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Volume Eating: the key to reducing your calorie intake without being left hungry

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Many of us have been told that the only way to lose weight is to reduce the amount of food you’re eating and exercise more. However, this may leave you feeling hungry and deprived, only to overeat later in the day. If this sounds like you, then it is important to know there is another way. Read on to find out more about volume eating and how it might be the important step you’re missing on your weight loss journey!

What is volume eating?

Volume eating describes a style of eating which involves consuming large volumes of food, without consuming a large number of calories. This involves including larger amounts of low calorie-density foods such as fruit and vegetables. Calorie density refers to the number of calories per weight or volume of food. Fruit and vegetables are low calorie density because they take up a large volume and contain a high percentage of water and fibre.

Volume eating is a great way to reduce your overall calorie intake while still feeling full and satisfied. This is because our stomach holds the same volume of food regardless of the number of calories within it. Not only does this style of eating leave you feeling satisfied, but it also helps you to tick the boxes nutritionally and to optimise your metabolic health.

What does it look like in practice?

There is not a one-size fits all approach when it comes to volume eating. It can be as simple as opting for a smaller portion of pasta or pizza when eating out and filling the rest of your plate with a salad or other non-starchy vegetables. Alternatively, you can focus on adjusting the ratio of food on your plate at all main meals.

Here are a few simple steps to get you started with volume eating:

Step 1: Start by filling ¼ of your plate with a lean protein source. This includes lean red meat, chicken without skin, fish, tofu, tempe or eggs. This should be roughly the size and thickness of the palm of your hand.

Step 2: Fill ¼ of your plate with low GI carbohydrates. This includes potato, sweet potato, or wholegrains such as wholegrain bread or wraps, wholemeal pasta, quinoa, brown or long-grain rice. This should be roughly the size of your fist.

Step 3: Fill the remaining ½ of your plate with non-starchy vegetables. This includes salad greens, tomato, cucumber, green beans, broccoli, mushrooms, carrot. This should be roughly the size of two open handfuls.

Step 4: Top if off with 1-2 TBS of healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts and seeds or avocado


It is important to note that these specific ratios may differ depending on your individual goals, such as if you are trying to improve athletic performance or build lean muscle. If you would like further information specific to your goals, get in touch with one of our health coaches and dietitians here.

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