There are many research labs that have as their only purpose to study how we eat.
Dr. Barbara Rolls is a very well known nutrition researcher that has focused the work at her lab at the Penn State Department of Nutritional Sciences on the study of eating behaviour and weight management. One of the things that we’ve learned from work done at various labs is that we eat about the same amount of food each day. Dr. Rolls has done lots of studies on this and has indeed found that the weight of food a person eats is similar from day to day whereas caloric content will vary.
Consequently, according to Rolls, the trick to weight loss is to fill up on food without filling up on calories. She’s written a few books on what she calls the ‘Volumetric Eating Plan’. The principle is simple, if you eat foods that have lots of calories per bite- have a high caloric density- like chips, crackers and cookies- you’ll quickly eat too many calories and gain weight (or not lose the weight you want to lose).The key is water. Water adds weight but doesn’t add calories; it lowers the caloric density of foods. Adding foods that are water-rich to your diet will allow you to eat the same amount of food as usual, so you won’t feel deprived, while providing you with less calories, helping you to lose weight.
- If you have a broth-based soup or a salad (with a little or no dressing) before a meal , you’re likely to consume less total calories during the meal.
- Bulk up stews, chilis, casseroles and sauces with water-rich vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli and carrots.
- Sneak vegetables and fruit into your diet whenever possible.
- Add berries or other fruit to your cereal.
- Add lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables into your sandwich or hamburger.
Rolls’ Volumetric Eating Plan also includes choosing foods high in fibre (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes) that will help fill you up, lowering fat intake and exercise.