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The Volumetrics® Approach at Jenny Craig

Would you believe one secret to weight loss may be to eat more, not less? A healthy, lifelong meal plan is one that includes foods that are filling but contain fewer calories. The Volumetrics approach is an eating approach based on the research of Barbara Rolls, PhD, at The Pennsylvania State University. It is a set of eating techniques for feeling full on fewer calories. The Volumetrics approach enables you to create a weight loss plan with strategies you can incorporate into your Jenny Craig Menu as well as your own meals.

1. Eat foods low in calorie density.

Studies show that, day-to-day, a person eats about the same amount (volume) of food.¹̛² Reduce the calorie density (the calories per weight) of foods, and you can eat the same volume for fewer calories, feeling just as satisfied.

Here’s how:

  • Choose water-rich foods or even add water to food (think soup or smoothies). This will lower the calorie density. Just think how the amount of oatmeal or rice seems to increase when you add water to cook it. Some examples of water-rich foods are salad greens, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and fresh fruit.
  • Use your Jenny Craig meal plan as a model and build your day and meals around healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk, cooked whole grains, and water-rich dishes like soups, stews, casseroles and pasta with vegetables.

2. Choose foods high in fiber like vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

  • Since fiber cannot be fully digested, it provides less than half the calories of other carbohydrates, therefore reducing calorie density. Some examples of high-fiber foods are brown rice, 100% whole-wheat or whole-grain bread, oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta, beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, pineapple, blueberries, raspberries and fruits with the peels on.
  • The Jenny Craig Menus provide an average of 20-40 grams of fiber per day which meets the recommended daily amount.

3. Feel full with protein.

Eat moderate amounts of lean, protein-rich foods like fish, poultry, and lean cuts of beef and pork. Lean proteins are low in saturated fat, the artery-clogging fat associated with heart disease.

  • These foods can decrease hunger and keep you feeling full more than foods high in either carbohydrate or fat.
  • When choosing meat and meat substitutes for your meals, make them lean.

4. Find success with less fat.

Fat is the most energy-dense component of food (providing 9 calories per gram, compared to only 4 calories per gram from carbohydrate or protein). This makes fat calories easy to overeat.

  • Select low-fat grocery foods and lower-fat restaurant items. This will enable you to increase your portions and your satisfaction.
  • Don’t completely avoid fat. Make sure to include the fat servings listed on your menu. Fat makes food taste better, is a carrier of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) and is an essential nutrient for good health.

5. Start with a salad.

Studies show that eating a low-calorie-dense first course, such as a salad, enhances satiety (the feeling of fullness) and reduces overall meal calorie intake. 3

  • Vegetable salads count as Free Foods, so you can boost your daily portions.
  • Make your salads colorful to make them nutrient-dense.
  • Go easy on extra toppings, and choose low-fat salad dressing. You can also thin your dressing with water to make it go farther.

6. Strengthen your success with a Jenny’s Soupitizer® Soup.

  • When eaten before a meal, soup can be a powerful tool for maintaining satisfaction, while following a reduced-calorie menu.
  • Broth-based soup is one example of a lower-calorie, higher-volume food that enhances feelings of fullness.


1. Rolls BJ. The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet. New York, NY: Harper Collins; 2012.
2. Rolls BJ. The Volumetrics Eating Plan. New York, NY: Harper; 2007.
3. Rolls BJ, et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 2004;104:1570-1576.
VOLUMETRICS® is a federally registered trademark of Barbara Rolls, PhD, used under exclusive license by Jenny Craig Operations, Inc.

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