The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan

The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan

by Barbara Rolls, Robert A. Barnett
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The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan by Barbara Rolls, Robert A. Barnett

Barbara Rolls, PhD, and co-author Robert Barnett present Volumetrics, a long-term, sensible approach to weight loss based on the breakthrough concept that you can feel full while eating fewer calories.

With Volumetrics, leading nutritionist Barbara Rolls, PhD, has devised a plan to give people what they've always wanted: a way to lose weight while still feeling full and satisfied. By concentrating on energy density (the amount of calories in a given volume of food) and its relation to feeling replete, Rolls and co-author Bob Barnett guide the reader towards a more rewarding and manageable lifetime approach to eating - one that doesn't include deprivation. Unlike many fad diets, their ideas are based on a solid body of scientific research, revealing the many factors that determine how much we eat, and hence how much weight we gain. From this research, Rolls and Barnett have created a clear program with tasty recipes, menus, and eating recommendations that can help anyone lose weight safely and effectively.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380821174
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/01/2005
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 559,621
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., is professor of nutritional sciences and the Helen A. Guthrie Chair of Nutritional Sciences at Pennsylvania State University, where she heads the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior. A veteran nutrition researcher and past president of both the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior and the Obesity Society, Dr. Rolls has been honored throughout her career with numerous awards, including Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and honorary membership in the American Dietetic Association. In 2010 she received the Obesity Society's highest honor, the George A. Bray Founders Award, and was elected to the American Society for Nutrition's Fellows Class of 2011. She is the author of more than 250 research articles and six books, including The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan and The Volumetrics Eating Plan. She lives in State College, Pennsylvania.

Mindy Hermann, R.D., is a writer who specializes in collaborative projects on cooking, food, and nutrition with researchers, health professionals, and chefs. The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet is her tenth book. She lives in Mount Kisco, New York.

Barbara Rolls, Ph.D, holds the endowed Guthrie Chair of Nutrition at Penn State, has been president of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity and the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, and has served on the advisory council of the National Institutes of Health's Institute of Diabetes and Digestion and Kidney Diseases. She is the author of three professional books on food and nutrition and more than 170 academic articles.

Coauthor Robert A. Barnett is an award-winning journalist who specializes in food and nutrition. He is the author of Tonics (HarperPerennial, 1997), coauthor of The Guilt-Free Comfort Food Cookbook (Thomas Nelson, 1996), and editor of The American Health Food Book (Dutton, 1991).

Read an Excerpt


Welcome to The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan, the first book to use breakthrough new research on the science of satiety to help you control your eating habits. What is satiety? It's the feeling of fullness at the end of a meal, the feeling that you are no longer hungry. The more satiety you feel after a meal, the less you'll eat at the next one.

Satiety is the missing ingredient in weight management. Cut calories by simply eating less, and you'll feel hungry and deprived. You may be able to stick to such a diet for the short term, but to become successful at lifelong weight management, you'll need an eating pattern that lets you feel full with fewer calories.

The primary way to do this is to get smart about your food choices. For any given level of calories, some foods will have a small effect on satiety, others a large one. The right food choices will help you control hunger and eat fewer calories, so you can lose weight, keep it off, and stay healthy.

There's no secret to weight management: Consume fewer calories and burn more in physical activity. You can't lose weight without controlling calories. But you can control calories without feeling hungry. Feeling full and satisfied while eating foods you like is a critical component of our approach to weight management.

The basic strategy of Volumetrics is to eat a satisfying volume of food while controlling calories and meeting nutrient requirements.

The Foods You Choose

Which foods should you choose?

Surprisingly, foods with a high water content have a big impact on satiety. But you can't simply drink lots of water, whichquenches thirst without sating hunger. You'll need to eat more foods that are naturally rich in water, such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk, and cooked grains, as well as lean meats, poultry, fish, and beans. It also means eating more water-rich dishes: soups, stews, casseroles, pasta with vegetables, and fruit-based desserts. On the other hand, you'll have to be very careful about foods that are very low in water: high-fat foods like potato chips, but also low-fat and fat-free foods that contain very little moisture, like pretzels, crackers, and fat-free cookies.

Why is water so helpful in controlling calories? It dilutes the calories in a given amount of food. When you add water-rich blueberries to your breakfast cereal, or water-rich eggplant to your lasagna, you add food volume but few calories. You can eat more for the same calories. This property of foods -- the calories in a given portion -- is the core concept of this book. We call it by its scientific term, energy density.

Water is only one of many food elements that affect satiety and energy density. In addition to water, fiber can be added to foods to lower the calories in a portion. It provides bulk without a lot of calories. So by strategically increasing the water and fiber content of meals-with the addition of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you can dramatically cut the calories per portion -- you lower the energy density. On the other hand, the component of foods that increases the energy density the most is fat. Fat has more than twice as many calories per portion as either carbohydrate or protein. So if you cut fat, you can lower the energy density of a meal. You can combine these strategies: Increase the water and fiber content of foods while lowering the fat content to get satisfying portions with few calories.

This book is based on recent research showing how foods affect hunger and satiety, which in turn has led to new ways to manage weight. Each of the major elements that makes up food -- fat, carbohydrates, protein, water -- has an effect on satiety. So do other dietary components: sugar, fiber, alcohol, and sugar and fat substitutes. In the next part of the book, we explore these influences in detail so you can learn the basic principles of choosing a lower-calorie, more satisfying diet.

Satisfying Portions

If you've suffered through dietary deprivation to lose weight, you may find it hard to believe that you can eat more food, feel full, and still reduce your total caloric intake. To make our program work, some people, if they choose lots of foods that have only few calories in a portion, may actually have to retrain themselves to eat larger portions than they do now.

We won't ask you to greatly restrict your food choices. 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. Volumetrics allows a wide choice of foods. You'll be able to eat bread, pasta, rice, beef, chicken, fish and seafood, dairy products, vegetables, and fruits.

To do so while cutting calories, we'll show you how to make changes such as adding vegetables to a risotto, or choosing fruit over fat-free cookies for dessert. You'll also gain greater understanding of the kinds of foods that are deceptively easy to overeat, whether it's cheese, chocolate, raisins, or pretzels. We won't ask you to ban them. That's not our style, because it's not a style that works. Instead, we will give you specific strategies so you can enjoy them without taking in too many calories. Volumetrics is not really a diet at all, but a new way to choose satisfying, lower-calorie foods.

While we emphasize lowering the energy density of your dietary pattern because that's the best way to eat a satisfying amount of food, we don't want you to get the impression that energy-dense foods are "bad" or "forbidden." Who wants to go through life without chocolate? Favorite foods, even if they are high in energy density, have a place in your dietary pattern. But you will have to plan for them. If you rely on the body's satiety signals to stop you eating chocolate, you'll consume too many calories. So you'll need to satisfy your hunger with foods of lower energy density, and then enjoy high-energy-dense foods in appropriate portions. If the meal itself is satiating, a half-ounce of chocolate is a satisfying ending.

Four-Cheese Vegetable Lasagna

Yield: 10 servings.
Nutritional Information Per Serving.
Calories: 245.
Energy Density: 1.1.
Carbohydrate: 30 g.
Fat: 6 g.
Protein: 18 g.
Fiber: 3 g.
Sodium: 562 Mg.
Good Source: Protein, Calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C.

Lasagna can be a heavy, caloric dish. This one is both flavorful and lighter. With plenty of vegetables, the energy density plummets, which allows this tasty version to be made with real Parmesan cheese and lower-fat cheeses, rather than fat-free cheeses, and still provide nearly 1/2 pound per serving for under 250 calories.


12 uncooked lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrot
1/2 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced green onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups low-fat (1 percent) cottage cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Jarlsberg cheese or part-skim Swiss cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups commercial fat-free spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside. (If you are using "no-cook" noodles, omit this step.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Add the broccoli and the next five ingredients; sauté about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Combine the cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, Jarlsberg cheese, and spinach in a large bowl; add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on bottom of a 13-inch x 9-inch x 2-inch baking dish coated with vegetable cooking spray. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles over the sauce. Top with half the cottage cheese mixture, half the broccoli mixture, and half the remaining spaghetti sauce. Repeat layers, and end with a layer of noodles. Spoon the remaining 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce on the noodles; sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Slice in half lengthwise, then in five equal widths.

Vegetable Frittata

Yield: 6 servings.
Nutritional Information Per Serving.
Calories: 225.
Energy Density: 1.1.
Carbohydrate: 17 g.
Fat: 10 g.
Protein: 19 g.
Fiber: 3 g.
Sodium: 424 mg.
Good Source: Protein, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A.

Serve this for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup cooked medium barley, made according to package directions but without salt
1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
1 cup sliced green onion
4 large eggs plus 8 large egg whites (or 2 cups egg substitute)
1 1/4 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 medium tomato, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salsa (optional)
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Pour the olive oil into a 9-inch oven-proof skillet or quiche dish. Add the mushrooms and zucchini to the skillet. Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove the skillet from the oven, and layer in the barley, the red pepper, and the green onion over the mushroom-zucchini mixture. Top with tomato slices. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.

Combine the eggs and egg white (or egg substitute), ricotta cheese, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl, and stir in the spinach. Pour evenly over the vegetables in the skillet; press down lightly on vegetables to allow egg mixture to seep through layers.

Bake the frittata, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until puffed and set. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges. If desired, top each serving with 2 tablespoons salsa and 2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream.

Note: If you make this dish with 8 whole eggs instead of egg substitutes or egg/egg white mixture, it adds 30 calories per serving.

The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan. Copyright © by Barbara Rolls, Ph.D.. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

Lawrence Lindner

VOLUMETRICS... is such a refreshing entry into the crowded weight-loss market. It’s honest— and honestly motivating...This book treats its readers respectfully, never promising more than it can deliver— but delivering plenty nonetheless.

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Volumetrics Weight Control Plan 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The summary of this book is 'Eat foods with a high water content. This will decrease the energy density and reduce calories, without reducing the amount of food you can eat'. This could have been stated in one chapter, but one chapter books don't sell, so they had to write the same thing in hundreds of pages. Now, I'll admit, there were some helpful recipes and tips on reducing the energy density, to this book isn't a total waste. I'm just upset that I spent so long reading the same concept over and over and over and over (you get the picture.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Eat what you want and still lose weight? It really worked for me for the long term! Based on Energy Density or calories per gram, the plan allows you to eat your favorite foods, but lowers the calories and fats per portion. And the portions are large enought that you feel full. Includes familiar recipes that have been adjusted to make them less energy dense but still tasty and satisfying. Includes lots of useful tips on how to adjust your food intake and on healthy exercise. Not a radical plan, it's safe and easy to use for a lifetime
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago