The Volumetrics Diet

The Volumetrics diet is based on the concept of eating larger portions of foods that are low in kilojoules and water and are high in fibre- leading to a longer lasting feeling of fullness.

The principle behind this is not new and dietitians have been bulking-out meals with low kJ vegetables and snacks in their meal plans for years, however this more formal “diet” has ranked among the best weight loss diets in 2020 so we thought we would take a deeper dive into how it works and weigh up the positives and negatives.

What kinds of foods does this diet involve?

Think foods such as vegetables, soups, lentils & beans, wholegrains such as quinoa and brown rice, high fibre cereals, lean chicken meat and fish and water

What kind of foods are not included?

There are no whole food groups or foods that are banned altogether, and all foods are included however it is encouraged to eat certain foods in smaller amounts such as nuts, seeds, oils and dairy products.

Positive Aspects of the Volumetrics Diet

  • It is a style of eating, rather than a strict plan to follow. You don’t have to count kilojoules, measure food, or track points on the diet – which sounds hard to believe but could lead to better long-term success due to the difficulty people have with these more strict methods.
  • This diet is expected to lead to 900g weight loss a week, which is certainly viable and as we know 1kg a week weight loss is most likely to be sustained in the long term.
  • A big part of the reason a lot of diets don’t work is because people get hungry and there is an all or nothing approach, this does not appear to be the case with this diet as it is aimed at large volumes of food, again with no foods or whole food groups that are excluded altogether.
  • This diet focuses on what you can eat and how to portion out different kinds of food, rather than on what to remove from your diet. This is a method often utilised by dietitians in their weight loss plans.
  • Flexibility, you can include energy dense foods you enjoy such as pasta if you bulk out the meal with low kJ vegetables instead of eating a whole bowl of pasta and meat.

Drawbacks to the Volumetrics Diet

  • This diet includes a very low consumption of nuts and seeds due to their high kJ nature, as well as a low intake of oily fish such as salmon, both of which are high in omega-3 fatty acids which we know are important in reducing inflammation and have heart health benefits.
  • As with a lot of diets, eating out can be a challenge with the volumetrics diet however ordering entree sized dishes and sides of vegetables can be a great solution and everything in moderation is the key.  
  • Potentially only short-term satiety. If you are an active person and are snacking on carrots and celery all day, it is likely they will only provide short- term feelings of fullness rather than the long term satiety we get from proteins, healthy fats and whole grains. Ensuring adequate protein and wholegrain intake is a key to success with the volumetric eating style.
  • Healthy eating in all forms usually requires a decent amount of preparation and cooking s (unless you are using a meal delivery service). If planning meals, shopping and cooking are something you have found difficult with previous diets, this will still be the case with the volumetrics diet- preparation is key to success with healthy eating.

Overall, the principles behind this style of eating are sound and a well-balanced diet can be achieved if undergone properly. If this eating style sounds like something that could benefit with you, working with a dietitian is the best way to ensure you are meeting your individual needs for an increased chance of success.

By Caitlin Mannion, Dietitian

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