Pounds reduction: Really feel full on much less calories

Deciding upon food items that are a lot less calorie dense — which means you get a much larger part dimensions with a much less amount of calories — can support you shed weight and handle your hunger.

By Mayo Clinic Workers

Really feel full on much less calories? It might audio like a different gimmick for weight reduction, but it truly is not. The notion of energy density truly can support with weight reduction.

In actuality, well-prepared weight-reduction weight loss plans, this sort of as the Mayo Clinic Food plan, use the notion of energy density to support you shed weight and preserve it off lengthy expression.

Pounds reduction with more food items, much less calories

Simply just put, energy density is the amount of calories (energy) in a distinct volume of food items. Higher energy density signifies that there are a ton of calories in a little food items. Low energy density signifies there are couple calories in a ton of food items.

When you happen to be striving for weight reduction, the goal is to try to eat low-energy-dense food items. That is, you want to try to eat a higher quantity of food items which is reduce in calories. This allows you really feel fuller on much less calories.

Here’s a rapid illustration with raisins and grapes. Raisins have a substantial energy density — 1 cup of raisins has about 434 calories. Grapes have a low energy density — 1 cup of grapes has about 82 calories.

The keys to energy density and weight reduction

A few primary components enjoy a role in what tends to make food items substantial or low in energy density:

  • Drinking water. Fruits and veggies typically have substantial drinking water and fiber content material, which supply quantity and weight but not calories. Which is why they’re low-energy-dense food items. Grapefruit, for illustration, is about ninety per cent drinking water. Fifty percent a grapefruit has just 37 calories. Raw, fresh new carrots are about 88 per cent drinking water. A medium carrot has only about 25 calories.
  • Fiber. Higher-fiber food items not only supply quantity but also choose extended to digest, making you really feel full extended on much less calories. Vegetables, fruits and total grains all consist of fiber. Popcorn is a great illustration of a substantial-quantity, low-calorie total grain. Just one cup of air-popped popcorn has about 30 calories.
  • Fat. Fat is substantial in energy density. Just one pat of butter, for illustration, includes virtually the similar amount of calories as 2 cups of raw broccoli. Food items that consist of body fat naturally, this sort of as dairy products and various meats, or food items with added fats are higher in calories than are their leaner or reduce body fat counterparts.

Power density and the food items pyramid

Transforming way of life routines is in no way effortless, and developing an having program utilizing the energy-density notion is no exception. The first move is being aware of which food items are superior alternatives when it arrives to energy density.

Here’s a seem at energy density by the categories in the Mayo Clinic Healthy Pounds Pyramid.


Most veggies are very low in calories but substantial in quantity or weight. Most veggies consist of drinking water, which presents weight with no calories. Examples consist of salad greens, asparagus, inexperienced beans, broccoli and zucchini.

To incorporate more veggies to your food plan, best your pasta with sauteed veggies instead of meat or cheese sauce. Reduce the meat part on your plate and increase the serving of veggies. Increase veggies to your sandwiches. Snack on raw veggies.


Virtually all forms of fruit in good shape into a wholesome food plan. But some fruits are reduce calorie alternatives than others are. Total fresh new, frozen and canned fruits with no syrup are great alternatives. In distinction, fruit juices and dried fruits are concentrated resources of natural sugar and therefore have a substantial energy density — more calories — and they never fill you up as much.

To in good shape more fruits into your food plan, incorporate blueberries to your cereal in the early morning. Try mango or peach slices on total-wheat toast with a little peanut butter and honey. Or toss some mandarin orange and peach slices into a salad. Preserve total fruit in a bowl within just effortless sight or in the fridge and try to eat it at any time you like.


Several carbohydrates are either grains or made from grains, this sort of as cereal, rice, bread and pasta. Total grains are the very best solution mainly because they’re higher in fiber and other vital nutrients.

Emphasize total grains by just choosing total-wheat bread, total-wheat pasta, oatmeal, brown rice and total-grain cereal instead of refined grains. Simply because several carbohydrates are higher in energy density, preserve an eye on part sizes.

Protein and dairy

These consist of food items from the two plant and animal resources. The healthiest reduce energy-dense alternatives are food items that are substantial in protein but low in body fat and calories, this sort of as legumes (beans, peas and lentils, which are also great resources of fiber), fish, skinless white-meat poultry, body fat-no cost dairy products and egg whites.


When fats are substantial-energy-dense food items, some fats are healthier than others. Incorporate little quantities of wholesome monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your food plan. Nuts, seeds and oils, this sort of as olive, flaxseed and safflower oils, consist of wholesome fats.


Like fats, sweets are usually substantial in energy density. Good alternatives for sweets consist of these that are low in added body fat and consist of wholesome components, this sort of as fruits, total grains and low-body fat dairy. Examples consist of fresh new fruit topped with low-body fat yogurt, a cookie made with total-wheat flour or a scoop of low-body fat ice product.

The keys to sweets are to preserve the serving dimensions little and the components wholesome. Even a little piece of darkish chocolate can in good shape into a weight-reduction program.

Building energy density perform for you

When you stick to the notion of energy density, you never have to really feel hungry or deprived. By which includes a good deal of fresh new fruits and veggies and total grains in your food plan, you can really feel full on much less calories. You could even have area in your food plan for a sweet on situation.