The main concept of the volumetric diet is satiety or the feeling of fullness. The idea is that you'll eat fewer Calories if you eat foods that have higher water content. For example 100 Calories of pretzels aren't nearly as filling as 100 Calories of banana. At the same time you'll experience a greater sense of fullness and satisfaction without feeling hungry.
In the volumetric diet, foods are given an energy density level based on an algorithm created by the diet's founder. The energy density level of certain foods is divided into four categories to give the dieter an idea of what types of food are in each category. Each category is allowed to be eaten at intervals, like every day or a few times a week, based on its value to the dieter. For example, foods like broth based soups and fruits and vegetables that are not starchy are allowed daily.
There is no food off limits for those following the volumetric diet. However, foods that are high in fat are usually low in water content and low in nutrition. These foods are usually less filling and have a much higher Calorie content than low or very low energy dense foods. They can add to a psychological sense of satisfaction and it is for this reason, perhaps, that they aren't forbidden.
The volumetric diet is not a quick fix or a fad. It does not suggest drastically cutting calories. In fact the author suggests cutting back around 3500 Calories a week or about 500 Calories a day. The volumetric diet also suggests following the food pyramid for a healthy combination of all the foods you need. When on the volumetric diet follow recognized healthy calorie distribution percentages. Fat should be around 20-30% of your total intake, 15-35% of your total Calories should be protein, and at least 55% should be from carbohydrates.
The volumetric diet suggests that you eat a lot of fiber, as much as 25-38 grams a day. Since high fiber foods are also very filling and generally low in calories, a good portion of your daily diet should consist of high fiber foods. If you have a sensitive gestational tract, this might cause you some discomfort. Talk to your health care provider before drastically increasing your fiber intake. It is generally suggested that you increase your fiber slowly to avoid discomfort.
With all the high water content foods you'll be eating on the volumetric diet, you might think you'd get to pass on the water drinking. However, the volumetric diet suggests drinking more than the average diet. It is recommended that women get in 9 glasses of water and men drink 13. Of course exercise is strongly suggested. The volumetric diet requires 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise daily.
The volumetric diet is generally considered to be a healthy way to lose weight or a good way to maintain a healthy weight. It's a lifestyle that is considered easier to maintain because it doesn't ask the dieter to starve. Of course, it's not without its critics. Some dieters get an artificial feeling of fullness that may feel more like bloating. Of course the diet doesn't directly deal with cravings, except to allow the occasional sweet or high fat treat.
If you start to feel overly full, stop eating. The point is to stop once you're full. Don't forget to eat at least 20-30% fat in your overall food intake; this will help you feel satisfied, not just full. You should find that the more fiber and whole foods you add to your diet the less you crave foods. There is a transition period whenever you dramatically change your diet. Don't deny yourself completely. Allow yourself a treat, two or three times a week, but do try to make that a high water content food. For example pudding can be more filling than a single cookie. Finally, remember to mix it up. There are a wide variety of foods that you can have, so don't let yourself get bored.