A really good tip for losing weight (and keeping it off) is to eat foods that make you feel full quickly and that also contain fewer calories than your usual food … this tip works a treat! It uses a technique known as volumetrics.
To beat your type 2 diabetes you need to eating foods that are (1) low in sugar, (2) low in fat, (3) low in salt, (4) high in fibre and (5) are digested slowly.
The easiest way to do this is by concentrating on natural, unprocessed foods that are mostly plants. You also need to avoid dairy products and eggs, and drink plenty of water.
In addition, if you are overweight, you need to bring your weight down to a healthy level … and the easiest way to do so is to concentrate on foods that have low energy-density.
What is satiety?
Satiety is the feeling of fullness you have after a meal. Unless you are a glutton, you will stop eating once you feel satiated.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have discovered that it is the weight of the food we eat that brings on the sensation of satiety … not the amount of protein or carbohydrate, or the number of calories, we have taken in.
It is as if your stomach had an internal set of weighting-scales which, once it has registered a certain weight of food, signals ‘enough’.
Thus, to lose weight, you need to eat food that makes you satiated earlier and is low in calories.
Energy-density and volumetrics
The term energy-density describes how many calories are packed into a set amount of a particular food.
Water does not contain any calories. Therefore, food that has a lot of water in it has a low energy-density … it contains few calories per gram. And water is relatively heavy.
Volumetrics refers to eating foods that bring on the sensation of satiety with reduced calories by eating foods that contain relatively more water than other foods.
The volumetric dieting trick is to eat foods that have low energy-density but are also filling … foods containing lots of water.
Most people eat about the same weight of food each day. If you eat a bit less, your appetite causes you to eat a bit more.
By switching from ‘drier’ foods to ‘waterier’ foods, you can take in the same weight of food every day but fewer calories (and feel just as full as usual).
Strangely, just drinking a glass of water before you eat will not reduce your appetite. Nobody seems to know why, but water on its own does not seem to register on your internal weighting-scales.
However adding water to other foods (such as casseroles) does increase their weight and brings down their energy density and thus the number of calories in a given weight of that food.
Low energy-density foods
So you can lose weight by switching to low energy-density foods.
And there are plenty of low energy-density foods about that are also filling, ie make you feel satiated easily. These include:
- broths … but not cream soups
- vegetables … such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, chickpeas
- fresh fruits … such as apples, pears and oranges which are relatively heavy but contain few calories (but not dried fruits which (by definition) do not contain any water)
- whole grains … in the form of rice and pasta which are water-based and filling (but not rice cakes and bread).
Airy foods, such as bread, pretzels, Melba toast and rice cakes, are not high in calories but will not bring on satiety … you have to eat a lot just to get full.
Fatty foods, such as cheese, onion rings, potato crisps and meat are filling but they contain 9 calories per gram, that is, they have a relatively high energy-density.
You can check out the energy-density of commercial food products just by looking at the label.
If the food contains less than one calorie per gram, it has a low energy-density … the weight of the food will fill you up before the calories fill you out.
The label will show you the number of calories per gram. If not, it will show the number of grams per serving and the number of calories per serving, so you can easily work out the number of calories in a gram of the food.
For example, a tin (can) of spinach may contain 115 grams per serving and 30 calories per serving, so it will contain 30/115 = 0.26 calories per gram, ie a low energy-density as it less than one.
Or, a slice of white bread might weigh 32 grams and deliver 80 calories; thus its calories per gram would be 2.5, ie it has a high energy-density.
There is no need to do the mental arithmetic in your head.
Just look at the label … if the number of grams per serving is higher than the number of calories per serving then that food has an energy-density that is less than one, ie is low.
You will find that choosing foods that naturally contain a good amount of water will help you to lose weight. Volumetrics is a handy way for picking the most filling foods with the fewest calories … and shows us that the best way to reduce weight and keep it off is to eat a plant-based diet.