Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Daily Diet Tip #4: How High-Volume Foods Help You Lose Weight

To drop pounds, pump up the volume.  Not the volume of your music but the volume of your food.  Think fiber and water.

Fiber is your best diet friend.  It is bulkier and makes you feel full on less food.  Foods with a high water content offer the same benefit.

Wonderful Watermelon/Courtesy Watermelon.org
A cup of watermelon has 46 calories, according to TheDailyPlate.  One big, oatmeal cookie from, say, Starbucks (which I love) has 220 calories.  The watermelon is also a better choice from a nutritional standpoint versus the cookie which offers little nutritional value.  I usually can't stop at a cup, so have two cups for dessert.  That's still less than 100 calories and after two to three cups of a watermelon, you're probably pretty full.  One cookie?  It's not all that satiating.

starbucks oatmeal cookie
The Starbucks Oatmeal Cookie/Courtesy Starbucks
The watermelon for cookie is an easy swap.  What else can you do?

Fill up on a big bowl of broth-based soup as an appetizer, go light on the cheese, breaded items, etc.  Too hot for soup?  Go for a veggie-laden salad.  Again, nix the croutons, heavy cheese, bacon bits and creamy dressings.

The Science
There is data behind this.  According to Women's Health Magazine, a study at Penn State University examined obese women who ate foods with a higher fiber and water content.  Those women lost 40% more weight than women who simply controlled their portion size and cut back on fat.

In another Penn State study, women ate the same weight of food over a 2-day period.  The women who ate the high-fiber foods on the second day took in 30% fewer calories but did NOT feel hungrier or less full.

The Takeaway
Think about it.  When you eat soup before dinner, you get full faster.  It's a simple matter of volume.

Here is a great list of high-volume foods (aka high-fiber, low-calorie) from the American College of Healthcare Sciences.  Definitely worth your time.
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