The 3 Week Diet

How to Use High Volume Foods to Speed Up Weight Loss

It’s not about counting calories when it comes to satiety. To stay full and satisfied you can make use of high volume foods that are not only nutritious and should be a part of the diet, but that will curb your appetite and help you in weight reduction.

Eating smaller portions is situational in other words. The high volume foods — low in calories and high in water and fiber nutrients — are the ones to increase in portion. What foods are these? Foremost nonstarchy vegetables. You may have noticed that in some diet plans they say consume “unlimited quantities” and you can pretty much do that. They are also sometimes called “negative calorie foods” or “foods that burn fat.” While that may not be literally true, what is for certain is that eating a lot of them will keep you full enough to avoid overconsuming foods that most definitely are not negative in calories.

So here’s a list of non-starchy vegetables: artichokes and artichoke hearts, asparagus, bok choy, bamboo shoots, green beans, bean sprouts, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, collard greens, kale kohlrabi, leeks, mushrooms, okra, onions, green, yellow and red peppers, radishes, rutabaga, spinach, Swiss chard, summer squash, tomatoes, turnips, water chestnuts, and zucchini.

Such nonstarchy vegetables tend to have 30 or fewer calories per cup and generally 2-3 grams of fiber per cup and a high percentage of water and a vast array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. While it may be easy to polish off a 200 calorie calorie bar, just try doing that with 200 calories’ worth of broccoli!

If there was ever a use for the over-sized 14-inch dinner plate, this is it! Or even better, use the whole salad bowl meant to dish out four micro-salads meant to be a side dish to an exceedingly large main course especially when dining out at a restaurant such as Applebees’ which has salads with more than 1,000 calories which, sadly is becoming typical.  ranks in at an astonishing calories!).

tomato salad

There are also numerous non-starchy fruits, which while higher in calories and sugar, can be used judiciously in the diet. Some are more sensitive to the sugar content than others and so it is important to not overindulge in fruit to lose weight; it’s generally recommended to limit to three servings when dieting to lose weight.

Some of the best of these on the non-starchy fruits list: apples, plums, kiwi, peaches, grapefruit, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, watermelon, honeydew melon and cantaloupe.


For a detailed look at this principle of high volume foods with a low density of calories, nutritionist Jeff Novick, R.D. (video below) has a memorable presentation. He shows you that for equal calories and sugar content, you can eat a whole cantaloupe or you can eat two fat-free Fig Newton cookies; both have 140 calories. Or how about a whole 2-pound pineapple versus 4 ounces of gummi bears — both have 450 calories. Or a plate full of grapes versus two pats of butter.

So in making food choices we must think more deeply about foods that will satisfy. Novick also discusses a study showing what kinds of foods people were given right before going to a buffet table would allow them to consume less. Topping that list, eating a whole sliced apple; people at 15 percent fewer calories. On the other hand, drinking fruit juice did just the opposite. People actually ate more!

These very principles are at the heart of several popular diets. Check out any of the following Web sites for some free guidance on what to eat and what not to eat to increase your content of healthy foods to lose weight and maintain satiety and those to minimize. You’ll find recipes, meal planners, and in some cases public forums.

As one who has survived both dieting to lose weight and maintaining a healthy diet for weight management I know this works quite well. It is challenging, if not impossible to survive on micro-portions of processed foods or on diet shakes and nutrition bars and lose or maintain weight.  If you’re facing the challenge of constant hunger and deprivation this may well help you as it has me.

Share your thoughts…what’s working for you in your dieting?  Have you found success with eating high volume foods for satiety?

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