The Volumetrics Eating Plan (several books featuring the diet are available) encourages you to eat more of the foods that leave you satisfied, swapping high-density foods (which tend to be high in calories) for low-density foods that have fewer calories but make you feel full, such as fruits, vegetables, soups and stews. Although some don't like having to count calories, others like the book's tips on reducing the calorie content of favorite recipes. The diet draws expert kudos for not banning or severely limiting entire food groups -- a popular practice in commercial diets, which could introduce nutritional imbalances -- and for its focus on "smart, sustainable tweaks to your eating habits."
One expert particularly likes how the author juxtaposes photos of low-density (reduced-calorie) and high-density (high-calorie) foods to help dieters "visualize good choices." The only expert criticism we found for this diet is that exercise plays a secondary role. Volumetrics is based on extensive nutritional research done by its creator Barbara Rolls, PhD, the endowed Guthrie Chair in Nutritional Sciences at Penn State University, so there are numerous clinical studies testing its effectiveness.
Volumetrics receives solid recommendations from expert panels for both U.S. News & World Report and Health magazines. WebMD also has a comprehensive review of this diet, and nearly 100 Amazon.com reviewers give Volumetrics 4.6 stars out of 5.
1. U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report asks a panel of health and diet experts to review and rank 20 diets. Volumetrics places fifth overall and gets good marks for weight loss, safety and nutrition. The plan draws praise for its emphasis on making "smart, sustainable tweaks to your eating habits."
Review: Volumetrics Diet, Editors of U.S. News & World Report, June 2011
Health magazine praises Volumetrics as one of the top 10 healthiest diet plans, noting that wanting to feel full is a "fundamental human quality." Of the diets compared, Volumetrics scores the highest for a safe rate of weight loss, and for being based on sound nutrition. One judge likes the way the author displays photos of low- and high-density foods side by side.
Review: America's Top 10 Healthiest Diets, Editors of Health, Dec. 16, 2008
WebMD praises the author's "excellent credentials" and consults three nutritionists for their opinions. Two like Volumetrics -- one describes the plan as "a slam dunk" -- but the third says those who struggle with overeating might not be able to use the diet on their own.
Review: The Volumetrics Eating Plan, Editors of WebMD
Almost 100 reviewers give the first Volumetrics book a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. A few criticize it for offering simple, commonsense advice, but others rave that it's "evidence-based AND delicious," and ultimately sensible. One reviewer calls the recipes "flamboyant."
Review: The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan: Feel Full on Fewer Calories, Contributors to Amazon.com