In a recent article produced by the Mayo Clinic, health and nutrition professionals stated that eating fewer calories is key to controlling weight. They went on to say that choosing foods that have more volume and are less concentrated with calories can actually help promote weight loss and still control hunger.

All foods contain a certain number of calories within a given volume. Some foods have a lot of calories in just a small portion. So in order to feel full, you need to eat larger quantities of these foods. For example half a cup of mixed nuts contains about 438 calories. However, half a cup of mixed nuts isn't likely to leave you feeling full.

Other foods, such as grains, fruits and vegetables typically have more volume and fewer calories. For example, half a cup of green beans contains 19 calories, a half cup of cubed fresh cantaloupe is 28 calories and a half cup of cooked fiber-rich pearl barley is just 96 calories. The point is, by eating more fruits, vegetables and grains, you'll actually get more food, consume fewer calories and still walk away from the table feeling full.

Two factors play an important role in what makes food less calorie-packed and more filling:
  • Water - Many fruits and vegetables contain water, which provides volume but not calories. For example, grapefruit is about 90 percent water and contains just 39 calories per half a fruit. Carrots are about 88 percent water, yet one cup of chopped carrot contains only about 52 calories.
  • Fiber - Good fiber sources such as grains, whole grains, fruits and vegetables not only provide volume, but also tend to take longer to digest, making you feel full longer.
By eating larger portions of foods less packed with calories, you'll squelch those hunger pangs and feel better about your meal, which will contribute to how satisfied you feel overall.

Source: "Feeling full on fewer calories" by Mayo Clinic Staff