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How to “Volume Eat”

How to “Volume Eat!” Is this true food freedom or another fad of the dieting industry? 

From my research and immersion, volume eating follows one motto:

How to “Volume Eat:” Screw small portions, and still grow smaller.

This sounds revolutionary for binge-eaters and/or the average American.

The online community r/VolumeEating defines this style as “maximum food for minimum calories.”

But the concept isn’t new. Tired dieters and bodybuilders have been concocting mind-and-body tricks for years. Low-calorie sweeteners (even stevia, though that was admittedly a fringe food product,) have been around for a while now, and we mustn’t forget the fat-free craze of the 80s and 90s.

Volume Eating is a great way to get more veggies in! Above are roasted carrot fries with a tahini dip.

For want of a Venn diagram, here are two easy-to-understand lists. The stars I have found to be most true for me.

Pros:

  • Sates appetite
  • Can be suitable for all allergies, and dietary/ethical/religious choices (i.e. Kosher, vegan, gluten-free, etc.)*
  • Promotes abundance, not restriction*
  • Community
  • Visually and physically exciting (read: promotes joy.)*
  • A more socially acceptable way to “diet”
  • Not reserved for weight loss*

Cons:

  • Can be more expensive*
  • Does not always meet nutrient needs if not monitored
  • Confuses hunger cues
  • Potential to disguise eating disorders
  • Is more difficult to “turn off” when smaller portions are necessary*

Similar to members of any largescale habit, the response to unhappy naysayers is “You’re not doing it right!”

And, while I agree, this point turns people away from your message. Alright, now I sound like a cult programmer (not a de-programmer. An actual Uncle Screwtape of motivated recruitment.)

Perhaps the biggest issue volume eaters face is an increase in size cravings. We have to find a middle ground between a teacup and a 2-liter smoothie. This appetite expansion can complicate eating out and making room for higher-calorie foods. Some behaviors could even be classified as “disordered,” although much, with or without merit, can be labeled as such these days. But if a large appetite comes naturally to you, I would argue that volume eating is far healthier than forcing yourself into small portions. Plus, I am in no position to call any meal “bizarre,” so get creative!

How to “Volume Eat” (aka What Next?)

For the next two months, I will be focusing on higher volume, lower calorie recipes. This is, in part, to complement my current goals and to capitalize on the New Year, New Me ideals. Underweight individuals fear not! Any foodstuff can easily be upgraded with nut butter, real sugar, or other nutrient-dense mix-ins. 

In no particular order, here’s what’s to come: 45-calorie Pumpkin Muffins, Total Nutrition Taco Salad, Summer-ish Zoodle Entree, Cranberry Ambrosia Salad, Mocha Dalgona Cupcakes, The Bob Marley Bowl, and Lower-Fat Fesenjan (Persian Stew.)

Of course, this humble, itty bitty blog is not the only source of high-volume recipes. Plenty of websites, video channels, public forums, and even cookbooks offer ideas. I prefer to use fewer ultra-processed ingredients, which is why you will never find pudding mix, deli meat, low-carb flour blends, or diet sodas in my recipes. As always, no animal products, rice, or beets will be used.

Here’s that walking taco salad I was tellin’ you ’bout. It’s only 180 calories with 12 grams of protein and a fantastic amount of fiber:)

Best Dishes,

The Hippie Happy Foodist™

1 Comment

  1. […] you read my last post about Volume Eating, this recipe was expected. And, to practice what I preached, it is best to eat at least 2 of these […]

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The Hippie Happy Foodist