

Written by
Asha. C
and medically reviewed by Sumiya Sulthana

Published on Jun 17, 2022   -  5 min read


The volumetric diet emphasizes low-calorie and nutrition-rich food. This article explains what to eat, how this works, and its advantages and disadvantages.


What Is the Volumetric Diet?

Volumetrics is a plan for losing weight created by Dr. Barbara J. Rolls. The diet encourages eating nutrient-dense foods that are low in calories and high in water, such as fruits, vegetables, and soups which can make you more fuller and satisfied. And to limit calorie-dense foods like cookies, chocolates, nuts, seeds, and oils. The volumetrics diet follows more of an unstructured eating technique than one that restricts specific foods and severely limits the daily caloric intake. Unlike other diets, this diet is intended to promote healthy eating habits and should be considered a long-term lifestyle change rather than a short-term solution.

What Are the Foods to Eat and Avoid While Following the Volumetric Diet?

While following a volumetric diet, a person can eat anything but need to pay attention to energy density, that is, the number of calories in a certain quantity of food. Rather than banning any foods entirely, the volumetrics diet breaks food down into four categories based on their calorie density.

Category 1:

This category contains low-calorie density and should comprise the majority of the diet. They include:

Category 2:

This category of foods has more caloric density than the first category and can be enjoyed in moderation. They also offer fiber, which leads to satiety. They include:

Category 3:

Many commonly loved ingredients fall into this category, which should be eaten in less quantities than other categories. Foods in this category are considered medium calorie density. These foods include:

Category 4:

This final category is classified as having high energy density food. These foods contain lots of calories per serving and should be eaten very sparingly. They include:

What Are the Benefits of Following the Volumetric Diet?

The volumetric diet group consists of four categories, ranging from very low to high-calorie density food. In general, the number of calories is divided in a particular serving size by their weight in grams. Foods with high water content, such as apples, normally have a very low score in calorie density, while desserts and processed foods like cookies usually rank high.

A typical meal on the volumetrics diet should include foods from categories 1 and 2 to help round the plate. A small number of foods from category 3 and very limited portions from category 4 are recommended. A standard meal plan provides around 1,400 calories per day but can be altered to fit the calorie goals by increasing portion sizes or adding extra snacks. No foods are completely eliminated from the volumetrics diet. In fact, high-calorie density food can be included by modifying the portion sizes and adjusting the other meals.

The diet recommends at least 30 minutes to 60 minutes of exercise each day. The physical activity and food intake should be tracked in a journal to monitor the progress and identify areas that may need improvement.

What Are the Benefits of Following the Volumetric Diet?

What Are the Disadvantages of the Volumetric Diet?


The volumetrics diet focuses on a low-calorie density and high-volume diet. This diet gives a feeling of fullness reducing hunger and craving and promoting weight loss. It may also improve the diet quality by increasing the intake of nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables. However, it restricts many healthy foods and has limited online resources, which may not be suitable for some people. So, before you start one, seek the help of a dietician.


Frequently Asked Questions


What Is a Volumetric Diet?

The volumetric diet is a diet plan created by Barbara J. Rolls to promote weight loss by eating low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods. It reduces feelings of hunger by prioritizing foods with low-calorie density and high water content. Additionally, it also encourages healthy habits, such as regular exercise and maintaining a food journal.


What Type of Food Is Recommended to Have in a Volumetric Diet?

While practicing a volumetric diet, there are no bars on the type of food we take. Instead, this diet prioritizes eating more low-energy-density foods like vegetables, fruits, salad, and soups and less high-energy-density foods like chips, fried foods, cheese, and desserts.


What Is the Duration of a Volumetric Diet?

Unlike other diet plans, the volumetric diet should be considered a long-term lifestyle change. It makes us more aware of our eating habits and food choices, and healthier dietary decisions are prioritized with a lower calorie density food, such as fruits and vegetables. Additionally, no foods are banned from the diet, so we can enjoy our favorite dishes by adjusting and modifying the diet plan.


What Is the Negative Side of a Volumetric Diet?

The diet needs more time and energy investments, which may make it unsuitable for some people. And this diet limits healthy fats, including nuts, seeds, and oils. Additionally, calculating the energy density of foods is time-intensive.


Is the Volumetric Diet a Fad Diet?

The volumetric diet is not a fad diet, and it should be viewed as a long-term lifestyle change. It helps in losing weight slowly by making people more aware of their food choices and eating habits and prioritizing low calories and high water content foods, such as fruits and vegetables.


What Are the Breakfast Options in a Volumetric Diet?

Peanut butter oatmeal, smoothie bowl, banana yogurt, tomato, and watermelon salad, and blueberry oatmeal are some breakfast food options for people who follow a volumetric diet.


Is Fat Intake Allowed in a Volumetric Diet?

In a volumetric diet, the highest quantity of foods with the lowest density is recommended but make sure to get enough fat. Sufficient fat intake is important to everything from brain functioning to the skin’s ability to stay hydrated, so it is necessary to make sure to work in some healthy fats, like avocados and olive oil.


How Does a Volumetric Diet Plan Works?

The volumetric diet focuses on foods with a high volume and low-calorie density. It helps in weight loss by increasing the feelings of fullness while decreasing cravings and hunger. It may also improve the diet quality by enhancing the intake of nutrient-dense foods like vegetables and fruits.


How Popular Is a Volumetric Diet?

The volumetric diet is a diet plan created by Barbara J. Rolls, a professor of nutrition science. This diet plan has ranked second position in the weight loss category in the U.S news and was announced as the world's best diet in 2018.

Last reviewed at:
17 Jun 2022  -  5 min read




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