Food Volume - A Strategy to Deal with Hunger Whilst Dieting

Food Volume - A Strategy to Deal with Hunger Whilst Dieting

You’ve been dieting for a few days, maybe even a few weeks. You’ve felt pretty good so far, but hunger has finally reared its ugly head. Every second thought in your brain is about food. It’s taking all your willpower to stick to your diet, but you can’t take much more of this. You’re feeling ready to give up, ready to hit the fridge… but you’re positive that eating too much food will put you right back where you started.

But this isn’t really the case. What if you could eat even more food and still lose body fat?

Let’s talk about food volume: a way to eat like a pig, feel satisfied and still nail your calorie goals. A classic visual demonstration of this is to think broccoli vs peanut butter on a plate. Two tablespoons of peanut butter (I’m sure we can agree, pretty easy to consume) comes in at 188 calories. To get the same amount from broccoli you would need to eat 550g.

While both can be considered healthy foods, we know that fat loss primarily occurs when you are in a caloric deficit1. Studies support this, showing that a higher food volume increases satiety and reduces food consumption at subsequent meals, even if the overall energy content is exactly the same2. What this means is that the higher the VOLUME is of the foods you eat, the fuller you’re going to feel. The less hunger you’re going to have. The fewer cravings you will suffer from.

In a practical sense, that means filling your plate with foods that take up a lot of room but don’t have a particularly high caloric load. Think fresh vegetables, leaner proteins, cauliflower rice over normal rice, berries over mangos, water over OJ. You get the idea.

So, next time you’re sat there feeling hungry, try loading up your plate with a higher volume of lower-calorie foods and eat your fill.  

PMC, E., 2021. Europe PMC. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 September 2021].
Strasser, B., Spreitzer, A. and Haber, P., 2021. Fat Loss Depends on Energy Deficit Only, Independently of the Method for Weight Loss.

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