Health & Wellness Column: Volume, not calories, key to feeling full

A study at Pennsylvania State University found people felt satisfied by a certain volume of food, rather than an amount of calories.

In the study, participants felt full with the same volume of food, even if the meal had 30 percent fewer calories. So you don't have to eat tiny portions to lose weight.

Select foods that provide fewer calories by volume. Foods such as soups, fruits or vegetables can fill you up yet be within your calorie limit for weight loss. Consume salads topped with fresh fruits, fresh vegetable sticks or homemade vegetable soups made with low-sodium bouillon.

Foods bulked up by water or fiber tend to be low in calories and help to keep you feeling full so that you avoid consuming extra calories. Fiber also helps you absorb fewer calories!

Recent research showed that a gram of fiber substituted for simple carbohydrates results in a 7-calorie loss.

This study suggests that if you increased your fiber intake, your body will absorb fewer calories.

For example, consuming 13 grams of fiber more than your usual intake, your body will absorb about 90 fewer calories.

Fiber helps decrease calories by keeping them "tied up" and pushing them through your digestive system before they can be absorbed.

Try consuming the recommended daily amount of 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily. Also, spread out fiber sources throughout the day.

I know what you are thinking!

"It is just too expensive to eat like that, Eunice. Why can't I do super-sized items? It is cheap and fills me up."

Purchasing super-sized foods may be good for your pocketbook, but not your body. Over time, think of the toll on your physical and mental health. You may wonder how that affects one mentally. How do you feel if you are uncomfortable with your appearance and then you have to face the world!

There are many ways you can still save on food purchases, and save yourself from gaining extra pounds. Fresh, healthy food items don't have to dent your wallet. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be expensive, but you can save with the following strategies.

1. Look for produce in season. Such fruits and vegetables tend to be less expensive.

2. Check out local farmers' markets or grow your own.

3. If you want to eat produce that's out of season or is pricey, purchase them frozen.

4. Before you visit the grocery store, make a list. This will help you to purchase appropriate foods, as well as avoid picking up items you don't need.

5. Look for coupons or specials on items on your list.

6. Buy items in bulk (i.e. grains, cereals, onions, potatoes, etc.), and buy store-brand products.

7. Don't forget about common healthy food items such as milk, plain yogurt, eggs, legumes and chicken - they are typically inexpensive.

If you have tried this and are still struggling with weight loss, please call the Diet Center today at (928) 753-5066.

Thank you for reading Diet Center's Tip of the Week.