Everyone knows dieting can be hard, especially when you’re just so darn hungry!
In today’s post i’m going to share two major concepts to consider when dieting: Calorie Density (also called volumetrics) and The Satiety Scale.
Volume… sometimes more is better
Everyone knows they need to reduce their calories when they want to lose weight. But often we’re fed confusing and conflicting information, like “eat less, move more”. I want to take a moment and say that this means to eat less calories… not less food. I think this is one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to successful weight loss. It is just so darn easy to over-eat calories on low-volume food!
Think about it… ever known someone who seemingly can’t lose weight? Someone who says “but i don’t eat a lot, and i exercise” yet they can’t shed the pounds? It has everything to do with calorie density and not volume.
Perceived Healthiness of Food
It’s so important to understand that just because something looks and seems healthy doesn’t mean it will appropriately fit your diet.
Think about all the foods you thought were healthy that just so happened to be packed with more calories than you ever imagined. Those black bean brownies? More calories and saturated fat than a normal brownie. Those healthy date and cashew protein balls? A whopping 400 calories and 3 grams of protein; nearly double the damage of a conventional protein bar and 5 times less protein. So harsh!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to understand that simply because something “looks” or is marketed as “healthy” does not mean that is it. It is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the amount of energy found in the foods you know and love.
Calorie Density Chart by SparkPeople®
We all know that some foods are more calorie dense than others. But take a quick look at the chart above. Any surprises? You’ll notice most of the high-fat foods (avocados, eggs, peanut butter, macadamia nuts, etc.) are very calorie dense. What’s not pictured? Oils, sauces, and a ton of condiments… you’ll just have to take my word on those also being really dense! Some of the least calories dense foods are (surprise surprise) vegetables.
Fill Up On Low Calorie Density Foods
If you want to beat hunger when dieting you’ll want to eat as much as possible while maintaining your calorie deficit.
My recommendation? Try and eat large volumes of low-calorie foods. They will keep you full, satiated, and provide plenty of water/fiber and micronutrition.
Satiety Scale and Fullness Levels
Some foods despite being low in volume are known for their hunger-smashing satiety levels. Ever eat a bowl of oats and find you’re not hungry until well after your normal lunch time? On the other hand, ever eaten a croissant and then found yourself hungry 15 minutes later? If you want to succeed on your diet you may also consider sticking to foods known for their high satiety scores while staying away from foods known to offer low levels of satisfaction.
You’ll notice some foods like boiled potatoes, white fish, brown pasta, oats, and more offer high levels of satiety while some foods like croissants, cake, and other baked foods don’t. What’s even more crazy, is these foods are known to be filling (or not) regardless of the amount of energy (or calories) they have.
Eat plenty of Filling Foods
It goes without saying that you should try and avoid eating foods which don’t provide satisfaction and instead focus on foods which make you feel fuller faster if you want to control your calories overall.
Just because foods look or sound healthy doesn’t mean they are. Fill up on high-volume but low-calorie density fruits and veggies. Consider the level of satiety of certain foods which making your meal plans, you don’t want to be hungry!