Volumetrics: A Satisfying Approach to Weight Management

What is Volumetrics?

Volumetrics is a weight management approach developed by nutrition researcher Dr. Barbara Rolls, emphasizing the consumption of foods that are low in energy density but high in volume and nutritional value. The principle behind Volumetrics is to prioritize foods that have fewer calories per gram and higher water and fiber content, allowing individuals to feel full and satisfied while consuming fewer calories. By focusing on foods with a low energy density, Volumetrics promotes satiety, portion control, and long-term weight management success.

How does Volumetrics work?

Energy Density:

The key concept of Volumetrics is energy density, which refers to the number of calories per gram of food. Foods with a low energy density, such as fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, and high-fiber grains, provide fewer calories per gram but offer high volume and satiety. On the other hand, foods with a high energy density, such as fried foods, desserts, and processed snacks, contain more calories per gram and are less filling.

Volume and Satiation:

By focusing on foods with a low energy density, individuals can consume larger portions of food while still managing their calorie intake. These foods add bulk to meals, increase feelings of fullness, and promote satiety, helping individuals control hunger and reduce overall calorie consumption without feeling deprived or hungry.

Nutritional Value:

While prioritizing foods with a low energy density, Volumetrics also emphasizes the importance of nutritional quality. It encourages the consumption of nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, which provide essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants to support overall health and well-being.

What foods can be eaten on Volumetrics?

Low-Energy-Density Foods:

  • Fruits: Berries, apples, oranges, melons, pears, and grapes
  • Vegetables: Leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes
  • Broth-Based Soups: Vegetable soups, clear soups, and homemade broths
  • High-Fiber Grains: Oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta
  • Lean Proteins: Skinless poultry, fish, tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils, and legumes
  • Non-Starchy Vegetables: Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, eggplant, and green beans

Moderate-Energy-Density Foods:

  • Whole Grains: Whole grain bread, whole grain cereals, and whole grain crackers
  • Dairy Products: Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Lean Proteins: Lean cuts of beef, pork, and lamb
  • Plant-Based Proteins: Nuts, seeds, nut butters, and plant-based protein alternatives
  • Starchy Vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and peas

High-Energy-Density Foods:

  • Fried Foods: French fries, onion rings, and fried chicken
  • Processed Snacks: Potato chips, pretzels, crackers, and snack bars
  • Desserts: Cakes, cookies, pastries, ice cream, and candy
  • Fatty Meats: Bacon, sausage, ribs, and fatty cuts of beef or pork
  • Sugary Beverages: Soda, fruit juice, energy drinks, and sweetened beverages

What are the Benefits of Volumetrics?

Satiety and Satisfaction:

Volumetrics promotes satiety and satisfaction by encouraging the consumption of foods that are high in volume but low in calories. By filling up on these foods, individuals can control hunger, reduce cravings, and maintain a feeling of fullness throughout the day, making it easier to stick to their weight management goals.

Portion Control:

By focusing on foods with a low energy density, Volumetrics helps individuals practice portion control without feeling deprived. They can enjoy larger portions of nutrient-dense foods while still managing their calorie intake, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight and avoid overeating.

Nutritional Quality:

Volumetrics emphasizes the importance of nutritional quality, encouraging individuals to prioritize foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. By choosing nutrient-dense foods, individuals can support overall health and well-being while managing their weight effectively.

Flexibility and Variety:

Volumetrics offers flexibility and variety in food choices, allowing individuals to enjoy a wide range of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. With its focus on volume and satiety, individuals can create satisfying meals that fit their personal preferences and dietary needs.

Who would try Volumetrics?

Individuals Looking to Manage Weight:

People who are looking to manage their weight in a sustainable and effective way may try Volumetrics to prioritize foods that promote satiety and portion control. By focusing on low-energy-density foods, individuals can achieve their weight management goals without feeling deprived or hungry.

Those Seeking a Balanced Approach:

Individuals who want a balanced approach to nutrition may be drawn to Volumetrics for its emphasis on both food quantity and quality. By choosing nutrient-dense foods that are also low in calories, individuals can support their overall health and well-being while managing their weight effectively.

People Wanting to Control Hunger and Cravings:

People who struggle with hunger, cravings, and overeating may find Volumetrics helpful in controlling their appetite and reducing food intake. By prioritizing foods that promote satiety and satisfaction, individuals can manage hunger and cravings more effectively, making it easier to stick to their dietary goals.

Who would have a difficult time implementing Volumetrics?

Individuals with Limited Access to Fresh Foods:

People who have limited access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may find it challenging to implement Volumetrics, as these foods are central to the approach. Lack of access to nutritious foods can hinder adherence to the diet and may require alternative strategies or support from community resources.

Those Resistant to Change:

People who are resistant to making changes to their eating habits may have difficulty implementing Volumetrics, as it requires a shift towards prioritizing low-energy-density foods and portion control. Resistance to change may stem from ingrained habits, emotional attachment to certain foods, or fear of deprivation.

Individuals with Disordered Eating Patterns:

People with disordered eating patterns such as binge eating disorder, emotional eating, or orthorexia may find Volumetrics challenging to implement, as it may exacerbate feelings of restriction, guilt, or anxiety around food. It’s essential for individuals with disordered eating patterns to seek professional guidance and support to address underlying issues and develop a healthy relationship with food.

Tips for Success on Volumetrics:

Fill Up on Fruits and Vegetables:

Prioritize fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack to increase volume and promote satiety. Include a variety of colorful produce in your meals to maximize nutrient intake and flavor.

Choose High-Fiber Foods:

Opt for high-fiber foods such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and non-starchy vegetables to add bulk to meals and support digestive health. Fiber helps slow down digestion, regulate blood sugar levels, and promote feelings of fullness.

Stay Hydrated:

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support feelings of fullness. Herbal teas, flavored water, and broth-based soups can also contribute to hydration and satiety.

Practice Mindful Eating:

Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues, and eat slowly to savor the flavors and textures of your food. Avoid distractions such as TV, phones, or computers during meals to focus on your eating experience.

Plan Balanced Meals:

Plan balanced meals that include a combination of low-energy-density foods, moderate-energy-density foods, and high-energy-density foods to achieve a satisfying and nutritious diet. Aim for variety and balance to meet your nutritional needs while managing your calorie intake.


Volumetrics offers a satisfying and sustainable approach to weight management by prioritizing foods that promote satiety, portion control, and nutritional quality. By focusing on low-energy-density foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, individuals can manage their weight effectively without feeling deprived or hungry. With its emphasis on volume, satiety, and flexibility, Volumetrics provides a practical and enjoyable way of eating that supports long-term health and well-being. Whether seeking to lose weight, improve nutrition, or enhance overall wellness, Volumetrics offers a balanced and evidence-based approach to achieving dietary success and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.