The reason many diets fail is because they usually involve either cutting out the tasty treats you love, or even whole food groups - and all that deprivation often seems to make the hunger pangs worse. But what if the diet left you feeling full and satisfied and still losing weight? Check out the Volumetrics diet and see how it could work for you.
What is it?
The Volumetrics diet, created by nutritionist Dr Barbara Rolls, works on the theory that deprivation diets just lead us back into temptation. Rather than focusing on cutting down on food altogether, slimmers should look more closely at the foods they can eat freely, and feel full and satisfied without the guilt.
Dr Rolls suggests that that satisfied feeling we get after a good meal has less to do with the number of calories, and grams of fat, protein or carbs, and more to do with how much we've eaten. Therefore, if you fill up on plenty of those foods that are low in calories, you'll feel fully satisfied but won't be piling on the pounds. And best of all, nothing is banned.
The Volumetrics diet is not about the good, the bad and the ugly of food. It's about energy density, i.e. the number of calories. So yes, it's calorie counting to a certain extent, but it certainly doesn't mean munching on a stick of celery and hearing your tummy rumble all day. In fact, the idea is to swap those small and mighty high-calorie foods with plentiful supplies of less energy-dense items. Think foods with a high water content and filling fibre, such as fruits and vegetables, in hearty platefuls of soup, broth, stew or casserole. So instead of sitting down to a measly meal, you can enjoy a bowl brimming with goodness but without the calories, and therefore feel sated after lunch or dinner.
Energy dense products such as crisps, biscuits and chocolate are certainly not off limits, but you'll need to eat them in much smaller quantities if you're to be successful. If you need motivation, it might worth investing in Dr Rolls' book The Volumetrics Eating Plan, which shows side-by-side snaps of both high and low energy density foods - one a healthy, hearty and low-calorie meal, the other a tiny morsel of those unhealthy treats so many of us crave. It might just be enough to help you stick with the diet and achieve your weight loss goal.
Could it work for you?
Unlike so many diets, the Volumetrics plan is based on a very simple principle - healthy eating and, of course, regular exercise. But because there is none of the usual deprivation or strictly banned substances, and because it's all about changing the way you see the healthy versus the unhealthy in terms of meal size, it means you are more likely to achieve success and less likely to fall off the diet wagon. And though you might need some time to adjust to these healthier eating habits and home-cooked meals, Dr Rolls suggests setting an achievable, and perhaps more importantly, sustainable weight loss target, shedding around 1kg per week.
It's certainly no quick-fix fad diet, and you'll still need some willpower, but without those hunger pangs, you stand a much better chance of success.
Have you tried the volumetrics diet? Leave your comments below...