• Luke

Food Volume: Explained

So, you've decided it's time to take the step and tighten things up. You've gained a little more weight then you'd like to be carrying around and are ready to get it shifted. That means one thing: DIET TIME!

Now, as a coach I try to explain the methodology of why things get done in the way that they do - which means by this point, if you're reading this you'll probably know a dieting phase is in essence a sustained phase of caloric restriction.

Now, Instagram, the media and every other man (and his dog) have their own opinion on "THE BEST" diet, and why your one sucks. Whether its keto, low carb, intermittent fasting, carnivore, paleo, or whatever - their way is, and always will be best.

Now although these dieting approaches vary massively, they all share one common ground. Whenever anyone has seen results from them, its because said diet has enabled them to sustain a calorie deficit, no matter which approach they used.

So what has food volume got to do with anything?

Right, so take Phil for example. Lets say that based on Phil's age, height, weight and activity levels, his caloric maintenance is 2500kcals per day. In order to get him in a calorie deficit, we'd need to look at reducing calories anywhere between 5% all the way up to 20% depending on how aggressive we want to go (this will be based on other factors, like how long he plans to diet etc)

Lets say we go for a 10% reduction in calories, and stick him on 2250 kcals daily. This is where understanding food volume comes in.

If (like me) you're a complete glutton - then you're probably going to want to eat as much food as you can.

2250kcals in food quantity can either be tiny, or actually pretty decent, depending on how you allocate those calories.

Calorie allocation

Before we get started, id like to remind you that NO food group is inherently bad. However there are better and worse nutritional choices if your calories are limited. For example:

This large Dominoes Meateor pizza contains 2490 calories.

If you're maintenance kcal are more than this (say 2800) then yes, you could eat one

of these a day and still lose weight! Sounds great, right?

Not so fast!

Now although you could may be able to get away with eating a pizza a day and still losing weight, it doesn't mean its the right (or wise) thing do to.

The food listed here amounts to 2448 calories. Not one of the meals. All of it.

In other words, three meals AND three snacks for LESS caloric value than one dominos pizza

The difference between the two photos? The food in the first is extremely energy (calorie) dense, and as a result will take you to the limit of your daily calorie allowance MUCH sooner than the food in the second.

The food in the second photo has a low energy density, and as a result means much more can be consumed before hitting the same caloric allowance, and that's just the caloric side of it. The foods in the second picture will also mean getting in a decent spread of micronutrients, as opposed to the food in the first.

The best thing you can do when dieting is opt for foods that allow for a high volume, this will keep you satiated, allow you to sustain a calorie deficit for longer and ultimately get you the best results.

Often, when I take on a new client and they see their diet for the first time - I usually get told "there's no way I'm eating ALL of this and losing weight" then a week later, kilos come off of them. Its not magic. Technically, their actually eating less.

Its simply just rearranging how their calories are allocated, which affords them lots more food whilst still getting them results.

Thanks for reading,