Updated: Dec 21, 2021
Every food or drink has a volume, meaning how much space it occupies (eventually in your stomach!). This should be carefully considered to line up with your goals.
Foods that are high in volume and low in energy density (calories) are a great way to almost ‘cheat’ hunger. Here, you needn’t look far beyond vegetables, especially leafy greens. To put this idea of energy density into context: Half a kilo of kale has a mere 245 calories; I’m not sure I can even picture how much kale that is, never mind eating it. Half a kilo of peanuts? 2,835. Now let me be clear, all foods have a place in any diet, and there should be no ‘bad’ foods.
Examples of high volume, low-calorie foods are high fibre fruit, vegetables, and big leafy salads. Low-fat Greek yogurt, popcorn, oats, and egg white frittatas - to name a few!
On the flip side, high-volume foods can be heavy on the digestive system, often carrying a very high fibre content. They can also provide a temporary feeling of satisfaction, causing a misalignment between your brain, your body, and your stomach. There may be times where you put the fork down and your stomach is bursting but your brain is telling you it wants more. Are the foods you’re eating dense enough in calories?
Consider the ratio of volume:calories, and tip the scales either way when you feel you can, want to, or need to.