Lowest Calorie High Volume Foods

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What Is Volume Eating And How Do I Do It


Meat and vegetables are two volumetrics diet staples.

Volumetrics eating is pretty much exactly what it sounds like — you fill most of your plate with food that has a low-energy density, which means it contains less calories per volume. These foods tend to be high in fiber, water and vitamins, so you’re still getting plenty of nutrients. Basically, you get to eat a larger amount of food while taking in less calories.

A volumetrics diet will mainly have you chowing down on vegetables, whole grains and lean protein Because dietary fats have a high energy density, it may not sound like they fit into volume eating, but if you choose to go this route you should definitely still incorporate a substantial amount of healthy fats into any diet. Fats give you energy that’s necessary for cell growth, organ protection and many more crucial functions. Healthy sources of fats include nuts, seeds and plant-based oils.

Following a volumetrics diet also doesn’t mean that you have to completely give up any foods with high energy density — sustainable diets are all about moderation. You should feel no shame about indulging in a moderate portion of dessert or another sweet. Just make sure that the majority of your diet comes from high-volume foods.

Other High Volume Eating Highlights:

  • High volume foods leave you full and satisfied
  • High volume foods are typically nutrient dense
  • High volume foods are typically high in protein, which is great for body composition
  • Alleviates feelings of deprivation or other ill effects of dieting
  • High volume foods are low in fat, allowing you to choose your healthy fat sources wisely
  • The large size of meals and required chewing assist with the mental side of fat loss dieting

Another good example of high volume foods on display would be something like the fat free popcorn compared to baked Cheetos in the graphic below. The Cheetos have more calories, and you dont get to eat as many. Check out more graphics like this in my healthy snacks guide.

Okay, I think you get the gist of high volume eating.

One final note before we get into the recipes: While I picked up a few cooking skills on my way to a degree in nutrition, I dont particularly enjoy spending time in the kitchen. Therefore, most of the recipes will require minimal cooking and easy-to-prepare ingredients. If youd rather prepare things like riced/mashed cauliflower or green beans from fresh not frozen, by all means, go right ahead. My goal with these recipes is to shed light on how healthy eating doesnt have to be complicated.

Read Also: Low Carbs And Sugar Foods

Get Loaded With Nutrients

Because low-volume high-calorie foods are dense in proteins, carbs, and fats, they are a great source of nutrients for your body.

But, to get a balanced intake of macronutrients, you have to eat various low-volume high-calorie foods. For example, dont just stick to dried fruits because they are full of carbs but lack proteins and fat.

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High Volume Low Calorie Snack Ideas

Veggies and Hummus – My favorite homemade hummus recipe is the perfect pairing for a big plate of veggies and a few whole grain crackers or pita chips.

Sliced Apples with Nut Butter – Apples are an awesome filling fruit and paired with some healthy fats from your favorite nut butter, it makes a delicious snack.

Peanut Butter Cup Wonder Whip– This is one of the most popular recipe on my site for a reason! Stick to 0% Greek yogurt and this is an incredibly low calorie high volume snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Kale Chips – Have a savory/salty tooth and crave chips or pretzels? Kale chips are the perfect low calorie high volume way to satisfy those cravings!

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • Trim kale leaves from stems

  • Wash and thoroughly dry kale leaves

  • In a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast

  • Spray lightly with olive oil spray

  • Place on parchment lined baking sheet in single layer

  • Bake for 15 minutes until kale is crispy

I hope you enjoyed these high volume low calorie meal ideas and try them soon! Check out my Fix your Food Bootcamp For more info on how you can lose weight, eat more veggies, and create a healthy relationship with food using a high volume low calorie way of eating!

A Few More Healthy Snacking Tips

High Volume Low Calorie Meals
  • Serve yourself a plate instead of snacking straight from the fridge or pantry
  • Before you are hungry do a self check-in to see if you are really hungry.
  • Dont include high calorie dense, nutrient poor snack foods in your regular shop at all save these foods for special occasion shopping. Remember to stick to high volume foods that will fill you up.
  • If you do have them at home regularly then place them in opaque containers towards the back of the cupboard.
  • have a healthy high volume food list nearby to help you make good choices when shopping.
  • Ive always been a hungry human and found volume eating as a great approach that aligned with the philosophy that I wanted to take in regards to eating.

    I have a FREE course called Essential Volume Eating that shows you why this approach can help you manage your hunger without going overboard on counting calories.

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    Ingredient Chia Seed Pudding

    Chia seeds can be very filling and are great for high-volume eating. This pudding is made with just chia seeds, almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. It is creamy and sweet the perfect way to start your morning or a healthy midday snack. You can add all kinds of toppings to make it more interesting as well.

    Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai

    This zucchini noodle pad Thai creates the perfect high-volume meal that is very satisfying. In this recipe, zucchini noodles replace your regular noodles while retaining all the flavors of a classic pad Thai. You can even add more vegetables if you prefer or change up the spices to add more flavor to this light and filling meal.

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    Expert Tips From A Dietitian

    This is a level 1 recipe . You need to maintain a calorie deficit relative to your needs to lose weight. High volume low calorie high protein meals give you more food for fewer calories. This may help you feel full while maintaining a caloric deficit if you are a volume eater.

    Volume eating recipes are generally low fat but high in fiber and fluid volume. Fluid volume from water is zero calories, while fat provides 9 calories per gram. Carbs and protein are far less calorie dense than fat, providing only 4 calories per gram.

    Its easy to make volume eating salad thats good for weight loss. Just keep it low fat and make it a high volume salad with lots of fruits and veggies. I also recommend adding an adequate amount of the most filling macronutrient, protein.

    If you have higher energy needs, add more cashews to your salads, and consider including a side of whole grain crackers. Including a carton of milk with your lunch is another way to increase calories and youll have an additional food group covered.

    As with all of the salad recipes, dont be afraid to substitute ingredients to fit your taste preferences. Fresh snow peas are another veggie option that would work well here.

    High Volume Vs Low Volume Foods

    What I Eat when Cutting | LOW Calorie High VOLUME Meals

    The energy density of a food is based on its macronutrient content and balance. Foods high in fat and/or more concentrated in sugar are considered low-volume foods, given that fat contains more than double the number of calories per gram compared to protein and carbohydrates, while foods high in fiber and/or water content are considered high-volume foods, given that both fibre and water provide little to no calories per gram.

    Per 1 cup
    384 calories 1,910 calories

    Based on raw spinach, raw apple with skin, cooked long-grain white rice, raw avocado, and olive oil.

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    How To Start Low Calorie High Volume Eating

    You can personalize it according to your goals. If you want to reduce your calorie intake, reduce portion sizes and add more bulk foods. It doesnt mean you have to limit what foods you have. Its more about quantity. This method helps you not to feel exhausted when dieting. You choose to balance the amount of food for yourself.

    Mass eating can add something to gain mass or swap out for something lower in calories. Lets use the example of a bowl of ice cream. There are three ways I can apply mass eating:

    • Eat more fresh strawberries in ice cream
    • Choose yogurt instead of ice cream
    • Eat more berries

    There is no fixed way. You have to personalize each meal.

    What Is High Volume Eating

    Volume eating is an eating strategy that allows you to eat a variety of foods while minimizing your calorie intake. High volume eating is a great eating method for people who eat a lot but want to lose weight.

    Each food will provide different amounts of macronutrients and calories. Therefore, eating by volume will help you control the number of calories you eat at each meal. The essence of this method of eating is that you still eat a lot, but the amount of calories you consume is not much.

    You will eat foods in bulk during a high volume meal to increase and prolong satiety. From there, you will no longer feel hungry and load more calories into the body.

    The actual essence of high volume eating is:

    • Calorie content and mass of food are not directly correlated
    • Calorie content is determined by its macronutrient content
    • Different macronutrients provide different calories per gram
    • 1g carbohydrates = 4 calories
    • 1g fat = 9 calories

    In general, high volume eating will help you eat more food but not increase the number of calories. Eating according to this method makes your weight loss more effective. It doesnt really affect how much you enjoy the food. It just restricts some high-calorie high-fat foods.

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    Why Is High Protein Low Calorie Food Important

    High Protein foods are important as proteins are macronutrients, meaning that the body needs a fairly large amount of them in order for it to function properly.

    The body needs calories for energy, as without them, its cells would not survive. Determining the correct amount of protein and calories needed for optimal health lies in learning the nutrient content of various food items, and limiting intake within an acceptable individual range.

    How Does Volume Eating Work

    high volume foods with low calories

    Mass eating is the addition of lower-calorie foods, typically fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and lean meats, to add volume to a meal.

    Adding volume can be as simple as adding beans to a soup, adding vegetables to a salad, eating the whole fruit instead of dried fruit, or popcorn instead of crackers.

    Its not always about swapping food. Sometimes your bulk meals can be a few calories more than your regular meal. Its not about comparing meal to meal. Its about the whole day.

    Larger meals will keep you fuller for longer. You wont need to snack right after a meal, and your total for the day will be lower. For example, say you want a turkey sandwich. Instead of eating a turkey sandwich with a piece of cheese, a few slices of turkey, and two slices of bread, you can make it big by adding veggies.

    You can add cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, lettuce, sprouts, etc. You dont change removing anything from your sandwich but just want to add a full salad to it. Now your meal has more vegetables and is fuller.

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    Tip : Stock Up On Low

    Fill up on low-energy-density foods to avoid feeling hungry too soon after eating. These foods are better for you since they have less fat and more fiber, so you may eat more of them without increasing your calorie intake dramatically.

    • Vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, and salad greens all have low-calorie counts compared to their volume. Make use of vegetables as fillings, garnishes, and salad components.
    • Moderate consumption of whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats will help you feel full and promote good health because of the high fiber and nutrient content of these foods.

    Why Should I Try It

    If you’re interested in losing weight, it may be worth it to give volume eating a shot.

    Perhaps you find yourself eating enough for your energy needs, but never really feel “full.” Or, you want to snack just to keep your hands busy, but aren’t actually hungry. Maybe you’re even trying to lose weight without feeling deprived. All of those are solid reasons to try the volumetrics diet. This style of eating allows you to eat large quantities of many foods so that you feel full without taking in excess calories.

    Since volume eating is so flexible, almost anyone can make it work for their dietary requirements, but it may be more alluring to select groups of people.

    Really, volume eating is good for anyone who just likes eating a lot. And the power of volume eating to make you feel full is backed up by science — research suggests that people feel more satiated when they eat a larger perceived volume of food, even when the total calories remained the same.

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    How To Eat Low

    You can eat low-volume high-calorie foods as part of snacks or meals.

    Here is an example of a low-volume high-calorie snack: a bowl of 40 g of walnuts mixed with 40 g of dried goji berries. This snack has 402 calories.

    Here is an example of a low-volume high-calorie breakfast meal: 2 pieces of beef jerky with two slices of whole wheat bread and 2 large scrambled eggs. This meal has 507 calories.

    What Makes A Food Filling


    Satiety is a term used to explain the feeling of fullness and loss of appetite that happens after eating.

    A scale called the satiety index measures this effect. It was developed in a 1995 study that tested 240-calorie servings of 38 foods .

    The foods were ranked according to their ability to satisfy hunger. Foods that scored higher than 100 were considered more filling, while foods that scored under 100 were considered less filling.

    In short, eating foods that score higher on the satiety index can help you eat fewer calories overall. However, keep in mind that just because something keeps you fuller for longer doesnt mean its more nutrient-dense.

    Filling foods tend to have the following characteristics:

    • High in protein. Studies show that protein is the most filling macronutrient. It changes the levels of several satiety hormones, including ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide 1 (

    Potatoes are high in water and carbs and contain moderate amounts of fiber and protein. They also contain almost no fat .

    Compared with other high carb foods, potatoes are very filling.

    In fact, boiled potatoes scored a 323 on the satiety index, which is the highest number of all 38 foods tested. They scored nearly 7 times higher than croissants, which scored the lowest .

    One study in 14 people found that those who consumed a meal with meat, vegetables, and potatoes felt less hungry and more satisfied than those who ate the same meal with rice or pasta instead .

    Read Also: 1200 Calorie High Protein Low Carb Diet Meal Plan

    High Volume Low Calorie Meals

    By: Summer Yule · This post may contain affiliate links.

    Try this chicken salad with lemon ginger dressing when you want a low-carb and low-calorie lunch option. With only 371 calories and 25 grams of net carbs per serving, this high-volume entrée may help you with your weight loss goals. High volume salad recipes will increase your vegetable intake with easy, healthy meal prep. Youll have your weekday lunches ready to go!

    National Chicken Month is September, but we can celebrate anytime! Todays post will honor this niacin-rich food that is packed with high-quality protein with an easy salad prep recipe. If you purchase grilled chicken or use chopped rotisserie chicken breast, you wont even have to do any cooking.

    It is not necessary to eat salads if you really dislike them there are so many other ways that you can get your vegetables. However, salads are one of my favorite lunch options. They offer so many benefits:

    • Much higher volume for lower calories than a sandwich
    • No need to reheat, as you would for homemade soup
    • Easy way to get a daily serving of leafy greens, along with an assortment of other vegetables
    • Simple to make ahead so that lunches will be ready for the week

    If you are preparing this recipe ahead of time, remember to keep the dressing separate. Having leak-proof dressing cups on hand helps to make your salads more easily portable. Keeping your salad fixings as dry as possible is key to preventing the dreaded soggy salad.

    1 cup

    Are You Always Hungry

    Learn How to Satisfy Your Hunger With The FREE Essential Volume Eating Course

    Water is the magic ingredient that makes a food high volume because it contains no calories. Fibre is another focus ingredient because it contains fewer calories and also fills us up.

    If a food has more grams than calories per serving then it has a relatively low calorie density. If a food has more calories than grams per serve then portion control should be used. Use grams after cooking where relevant.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that have a lower calorie density that are surprisingly filling.

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