"The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off," is a guide to what is popularly called the Volumetrics Eating Plan. Experts and consumers praise its sensible, sustainable approach to dieting, saying it encourages the type of lifestyle that will keep the weight off long term. Readers are pleased with the focus on satiety.
Learn to make smarter choices. The Volumetrics Eating Plan encourages you to swap high-density foods (which tend to be high in calories) for low-density foods that have fewer calories but more bulk. It's based on extensive nutritional research done by its creator Barbara Rolls, Ph.D, the endowed Guthrie Chair in Nutritional Sciences at Penn State University. Several studies indicate that this type of low-density, high-water content diet results in more substantial weight loss than traditional low-fat diets. Book reviewers who tried the strategies laid forth by Rolls said it was highly effective, both for short-term weight loss and long-term maintenance.
Makes you feel full. One of the biggest challenges with sticking to any diet is the hunger factor; it's this variable that the Volumetrics Eating Plan tries to address. Instead of asking the dieter to eat less, it encourages larger portions of less-calorie-dense foods. The idea is that you will feel full after eating fewer total calories and stay feeling full longer so you're not tempted to snack. This theory is effectively illustrated with photos showing contrasting but similar meals of low- and high-density foods. However, at least one expert worries that the feeling of fullness may not last as long as the author suggests. Most user reviewers say this book has helped them learn how to make better choices overall.
Cooking isn't optional. Although you don't have to be a gourmet chef, experts and users say there's no avoiding the kitchen or the grocery store with the Volumetrics Eating Plan. The author tries to make those chores easier by including menu plans and shopping lists. Most reviewers agree that the recipes are easy to follow, but some say the prep work can be time-consuming. On the plus side, you don't have to count calories -- foods are categorized by their density -- all you have to do is choose what to eat within the proper category. There are also strategies included for eating out and quick meal prep.
You're on your own. There are no formal support groups, online or otherwise, with the Volumetrics Eating Plan; however, online sites such as MyFitnessPal.com or SparkPeople.com have groups devoted to providing support and recipes to other people who have adopted this way of eating. With Volumetrics, you make dietary changes on your own using a book, which requires a low initial investment. There are no prepackaged meals required. Some experts have expressed concern about the lack of a formal exercise component; the author merely encourages daily physical activity. And, since some people eat for reasons other than hunger, other experts point out that this plan may not be the best choice for emotional eaters.
The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet Reviews
1. U.S. News & World Report
Volumetrics comes in sixth out of 28 in the ranking of best diets, sixth in weight loss diets, and fourth in best diets for healthy eating. In her review, Angela Haupt notes that, while it's filling and balanced, meal prep can be a chore, and the emphasis on fruits, vegetables and soup may turn some off.
Review: Volumetrics Diet, Angela Haupt, Jan. 5, 2015
The Volumetrics Diet gets a thorough review at Healthline.com, including a list of pros and cons. The author notes that it is a healthy approach to weight loss, and likes that it emphasizes exercise as well. However, it does require a lot of food prep.
Review: The Volumetrics Diet, Tracy Stickler, Not Dated
WebMD.com praises the author Barbara Rolls' "excellent credentials" and says Volumetrics is more of a long term eating plan that a weight loss diet. They note that it can take time to prepare the recipes, but that, in general, it's very flexible.
Review: Volumetrics, Editors of WebMD.com, Not Dated
In this latest version of Barbara Roll's original book, roughly 80 reviewers give it an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. Most say it has helped them make smarter food choices. The lower ratings do not have a unifying theme, and several come from people who bought the book, but didn't try the diet.
Review: The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2015