Pump up the volume

by Khushboo on December 10, 2010


A medium fries from McDonalds (380 calories)








  • Mixed salad
  • Boursin, grated carrot, & rocket sandwich on rye bread
  • Mixed fruit (apple and strawberries) with one teaspoon of dark chocolate peanut butter

–> all for 330 calories??





A little food for thought: studies show that over the course of a day or 2, a person eats about the same weight of food regardless of calories. Even if you go with the ‘fries’ option, chances are you’re going to need more food to fill you up (unless you have an appetite the size of a nickel ;)).  Personally I’m a volume eater: it takes good-sized meals to make satisfy me, both mentally and physically. 

To cater to my appetite, I tend to base my meals around low energy-dense foods.  Think of low-density foods like a good sale: you’re getting a substantial volume of food for your money calories.  Hats off to you if things like meal-replacement bars work for you.  Personally, three bites of something is nowhere near enough for my brain to register that my meal is over.  If you share my love for food, here are same ways to enjoy it without gaining weight (you’re actually more likely to lose weight):

  • Don’t just drink your water, eat it too: Two cups of grapes contains about 100 calories whereas 2 cups of raisins (dried grapes) contain nearly 800 calories.  This is because the raisins have had most of the water and air content removed during the drying process.  Same volume, same food, but drastically different energy densities.  Enough said.
  • Feed yourself some fiber: High-fiber foods take longer to digest, making you feel full longer.  In addition, fiber is only partially absorbed as it moves through the digestive tract; therefore, you do not absorb 100% of the calories you consume.  So yes, you can eat pasta and rice and yet still lose weight: just go for the wholemeal variety and serve it up with a hefty side of veggies. 
  • Round up your meal with some protein: Protein can decrease hunger and prolong satisfaction more than foods higher in either carbs or fat.  Stick to a moderate-sized portions of lean protein such as poultry, seafood, egg whites, low-fat dairy, and legumes.  
  • Go to town with fruits & vegetables.  This might sound like a no-brainer but most people don’t.  Half a grapefruit has only about 38 calories…just about the same amount as a rich tea biscuit.  Three guesses which will fill you up quicker and for longer.    
  • Downsize your fat intake.  A gram of fat has twice as many calories as a gram of carbohydrate or protein.  Hence it’s easy to go overboard with fats without realizing it.  Even though I’m big on healthy fats, I do keep my portions of them relatively small.  You only need a small amount of MUFAs/PUFAs to reap the benefits and enhance the overall flavor of your meal.

There you have it: weight loss without hunger…talk about refreshing! 😀

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