Trick Yourself into Eating Less!

Which would you choose? We always want to eat more – and have less calories. Focus on volumetrics (increasing the volume of the food without the calories!)

Volumetric actually means a measure of volume. Volume is how much space an object takes up. The fact remains: we like to eat and we like to eat more! How can we practice healthful dieting habits and still eat MORE? The answer is volumetrics –and you can learn to trick your body into eating less simply by how the food is presented and the types of food you eat! Here are some examples of how you can incorporate volumetrics into your healthy eating plan!


  • Focus on energy (calorie) density!
    • Calorie density is known as energy density – this is the amount of calories in an amount (volume) of food! The more calories (energy) we take in throughout the day can result in weight gain over time. When we restrict our energy, we lose weight. How can we restrict our calories without shrinking our portions? Most of the time this would not be possible– but with low energy dense foods, we can!
      • Lowest Energy Density Foods:

        -Non-Starchy Veggies

        -Low Sodium Broths

      • Medium Energy Dense Foods:

        -Fruits and Starchy Veggies

        -Lean Animal Meats, Egg Whites

        -Fat Free Dairy


      • High Energy Density Foods

        -Candies and Chocolate (High Fat and Carbohydrate Foods)

        -Juice and Sodas

The best way to focus on how energy density is to add in the low energy dense foods in any way you can! Here are some examples:

    -Pasta Dishes: Mix additional veggies in to the dish. (Shown Below)

-Pizza: Load with low calorie veggies like shredded cabbage, spinach and tomatoes – then top with low fat mozzarella cheese.

-Soups and Chili: Add in additional veggies and use extra low sodium broth to take up more space.

-Cereals: Add extra skim milk, and less cereal – to oatmeal, dry cereals and granola.

-Add air popped popcorn to trail mix or chex mix snacks.

-Add extra egg whites and veggies to an omelet.

-Snack on veggies instead of crackers, chips and cookies.

-Add shredded fruits and veggies to baked goods (such as zucchini to bread and apples to muffins)

-Steam extra veggies – puree and mix in with recipes. (Mac and Cheese –Mashed Cauliflower)



  • Shrink your plate!
    • Eating on a smaller plate can make you feel more satisfied with the quantity of food you are eating. When you feel satisfied with the portion – you are more likely to enjoy your food and feel full afterwards.
    • Purchase smaller dinner plate to eat on. Make this the new normal size. Restaurant size plates are not normal! Also purchase small snack size plates to portion out your snacks each day.
    • Make it a point to plate up each meal and snack you have! Do not eat out of the box or bag! That can lead to bad things. Remember: it takes 3 months to change a habit.



  • Decrease the depth of your bowls!
    • Shallow bowls can be more satisfying and help decrease portions. Most people are aware that eating on smaller plates is helpful – but what about our bowls? Obviously larger bowls are going to lead to larger portions sizes, but will smaller bowls still feel more satisfying? Try shallow bowls.



  • Pay the Price, Take the Time!
    • Planning is key when it comes to cutting down on your calories. If you plan to add in low calorie dense foods – you may think it will cost you more money. This is not true – but it does take planning! Here are some examples of ways to save you money!
      • Add in frozen, steam fresh veggies. They are inexpensive and do not spoil.
      • Buy frozen veggies in bulk to add to recipes. If it helps, pre-portion all of these things about before freezing.
      • Buy less meat! If you are making sloppy joes or tacos– use only a ¼ lb of lean beef but add in black beans and diced zucchini. The bulk is still the same, but the cost is significantly lower.
      • Purchase store bought trail mix but add in popcorn or cheerios at home to increase the serving size – and portion it all out for the week!
      • Add in canned veggies and beans – just be sure to rinse and drain them.
      • Save broth from roasts to use for future calorie cutting in soups.
      • If you make oven roasted veggies and have leftovers, puree them in the food processor and add low sodium chicken broth for a tasteful soup base!

If you need help with weight loss or meal planning – be sure to check our website or give us a call at Fitness Together – (330) 702-1311

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Posted by on July 25, 2013. Filed under Nutrition,Weight Loss. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry