Losing weight boils down to creating a calorie deficit, which seems like it means you’ll have to eat less. But with this tip from NASM-certified personal trainer Sam Altieri (@saltylifts on Instagram), you can “eat more and lose more fat.”
“Have you ever started a diet and the first suggestion is to eat less and eliminate certain foods?” Sam asked. Eating as little as possible and eating “clean” used to be her goal, but five years later, she posted, “I want to share a strategy I’ve learned for losing fat . . . Eat MORE not less.”
She’s talking about the concept of volume eating, where you focus on eating foods with low calorie density. Registered dietitian Lisa Eberly, MPH agrees, explaining to POPSUGAR that for weight loss, you want to eat food that fills you up quickly, with fewer calories.
The foods to focus on are hearty, filling, fibrous veggies. They’re low in calories and contain lots of water and fiber to satiate you longer. Sam added, “Volume eating is a great strategy to reduce binge-filled weekends or f*ck it meals because psychologically, when you eat lots of veggies, you feel full and you don’t feel like you are restricting yourself. The power of low-calorie foods like fibrous veggies is a sure way to lose fat, feel full, and avoid the binge/diet cycle.”
Sam suggests filling at least half your plate with veggies. Her go-to veggies are zucchini, broccoli, cucumbers, squash, green leafy veggies, eggplant, and Brussels sprouts. She’s also a fan of cauliflower and posted this visual to compare brown rice to cauliflower rice. You can either eat one cup of brown rice for 215 calories or eight cups of cauliflower rice. And you probably won’t eat more than three cups in one sitting, so that’s much fewer calories and fewer carbs.
A trick she recommended if you don’t want to give up your starchy carbs is to mix them with low-cal veggies, such as half brown rice and half riced cauliflower. It allows you to still “enjoy the rice, but you get the added benefits of veggies and the micronutrients.” With volume eating, your brain registers more food, and your belly feels full of fiber, so you eat less and lose fat!