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Volumetrics meal plan: Volumetrics Diet Plan for Weight Loss


Volumetrics Diet Plan for Weight Loss

Volumetrics is a plan for losing weight created by Barbara J. Rolls, PhD, a renowned nutrition researcher who has been studying hunger and obesity for more than 20 years. The diet was tied with the WW (formerly Weight Watchers) Diet for No. 5 on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Diets Overall list in 2022. (1)

In her first book, Volumetrics: Feel Full on Fewer Calories, Dr. Rolls, who is director of the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior at Penn State in University Park, Pennsylvania, described ways to avoid high energy-density (high-calorie) foods, learn to spot “calorie traps” (foods that seem healthy but contain hidden calories), and discover foods that will make you feel satisfied with fewer calories. In that book, she notes that reducing calorie intake by between 500 and 1,000 calories per day may lead to 1 to 2 pounds (lbs) of weight loss per week.

Rolls’ second book, The Volumetrics Eating Plan, is a lifestyle guide and cookbook. It follows the original principles — losing weight by eating satisfying portions of flavorful, healthy choices rather than high-density foods — plus it offers more recipes, menu planners, and lists of healthy food options to give readers concrete, real-life instructions for every meal. Most recently, Rolls released The Ultimate Volumetrics Dietwhich offers updated research, more recipes, and additional tips and tools for people interested in the diet.

How Does the Volumetrics Diet Plan Work?

Volumetrics places the emphasis on eating rather than deprivation. “The focus is 100 percent about fullness,” says Chicago-based Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet and The Superfood Swap. “This diet is trying to get you full because, when given a choice, people will choose to eat more.”

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According to Volumetrics, foods that contain more water, such as fruits and vegetables, are healthier because they have lower energy density, or number of calories in a specific amount of food, than other options that have comparable satiety. Foods that have high energy density include sugary and fatty foods, such as potato chips and cookies. “[Rolls] is saying that you can naturally turn off your desire for these foods,” says Blatner.

Essentially, the claim that advocates of Volumetrics make is you can lose weight by eating fewer calories yet still feel full.

“Volumetrics is one of my favorite diets because it’s more about eating than dieting,” says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a nutrition communications consultant based in Hermosa Beach, California. “People like to eat, and research has shown that when you eat high-water-content foods, such as a green salad with a lot of vegetables or soup, you eat less [calories].”

Best of all, Rolls argues in Volumetrics: Feel Full on Fewer Calories that you won’t have to give up foods you love while on the diet: “You won’t have to cut out all the fat from your diet, live on rabbit food, subsist on foods on a ‘free’ list, or avoid any food,” she writes in the book. Instead, the diet helps you understand how to enjoy certain foods — whether it’s raisins, pretzels, chocolate, cheese, or the like — without overeating, Rolls explains in the book.

Volumetrics also gives tools to calculate the energy density of foods, and recommends using a food journal and getting enough physical activity. “Research shows that keeping a food journal is one of the tactics that work for successful weight loss,” says Giancoli.

The Potential Cons of the Volumetrics Diet Plan

Still, the Volumetrics diet is not without its difficulties. The challenges of Volumetrics include:

  • A Need to Cook Volumetrics is about cooking at home, so this approach may not work for everyone. “This plan is based on making your own meals,” says Blatner. “If you eat out for business or pleasure, this plan is not ideal.”
  • Only Short-Term Satiety Eating lots of low-calorie foods under the Volumetrics plan will help you feel full, but the effect may not last. “When you eat high-water foods, you feel full at the time, but may feel hungry a short time later,” says Giancoli. Try having protein and healthy fats with your meals to help the feeling of satiety last longer.
  • No Rigid Rules This pro can also be a con. Some dieters may find comfort in a set of rules and rigid measurements that let them know that, if they follow those rules exactly, they’ll lose weight. By contrast, the Volumetrics diet offers guidelines and suggestions on how to eat for satiety — but doesn’t restrict certain foods or provide specific calorie limits. The plan also encourages you to up your exercise and stay active, but again, provides no definitive guidelines. If you need those rules to help keep you disciplined, this may not be the diet for you.

The Possible Short- and Long-Term Effects of the Volumetrics Diet

In the short term, you won’t feel deprived with the Volumetrics plan, says Giancoli. At the same time, you’re not likely to see rapid weight loss. “Volumetrics does not promise a quick fix,” says Blatner.

But in the long term, people who follow the Volumetrics plan are more likely to build lasting healthy habits. “They will develop a healthier lifestyle and maintain weight loss,” says Giancoli. “You’ll be getting a more plant-based diet and eating whole grains. You’ll be healthier.”

How Easy Is It to Follow the Volumetrics Diet Plan?

If you typically eat lots of processed food and don’t enjoy fruits and veggies, adopting a Volumetrics diet plan may be challenging. Because the diet is high in water content, it is low in calories, so this lower amount may take some getting used to as well.

But you may enjoy how straightforward the approach is. “It focuses on what you can eat instead of just taking things out of your diet,” Blatner says. “You’ll eat lots of healthy, real food, and it’s more of a lifestyle approach.” If you’re someone who likes strict rules or wants a quick fix, on the other hand, Volumetrics may be a difficult approach for you, she adds.

She offers the following tips to set yourself up for success:

Get comfortable grocery shopping. “Aim to keep lots of fresh food, like vegetables and fruit, on hand,” Blatner says. Always having these water-dense foods on hand will make you more likely to eat them.

Have fun with your food. Avoid resorting to eating salads for every meal. Instead, get creative with healthy foods that fit in the Volumetrics plan. Blatner suggests cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, carrot fries, and banana “nice” cream.

Keep an “in-a-pinch” meal plan handy. Blatner recommends learning how to whip up two go-to meals to make when you’re short on time, and doing some research on healthy takeout options for when you don’t feel like cooking. A little prep can go a long way in helping you stay on track.

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7-Day Volumetrics Diet Meal Plan (PDF + Menu)

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A volumetrics diet is based on eating more high-water volume foods. Foods with more water fill you up naturally and can therefore help you lose weight as you naturally eat fewer calories.

This premise is sound, as it leads to people eating more nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables without increasing calorie intake.

The diet was developed by Barbara Rolls, PhD, a nutrition and obesity researcher at Penn State University.

This article will cover everything you need to know about following a volumetrics diet and give you a sample 7 day plan to follow that contains daily meals and a shopping list.

You can jump straight into the 7 day pdf of the plan here.

View 7 Day Volumetrics Diet Plan PDF

Foods to Eat on a Volumetrics Diet Plan

The bulk of the diet consists of low-calorie, high volume foods. Typically, these are foods that contain lots of water and fiber.

These kinds of foods have high satiety, meaning they keep you fuller for longer with fewer calories. Because of this, many studies find that eating more water and fiber help long-term weight loss.

For example, there are studies show that fiber can automatically reduce a person’s calorie intake, leading to weight loss (1, 2). Fiber may also promote the release of satiety hormones that help regulate how full you are (13).

Drinking water too has been shown to help with weight loss. For example, one study of middle-aged, overweight and obese people lose 44% more weight than the control when they drank water before a meal (3).#

Other studies have also found that drinking water can help boost your metabolism. One found a boost of 30% within 60-90 minutes of drinking water (4, 5).

Generally, the types of foods you should eat more of are as follows:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh or frozen vegetables 
  • Beans and legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Fiber-rich cereals
  • Low-fat fish
  • Poultry
  • Lean meats
  • Minimal added sugars
  • Water (rather than sugary drinks)

Following this general advice is the best way to go about the diet.

Volumetrics Diet Food Classification 

The Volumetrics diet divides foods into four categories based on their calorie density.

Category of FoodsFood DensityExample Foods
1Lowest Food Density / Eat Most Offruits, non-starchy vegetables, nonfat milk, soups
2Lower Food Density / Eat More OfWhole grains, legumes, starch vegetables, low-fat meats
3Higher Food Density / Eat Less OfMeat, cheese, refined carbohydrates like white bread
4Highest Food Density / Eat Fewest OfButter, crackers, oil, nuts (for oil and nuts, see below)

Three meals a day, with one or two snacks, is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Problems with the Volumetrics Diet

Generally, the foods recommended within the volumetrics diet are good examples to follow. However, there are a few groups of foods that are discouraged within the diet that actually help promote weight loss in moderate amounts.

All these groups are included because they are higher in fats. However, these are important, healthy fats that have a wide variety of functions. It is important not to exclude them from your diet.

Limited Fatty Fish Included

Fatty fish are the biggest source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important in heart and brain health health (6). It is a nutrient many people do not get enough of.

Various studies show that eating fatty fish can the risk of many health conditions like heart attacks and strokes (7, 8, 9). One large study of 40,000+ people found people who ate one or more servings of fish a week lowered their risk of heart disease by 15% (10).

Even in relation to weight loss, studies find fatty fish can help lower body fat and encourage weight loss (11, 12, 13). They are a good source of protein, which helps build muscle and increase calorie expenditure.

Fatty fish include:

  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Tuna

Nuts and Seeds are Discouraged

People think because nuts and seeds are high in fat, they encourage weight gain. However, many studies find the opposite.

An extensive study that examined 36 studies found common nut consumption wasn’t associated with increased weight, waist size, or BMI (14).

Another study found those who ate two or more portions of nuts per week had a 31% lower risk of weight gain compared to the control group that didn’t eat them (15).

There seem to be a few reasons nuts can help you cut body and therefore, belly fat. This is in part due to the fact that eating nuts has been shown to reduce feelings of hunger (16, 17).

Great nut and seed additions to your diet include:

  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans

No Cooking with Olive Oil

Olive oil , especially extra virgin olive oil, is very healthy for you.

It contains high amounts of healthy monosaturated fats and antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases (18, 19).

Studies also find the main fatty acid in olive oil, oleic acid, helps reduce markers such as CRP, which show levels of inflammation within the body (20, 21).

Although eating lots of fat can lead to weight gain, one study of 30-months involving over 7,000 people found that consuming olive oil was not linked to weight gain. (22).

Is the Volumetrics Diet a Good Diet to Follow?

The 2022 U.S. News and World Report Best Diets ranks the Volumetrics Diet number 5 in Best Diets Overall and gives it an overall score of 3.7/5.0.

In terms of its scientific credentials, eating high-water foods generally leads to more consumption of healthy, nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables, which is obviously a good thing.

There are also glaring omissions that foods that are scientifically proven to offer health and weight benefits are omitted. In particular, these include foods such as nuts, seeds, fatty fish and olive oil. 

However, you shouldn’t omit foods containing healthy fats simply because they may contain extra calories, particularly if studies show they help weight loss over time.

Therefore, following a volumetrics diet can be followed relatively healthy. With a few caveats, it can be an even better diet to follow.

Our diet plan actually resembles a volumetrics diet closely, but is based on the Mediterranean diet, a healthier alternative and the most recommended diet by a number of organisations, such as:

  • Harvard Medical School
  • Mayo Clinic
  • American Heart Association
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Osteoarthritis Foundation Internal

Volumetrics Diet Meal Plan

Our meal plan combines the best bits of the volumetrics diet with a Mediterranean diet, to give you the healthiest, most practical meal plan to follow.

Volumetrics Diet Sample Menu

In the meal plan are recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

MondayBanana Yogurt PotsCannellini Bean SaladQuick Moussaka
TuesdayTomato and Watermelon SaladEdgy Veggie WrapsSpicy Tomato Baked Eggs
WednesdayBlueberry Oats BowlCarrot, Orange and Avocado SaladSalmon with Potatoes and Corn Salad
ThursdayBanana Yogurt PotsMixed Bean SaladSpiced Carrot and Lentil Soup
FridayTomato and Watermelon SaladPanzanella SaladMed Chicken, Quinoa and Greek Salad
SaturdayBlueberry Oats BowlQuinoa and Stir Fried VegGrilled Vegetables with Bean Mash
SundayBanana Yogurt PotsMoroccan Chickpea SoupSpicy Mediterranean Beet Salad

Snacks are recommended between meal times. Some good snacks include:

  • A handful of nuts or seeds
  • A piece of fruit
  • Carrots or baby carrots
  • Berries or grapes

View 7 Day Volumetrics Diet Plan PDF

Day 1: Monday

Breakfast: Banana Yogurt Pots


  • Calories – 236
  • Protein – 14g
  • Carbs – 32g
  • Fat – 7g

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 225g /⅞ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 bananas, sliced into chunks
  • 15g / 2 tbsp walnuts, toasted and chopped


  1. Place some of the yogurt into the bottom of a glass. Add a layer of banana, then yogurt and repeat. Once the glass is full, scatter with the nuts.

Lunch: Cannellini Bean Salad


  • Calories – 302
  • Protein – 20g
  • Carbs – 54g
  • Fat – 0g

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 600g / 3 cups cannellini beans
  • 70g / ⅜ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tbsp red wine vinegar
  • small bunch basil, torn


  1. Rinse and drain the beans and mix with the tomatoes, onion and vinegar. Season, then add basil just before serving.

Dinner: Moussaka


  • Calories – 577
  • Protein – 27g
  • Carbs – 46g
  • Fat – 27g

Prep time + cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 250g / 9 oz lean beef mince
  • 200g can / 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g can / 1 cup chickpeas
  • 100g pack / ⅔ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Mint (fresh preferable)
  • Brown bread, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft. Add the mince and fry for 3-4 minutes until browned.
  2. Tip the tomatoes into the pan and stir in the tomato purée and cinnamon, then season. Leave the mince to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chickpeas halfway through.
  3.  Sprinkle the feta and mint over the mince. Serve with toasted bread.

View 7 Day Volumetrics Diet Plan PDF

Day 2: Tuesday

Breakfast: Tomato and Watermelon Salad


  • Calories – 177
  • Protein – 5g
  • Carbs – 13g
  • Fat – 13g

Prep time + cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 120g / ⅝ cups tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ watermelon, cut into chunks
  • 50g / ⅔ cup feta cheese, crumbled


  1. For the dressing, Mix the oil, vinegar, chilli flakes and mint and then season.
  2. Put the tomatoes and watermelon into a bowl. Pour over the dressing, add the feta, then serve.

Lunch: Edgy Veggie Wraps


  • Calories – 310
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 39g
  • Fat – 11g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 100g / ½ cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 6 Kalamata olives
  • 2 large wholemeal tortilla wraps
  • 50g / ¼ cups feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp hummus


  1. Chop the tomatoes, cut the cucumber into sticks, split the olives and remove the stones.
  2. Heat the tortillas.
  3. Spread the houmous over the wrap. Put the vegetable mix in the middle and roll up.

Dinner: Spicy Tomato Baked Eggs


  • Calories – 417
  • Protein – 19g
  • Carbs – 45g
  • Fat – 17g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded & chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • small bunch coriander, stalks and leaves chopped separately
  • 800g can / 4 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • brown bread, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan with a lid, then cook the onions, chilli, garlic and coriander stalks for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the tomatoes, then simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Using the back of a large spoon, make 4 dips in the sauce, then crack an egg into each one. Put a lid on the pan, then cook over a low heat for 6-8 mins, until the eggs are done to your liking. Scatter with the coriander leaves and serve with bread.

View 7 Day Volumetrics Diet Plan PDF

Day 3: Wednesday

Breakfast: Blueberry Oats Bowl


  • Calories – 235
  • Protein – 13g
  • Carbs – 38g
  • Fat – 4g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 60g porridge oats
  • 160g Greek yogurt
  • 175g blueberries
  • 1 tsp honey


  1. Put the oats in a pan with 400ml of water. Heat and stir for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add a third of the yogurt.
  2. Tip the blueberries into a pan with the honey and 1 tbsp of water. Gently poach until the blueberries are tender.
  3. Spoon the porridge into bowls and add the remaining yogurt and blueberries.

Lunch: Carrot, Orange and Avocado Salad


  • Calories – 177
  • Protein – 5g
  • Carbs – 13g
  • Fat – 13g

Prep time + cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 orange, plus zest and juice of 1
  • 2 carrots, halved lengthways and sliced with a peeler
  • 35g / 1 ½ cups rocket / arugula
  • 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Cut the segments from 1 of the oranges and put in a bowl with the carrots, rocket/arugula and avocado. Whisk together the orange juice, zest and oil. Toss through the salad, and season.

Dinner: Salmon with Potatoes and Corn Salad


  • Calories – 479
  • Protein – 43g
  • Carbs – 27g
  • Fat – 21g

Prep time + cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 200g / 1 ⅓ cups baby new potatoes
  • 1 sweetcorn cob
  • 2 skinless salmon fillets
  • 60g / ⅓ cups tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Bunch of spring onions/scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • handful basil leaves


  1. Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender, adding corn for final 5 minutes. Drain & cool.
  2. For the dressing, mix the vinegar, oil, shallot, capers, basil & seasoning.
  3. Heat grill to high. Rub some dressing on salmon & cook, skinned side down, for 7-8 minutes. Slice tomatoes & place on a plate. Slice the potatoes, cut the corn from the cob & add to plate. Add the salmon & drizzle over the remaining dressing.

View 7 Day Volumetrics Diet Plan PDF

Day 4: Thursday

Breakfast: Banana Yogurt Pots

Lunch: Mixed Bean Salad


  • Calories – 240
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 22g
  • Fat – 12g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 145g / ⅘ cups jar artichoke heart in oil
  • ½ tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • 200g can / 1 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 150g / ¾ cups tomatoes, quartered
  • handful Kalamata black olives
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 100g / ⅔ cups feta cheese, crumbled


  1. Drain the jar of artichokes, reserving 1-2 tbsp of oil. Add the oil, sun-dried tomato paste and vinegar and stir until smooth. Season to taste.
  2. Chop the artichokes and tip into a bowl. Add the cannellini beans, tomatoes, olives, spring onions and half of the feta cheese. Stir in the artichoke oil mixture and tip into a serving bowl. Crumble over the remaining feta cheese, then serve.

Dinner: Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup


  • Calories – 238
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 34g
  • Fat – 7g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g /2 cups carrots, washed and coarsely grated
  • 70g / ⅓ cup split red lentils
  • 500ml / 2 ¼ cups hot vegetable stock
  • 60ml / ¼ cup milk
  • Greek yogurt, to serve


  1. Heat a large saucepan and dry fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 minute. Scoop out about half of the seeds with a spoon and set aside. Add the oil, carrot, lentils, stock and milk to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils have swollen and softened.
  2. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste and finish with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices.

View 7 Day Volumetrics Diet Plan PDF

Day 5: Friday

Breakfast: Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Lunch: Panzanella Salad


  • Calories – 452
  • Protein – 6g
  • Carbs – 37g
  • Fat – 25g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 400g / 2 cups tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ripe avocado, stoned, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 slices of brown bread
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • small handful basil leaves


  1. Chop the tomatoes and put them in a bowl. Season well and add the garlic, capers, avocado and onion. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, tear the bread into chunks and place in a bowl. Drizzle over half of the olive oil and half of the vinegar. When ready to serve, scatter tomatoes and basil leaves and drizzle with remaining oil and vinegar. Stir before serving.

Dinner: Med Chicken, Quinoa and Greek Salad


  • Calories – 473
  • Protein – 36g
  • Carbs – 57g
  • Fat – 25g

Prep time + cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 100g / ⅗ cup quinoa
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 150g / ¾ cup tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • handful pitted black kalamata olives
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • 50g / ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • small bunch mint leaves, chopped
  • juice and zest ½ lemon


  1. Cook the quinoa following the pack instructions, then rinse in cold water and drain thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, toss the chicken fillets in the olive oil with some seasoning, chilli and garlic. Lay in a hot pan and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside
  3. Next, tip the tomatoes, olives, onion, feta and mint into a bowl. Toss in the cooked quinoa. Stir through the remaining olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and season well. Serve with the chicken on top.

View 7 Day Volumetrics Diet Plan PDF

Day 6: Saturday

Breakfast: Blueberry Oats Bowl

Lunch: Quinoa and Stir Fried Veg


  • Calories – 473
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 56g
  • Fat – 25g

Prep time + cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 100g / ⅗ cup quinoa
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, cut into thin sticks
  • 150g / 1 ⅔ leek, sliced
  • 1 broccoli head, cut into small florets
  • 50g / ¼ cup tomatoes
  • 100ml / ¼ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • juice ½ lemon


  1. Cook the quinoa according to pack instructions. Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a pan, then add the garlic and quickly fry for 1 minute. Throw in the carrots, leeks and broccoli, then stir-fry for 2 minutes until everything is glistening.
  2. Add the tomatoes, mix together the stock and tomato purée, then add to the pan. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the quinoa and toss in the remaining oil and lemon juice. Divide between warm plates and spoon the vegetables on top.

Dinner: Grilled Vegetables with Bean Mash


  • Calories – 314
  • Protein – 19g
  • Carbs – 33g
  • Fat – 16g

Prep time + cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 pepper, deseeded & quartered
  • 1 aubergine, sliced lengthways
  • 2 courgettes, sliced lengthways
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • For the mash
  • 400g / 2 cups haricot beans, rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 100ml / ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander


  1. Heat the grill. Arrange the vegetables over a grill pan &brush lightly with oil. Grill until lightly browned, turn them over, brush again with oil, then grill until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, put the beans in a pan with garlic and stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Mash roughly with a potato masher. Divide the vegetables and mash between 2 plates, drizzle over oil and sprinkle with black pepper and coriander.

View 7 Day Volumetrics Diet Plan PDF

Day 7: Sunday

Breakfast: Banana Yogurt Pots

Lunch: Moroccan Chickpea Soup


  • Calories – 408
  • Protein – 15g
  • Carbs – 63g
  • Fat – 11g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 300ml / 1 ¼ cups hot vegetable stock
  • 200g can / 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 200g can / 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 50g / ¼ cup frozen broad beans
  • zest and juice ½ lemon
  • coriander & bread to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, then fry the onion and celery for 10 minutes until softened. Add the cumin and fry for another minute.
  2. Turn up the heat, then add the stock, tomatoes, chickpeas and black pepper. Simmer for 8 minutes. Add broad beans and lemon juice and cook for a further 2 minutes. Top with lemon zest and coriander.

Dinner: Spicy Mediterranean Beet Salad


  • Calories – 548
  • Protein – 23g
  • Carbs – 58g
  • Fat – 20g

Prep time + cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 8 raw baby beetroots, or 4 medium, scrubbed
  • ½ tbsp sumac
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 400g can /2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 200g / ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • mint leaves, chopped, to serve


  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. Halve or quarter beetroots depending on size. Mix spices together. On a large baking tray, mix chickpeas and beetroot with the oil. Season with salt & sprinkle over the spices. Mix again. Roast for 30 minutes.
  2. While the vegetables are cooking, mix the lemon zest and juice with the yogurt. Swirl the harissa through and spread into a bowl. Top with the beetroot & chickpeas, and sprinkle with the chilli flakes & mint.

View 7 Day Volumetrics Diet Plan PDF

Volumetrics Diet Shopping List

This shopping list corresponds to the 7 day plan, serving 2 people. No snacks are included.

View 7 Day Volumetrics Diet Plan PDF

Life after the meal plan

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We would like to take a moment to note that this post is for information purposes only. It does not claim to provide medical advice or to be able to treat any medical condition. It makes no claims in respect to weight loss, either in terms of the amount or rate at which weight loss could be achieved. If you have any concerns regarding your health please contact your medical practitioner before making changes.

Pros and Cons of the Volumetric Diet

The Volumetrics Diet was developed by Dr. Barbara Rolls, Professor of Nutrition at Pennsylvania State University, with the intention of creating a dietary approach that emphasizes healthy eating patterns rather than a structured, restrictive diet.

The core principle of Volumetrics is that volume matters. No food is forbidden on this volumetric diet. By eating low-calorie healthy foods, you do not feel as hungry as on other diets.

The Volumetric Diet is one of the best diets of 2022 according to US News & World Report. It ranks 6th behind the Mediterranean (1st), Flexitarian (2nd), and MIND (4th).

The diet includes low-calorie, high-nutrient foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. It also encourages limiting high-calorie foods, including foods high in unhealthy fats and added sugar.

Developed by Pennsylvania State University Dietetics Professor Barbara Rolls, the diet is more of a nutritional approach than a structured diet. The idea is that by focusing on foods that are lower in calories and high in water and important nutrients like fiber, the body will feel content while losing weight.

How does the volumetric diet work?

Instead of highlighting specific foods or food groups to avoid, the Volumetrics philosophy is more about what to eat. Foods are divided into four groups based on their energy density, helping to plan meals and control portions.

Category One: Very Low Density

Products in this category are the basis of a volumetric diet and contain a high water content to help you feel full. Food items include:

  • Fruit.
  • Non-starchy vegetables.
  • Broth-based soup.
  • Fat-free dairy products such as asparagus, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Second category: low density

It is recommended to consume foods in this category in moderation. Examples:

  • Whole grain products.
  • Lean proteins such as poultry, eggs, fish.
  • Legumes.
  • Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn and pumpkin.

Third category: Medium density

Medium calorie foods should be consumed occasionally and in small portions.

  • High fat dairy products, including whole milk, cottage cheese and ice cream.
  • Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, baked goods and white rice.
  • Fatty meat and fish.
  • Salad dressing.

Category four: high density

High density foods include processed foods rich in sugar and fat.

  • Butter.
  • Sweets.
  • Chips.
  • Chocolate.
  • Vegetable oil.
  • Cookies.
  • Nuts.
  • Ultra-processed foods such as french fries and pizza.

If you are trying to lose weight on the Volumetrics diet, you are recommended to consume 1400 calories per day. Most of what you eat in a day should come from the first and second categories, but occasional small treats from the third and fourth categories are acceptable. Every day you will have breakfast, lunch, dinner, a few snacks and dessert. In addition to dietary measures, the Volumetrics diet recommends exercising 30 to 60 minutes a day.

Short-term weight loss

Research shows that eating patterns such as the volumetric diet, which includes a variety of high-fiber foods, can help with short-term weight loss.

A 2019 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that dietary fiber intake promotes weight loss and dietary compliance in overweight or obese adults on a calorie-restricted diet.

Long-term weight loss

Unlike some weight loss diets, the volumetric diet is not restrictive and therefore sustainable in the long term. If you follow this over time, it should be effective for weight loss.

Weight Support and Control

Since volumetry measures intake of low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods, it is an effective and sustainable diet for weight maintenance and control.

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that low-energy foods provided effective and sustained appetite control in 96 overweight and obese women. Researchers have found that low-energy foods increase satiety and reduce hunger and desire to eat, demonstrating that this dietary pattern is a potentially effective strategy for weight loss and control.

Research published in 2019year in Physiology & Behavior, shows that eating foods with higher energy density increases the daily energy intake of preschool children. The researchers write that eating food with a lower energy density reduces intake.

Who should not try the volumetric diet?

Since this diet is designed for weight loss, it should be limited to the following categories: pregnant women, underweight or immunocompromised people, children, people with poorly controlled chronic diseases and eating disorders.

Before starting any diet, you should consult your physician or nutritionist.

Diet Benefits

  • Promotes long-term healthy eating. The Volumetrics diet is designed to be sustainable and healthy for the long term.
  • Long-term weight loss. Short-term diets often result in your weight fluctuating dramatically. Since the Volumetrics diet is designed to be a permanent lifestyle change, those who stick to the plan may lose weight a little slower but have a good chance of keeping it off.
  • No food is “forbidden”. If you feel like pretzels, eat them. While you must limit the amount of Category 4 foods you eat, nothing is off limits.
  • Available to everyone. Since there are no hard limits on the Volumetrics diet, you can eat or not eat according to your needs.
  • It’s not dangerous! Volumetrics is not a trendy diet. It doesn’t require you to maintain a dangerously high calorie deficit, eliminate entire categories of food from your diet, or develop negative attitudes about food. You do not need to prepare meals for yourself and the children separately, since you do not eat diet food. You are just leading a healthy lifestyle.

Cons of the diet

While most doctors and nutritionists agree that this is a reliable approach, the Volumetrics diet is not perfect.

  • Limits intake of healthy fats. The Volumetrics diet does not distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fats. As a result, nuts and seeds occupy the same category (fourth) as candy and fast food.
  • Too calorie oriented. Energy density calculation is the backbone of the Volumetrics diet, which means calorie counting is the backbone of the plan.

Diet & Health Volumetrics

While more analysis is needed on the role of energy density in weight control and prevention of overweight and obesity, there is research supporting the use of a low energy diet to improve appetite control and achieve weight loss goals. With an emphasis on whole foods and diet personalization rather than eliminating entire food groups or imposing strict rules on food consumption, the Volumetrics diet is likely to become a more sustainable eating pattern than the popular fast-fix fad diets.

© TM “YAENSVIT”2023-05-19T19:39:18+03:002023-05-19T19:39:18+03:00The Volumetrics diet was developed by Dr. an approach that emphasizes healthy eating patterns rather than a structured, restrictive diet. The core tenet of Volumetrics is that volume matters. No food is forbidden on this volumetric diet. By eating low-calorie healthy food, you will

What is a volumetric diet and is it right for you?

We tell you how the volumetric diet was created, what foods are included in the meal plan, as well as the pros and cons of this weight loss method.

There are an incredible number of diets out there, and while they may differ in recommendations, they all ultimately come down to one thing: weight loss. Therefore, most diets focus on fairly severe restrictions, and this inevitably leads to increased hunger, relapses and overeating, which makes it difficult to maintain a meal plan and any weight loss associated with it. But the volumetric diet, on the contrary, is aimed at reducing the feeling of hunger. The creator of this meal plan suggests focusing on nutrient-dense foods that fill you up but don’t pack a lot of calories.

What is a volumetric diet?

The diet was created by Barbara Rolls, MD, professor, researcher, and director of the Human Eating Behavior Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University. The principles are outlined in her book The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off.

The main principle of this meal plan is to feel full with fewer calories by filling more of your plate with nutrient-rich, low-calorie foods. The diet focuses on what you can eat, not what you shouldn’t, and doesn’t require calorie counting or exact grams of all nutrients (such as fats, carbohydrates, or proteins).

Foods are classified by energy density (also called calorie density). High energy density foods are high in calories and low in nutrients per calorie. Foods with a low energy density contain many nutrients per calorie, but are non-caloric.

Foods with a low energy density, such as fruits and vegetables, also have a higher water content. When you choose low energy density foods, you can eat more food while consuming fewer calories. For example, 5 cups of popcorn and 15 potato chips contain about 160 calories. You can eat a lot more popcorn than chips for the same amount of calories because popcorn has a lower energy density. You get more volume, hence the name “volumetric diet” (volume – “volume”).

Which products are allowed?

There are no forbidden foods in the diet, regardless of their calorie content. Instead, the focus is on eating more low energy density foods such as fruits, vegetables, soups and salads and less high energy density foods such as fried foods, cheese and desserts.

The Volumetric Diet divides foods into four categories based on energy density.

  • Category 1. Foods with very low energy density (less than 0.6 kcal per gram): chicken noodle soup, lentil soup, most fruits, low-fat yogurt and non-starchy vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms , broccoli, asparagus, green salads.
  • Category 2. Low energy density foods (0.6-1.5 kcal per gram): tofu, potatoes, beans, grapes, bananas, low-fat yogurt, bran cereal, whole wheat pasta, light tuna, turkey breast, tomato sauce for pasta, pea and seafood soups.
  • Category 3. Foods with medium energy density (1.6-3.9 kcal per 1 gram): hummus, avocado, feta, bread, chicken breast, egg, salmon, lean ground beef, ice cream, light mayonnaise.
  • Category 4. Foods with high energy density (4-9 kcal per gram): butter, bacon, desserts, chips, chocolate, peanut butter, nuts, jellies, fatty sauces such as ranch and mayonnaise, and olive oil.

There is no specific formula, nor is there a recommendation for how many products from each category to follow. The idea is to track what you eat for a few days and then swap out high energy density foods for low energy density foods whenever possible. These replacements over time will help create a calorie deficit that will lead to weight loss while maintaining a feeling of satiety and satisfaction.

Filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables is the easiest way to add very low energy density foods to your diet. Also pay special attention to your lean protein intake and low-fat foods rich in fiber and water. In his book, Rolls recommends starting your meal with a vegetable meal, such as soup or salad, to help replenish your body’s fiber and water stores before eating the rest.

In addition to the meal plan, Rolls recommends that you maintain your diet with physical activity, such as taking up to 10,000 steps a day.

Volumetric diet pros and cons

As with any weight loss diet, there are both positives and negatives to consider.


  • no need to count calories and nutrients;
  • no prohibited foods and drinks;
  • it is important to eat more, not less;
  • more flexible plan, easier to follow;
  • The

  • diet will help improve gut health by increasing the variety of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.

The positive effect of the diet is confirmed by a number of studies. For example, reducing the intake of high-calorie foods (such as fats) while adding low-energy density foods such as fruits and vegetables has been shown to result in weight loss and increased satiety. However, more recent studies have cast doubt on these findings. Some research suggests that other factors, such as the gut microbiome and genetics, may influence weight loss outcomes when dieting.


  • requires self-cooking of most dishes;
  • restricts fat intake, even nutrient-rich fats such as nuts, olive oil and avocados;
  • Calculating the energy density of foodstuffs takes time;
  • is not structured enough.

Classifying foods into categories based on energy density can be a daunting task for some. And the wrong calculation of nutrition can lead to inaccurate dieting. In addition, the need to cook most of the dishes on your own may seem like a time-consuming, costly and unrealistic process to some.

Sample meal plan

The diet plan includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks. Dessert can also fit into this meal plan.

  • Breakfast. Oatmeal, cooked with water, ¼ cup blueberries, 1 tbsp. l. raisins, 1 tbsp. l. almond
  • Snack. Low fat Greek yogurt with berries
  • Lunch. Salad of greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, 2 tbsp. l. easy refueling. Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread (100 g turkey, mustard, vegetables of your choice). 1 apple
  • Snack. Bell pepper and hummus
  • Dinner. Vegetarian chili (beans, onions, carrots, hot peppers, tomato sauce). 1 slice dark chocolate

Do you need to follow a volumetric diet?

If you want to lose weight, the volumetric diet is one option that will help you reach your goal. With a focus on adding nutritious foods and controlling satiety, this meal plan may be more sustainable in the long run than other more restrictive diets. However, the weight loss process can take a long time. It is less structured than other eating patterns. In addition to weight loss, adding more fiber- and water-rich fruits and vegetables to your diet can provide many other health benefits, including maintaining a healthy gut and lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.