What is Energy Density?

Energy density is the amount of calories that are in the food we eat every day. There are foods that are high in energy density and foods that contain low energy density. Simply put, foods that are high in energy density have a lot of fats and carbohydrates, and the lower energy density foods are comprised of calories that make us feel fuller after eating, but do not contribute to weight gain.

Eating More
You certainly can lose weight by eating more if you know what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. Once you condition your mind to the fact that you can eat and feel fuller after a meal and yet continue to lose weight, you are well on your way to that weight loss goal.

If you are eating low energy density foods, then you can still feel full. You will actually be able to eat more food than you normally do. But because you are eating foods with fewer calories, you will be able to lose weight and not be hungry in between each meal.

Anything that contains whole grain is considered low energy density food. A diet that is comprised of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fresh fruits is considered a low energy density diet. Snacks of nuts and seeds are good for you in between meals. Avoid things like sweets, such as candy or cookies, because they contain a lot of fats and are considered high energy density foods. Even if you eat a small amount, you are consuming more calories. Make sure you drink a lot of water during the day as well, as this will help you to feel fuller longer.

Foods to Avoid
Certain foods and drinks that contain a lot of sugar or fat should be avoided. Desserts, ice cream and sugar-laden sodas are culprits that can lead to weight gain. Canned fruits that are packed in sugar are another thing to avoid. Stick with fresh fruits if at all possible. Processed foods are something else you want to stay far away from.

Feeling Full
All fresh vegetables are usually high in volume, but low in energy density or calories. Fruits are great for a low energy density diet. They taste great and give you energy without the added calories. They provide good carbohydrates. These would be foods like oatmeal, brown rice and other foods like whole wheat pasta and bread.

You can absolutely lose weight on a low energy density diet. You will be eating foods that are not only good for you, but these food groups have far fewer calories. Yet, you will not feel like you are hungry in between meals. Since the low energy foods take longer to digest, you will feel fuller longer. If you do want a snack in between meals, eating an apple or any other fruit will fill you up quickly. The same goes for a handful of carrots, celery or nuts.


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