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Is the Volumetrics Diet Right for You?

Have you heard of the Volumetrics diet? This eating approach was created by Barbara Rolls, a Penn State professor of nutrition who created it as an easy way to help people lose weight without feeling hungry and deprived.


For people who want to lose weight, one of the most frustrating things is when you can’t find healthy foods, or are forced to eat meager portions that leave you hungry. The Volumetrics diet tries to solve these frustrations by focusing on low-calorie, high-energy foods. In many cases, people who follow the Volumetric diet eat more frequently than they were before, but still end up losing weight.


So, how does it work? Today, we’ll explore the Volumetrics diet in detail, and compare it to our science-based nutrition plans to see which offers the healthiest approach to eating.

How Does the Volumetrics Diet Work?

Essentially, the Volumetrics diet focuses on a food’s energy density, instead of its exact calorie count. To make things easier, foods are divided into four categories:

  • Very low density (non-starchy fruits and veggies, broths, low-fat milk)
  • Low density (starchy fruits and veggies, legumes, grains, low-fat meat)
  • Medium density (meat, cheese, bread, salad dressing)
  • High density (chips, candy, nuts, butter, oil)

On the Volumetrics diet, people are encouraged to eat as many foods in the first two categories as they like, and are only instructed to limit their portion sizes and intake when it comes to medium and high-density foods. 

Meals and snacks should be eaten regularly, and desserts are encouraged.


People who plan to follow the Volumetrics diet can do it on their own, but it’s much easier to purchase the meal plan guide designed by Barbara Rolls, the diet’s creator. In the beginning, there are prescribed meal plans for a set number of weeks, but once you understand the idea of food density and energy you can make your own meal plans. 

Is it Good for You?

Many of the foods that are encouraged in the Volumetric diet, like non-starchy fruits, veggies, and broths, are quite healthy. The reason why they’re encouraged is because they all contain high percentages of water, which increases the weight of the food but not the calories, so you still feel full without gaining weight.


People on the Volumetric diet are also encouraged to listen to their cravings and substitute similar foods. For example, instead of chips you could eat carrot sticks, or a bowl of oatmeal instead of pudding.


There have been several studies that have confirmed the efficacy of the Volumetrics diet. In one 2014 study that compared various weight loss methods, the participants following the Volumetrics diet had a “superior outcome” and had the most success keeping weight off.


It’s convenient to follow

Since there are no strict limits on food intake, you won’t need to buy specialty foods or worry about what you can and cannot eat.

It’s easy to eat anywhere

You’ll always be able to order off the menu at a restaurant or have a meal at a friend’s house if you follow the Volumetric diet. You may just have to compensate by eating lower-density foods the rest of the day, but you won’t have to skip your favorite foods or avoid meals with friends.

The diet is designed to promote satiety

Most people who follow the Volumetrics diet do not feel deprived or hungry between meals. The diet is designed to help you feel full throughout the day, by encouraging the consumption of high-energy, low-calorie foods like fruits, veggies, soup, and lean proteins.


Meal prep can get complicated

The Volumetrics diet relies heavily on very low and low-density foods like soups to keep you full. These can take a little more preparation if you aren’t used to spending that much time in the kitchen.

It’s a long-term plan

The Volumetrics diet isn’t for someone that’s looking to transform their eating habits overnight. It offers gradual changes, rather than a massive overnight transformation.

Should You Follow the Volumetric Diet or a DNA Eating Plan?

The Volumetrics diet, like many other commercial diet plans, is a set of guidelines that can be customized to each individual, according to their tastes and preferences. 

While the plan’s focus on low-calorie, high-energy foods has been shown to be beneficial in many different studies, your success in following this plan relies on your ability to pick the foods from each category that are most beneficial according to your genetics.


To get more guidance in this area, try a DNA eating plan from GenoPalate. 


Many people love the specificity of GenoPalate recipes because they’re designed around how an individual’s unique genes will react to a variety of foods. Our research in nutritional genomics has allowed us to offer precise eating plans to all our customers, giving them the information they need to make smarter decisions at mealtimes.


Which Foods Are Best For Your DNA?

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