Food Volume and Weight Loss

by admin on May 18, 2010

Studies have shown that people tend to eat roughly the same volume of food every day.  Nutritionists talk about the energy density of food.  That means how many calories are packed into each ounce.  Lots of things affect energy density of food including the fat content, the water content, and the amount of fiber.  Fat has more than twice the calories per gram as protein or carbohydrates, so for the same serving size, higher fat foods can have up to twice the calories.

Fruits and vegetables are made up of lots of water, which has no calories, so they are much less energy dense.  And high fiber foods have fewer calories because your body can’t digest the fiber and use it for fuel, so it passes through the body and can’t be stored as fat.

So how do you decrease the energy density of the foods you eat?  Easy.  Decrease the fat content and increase the fruits and vegetables.  Here are some easy ways.  If you’re having an omelet, add vegetables, not cheese.  Add lots of veggies to pasta and rice dishes to increase volume without increasing calories.  Use mustard instead of mayo.  Load up sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles instead of cheese.  Simply replace the volume of normal fat (and excess carbohydrate) intake with more fibrous and healthy foods and you will feel just as full, but find yourself being healthier and losing weight.  So turn up the volume of the food you eat, just make sure it’s the low fat, high fiber type.

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