Sarah Frederickson

Lose weight by eating more?

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Best-selling book by Barbara Rolls

In a 2005 Nutrition Action Health Letter, Bonnie Liebman records the findings of an interview with Barbara Rolls, nutrition researcher of Pensylvania State University.  Barbara Rolls is the author of the best selling book The Volumetrics Eating Plan (which I read…it’s awesome!) and she has served on the National Task Force on the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity.  During a phone interview with Liebman, Rolls shares her opinions regarding calorie-dense foods and diet.  She mentions factors that can lead to obesity, elements of food that can enhance satiety, the concept of calorie density, and how to curb obesity by lowering calorie density.

The five guidelines that Rolls suggests are:

  1. Increase fiber intake
  2. Decrease fat intake
  3. Eat lean proteins
  4. Don’t drink your calories
  5. Monitor portion sizes

Below, I have also highlighted Rolls’ key points to remember for the concept of volumetrics:

  • The key is boosting satiety (the feeling of fullness you get when you eat).  To do this, don’t cut calories or you will feel deprived.  Instead, use volumetrics to reduce calories—that way you will feel satisfied and can stick with the diet long term.  What characteristics enhance satiety?  Low calorie density, high fiber, and lean protein.
  • Avoid calorie density (the calories per gram of food).  A food high in energy density has a lot of calories in a small weight.
  • Water is the biggest component to lowering calorie density (it adds weight and volume but no calories).  However, the water must be in the food to reduce hunger.  Why?  If water is bound into food, it should stay in the stomach longer while the food is being digested.  Soup or salad is a good option, as well as fruits and vegetables as they are 90% water.

After reading Rolls’ book, her concept of calorie-density is what initially inspired me to begin my Creative Eating project at UNH.  I think it is the simplest concept to consider when making food choices.  Being conscious of calorie density alone could lead you to a healthier lifestyle.

Liebman, Bonnie. “Bigger Meals Smaller Waist.” Nutrition Action Health Letter. 32 (2005): 3-6.


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