Volumetrics named best overall diet

New York: The Volmetrics diet method has been named the best overall diet plan in America, nudging out Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig.

A panel of experts from Consumer Reports magazine rated diets on nutritional analysis, amount of weight lost, dropout rate and weight-loss maintenance at one year. Diets won extra points for recipes that are appetizing and easy to prepare.

“The Volumetrics Eating Plan: Techniques and Recipes for Feeling Fuller on Fewer Calories” (Harper, $15.95) became available in paperback in May. A companion to 2000’s “The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan,” the book helps consumers cut calories, control hunger, lose weight and eat healthy.

The basics of the plan: Volumetrics involves feeling full on fewer calories, according to Dr. Barbara Rolls, the nutrition professor at Penn State who developed the plan. It aims at maximizing the amount of food available per calorie so you can cut calories without feeling too deprived, Rolls said.

“A lot of foods are reasonably low in calorie density. Broth-based soups, just about all of your fruits and vegetables and salads have a lot of water, and water has the biggest impact of any component. Most fruits and vegetables are 80 [percent] to 95 percent water, so they are always a good choice,” Rolls said. She recommends 14 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and said she usually finishes dinner with the very best chocolate she can get — one small piece — to signal that she’s done.

Why it’s comparatively easy to stick with this diet: “It focuses on what you can eat, not what you must give up,” Rolls said. “Giving up certain foods is a bad idea, no matter what they are. Whatever you deprive yourself of becomes very desirable. This plan teaches you to make food choices that help control hunger and enhance satiety. It’s all about portion control: the higher the calorie density, the smaller the portion.”