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Is Caloric Density the Secret to Eating as Much as You Want without Gaining Weight?

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The Longevity Plan with Dr. John Day
Duration: 16:30
Is Caloric Density the Secret to Eating as Much as You Want without Gaining Weight?
By Kate Clemens with John Day

Is there a way to never feel hungry again and not gain weight? One answer is to mostly eat only those foods with the absolute lowest caloric density. In other words, a low caloric densi
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Is Caloric Density the Secret to Eating as Much as You Want without Gaining Weight?
By Kate Clemens with John Day

Is there a way to never feel hungry again and not gain weight? One answer is to mostly eat only those foods with the absolute lowest caloric density. In other words, a low caloric density means you want the most food you can get on your plate with the least amount of calories. And in this article, we'll teach you everything you need to know about the low caloric density eating approach.
Dr. Day's Experience with Low Caloric Density Eating
Focussing primarily on foods with the lowest caloric density has been something Dr. Day has done for the last 10 years to maintain his 30-pound weight loss. For him, pilling up his plate high with food not only fills his belly but also psychologically convinces his brain that he is full.

As vegetables have the lowest caloric density this is what fills up most of his plate. And because oils have the highest caloric density, he avoids them whenever possible. For example, when making a salad he puts berries, beans, nuts, and seeds on his salad, rather than salad dressing, because berries, beans, nuts, and seeds have a much lower caloric density (see chart).

In general, Dr. Day keeps his caloric density below 780 calories per pound unless he is eating nuts, seeds, or some very dark chocolate (>70% cacao and usually stevia-sweetened). Of note, his wild salmon measures in at about 780 calories per pound. On rare occasions, he will just put a small taste of salad dressing on a fork (he never puts the dressing on the salad) if berries, beans, nuts, or seeds are not available to flavor his salad.
Caloric Density Works
Caloric density is a straightforward approach to weight management that works. The idea is to increase the amount of food on your plate while decreasing your total caloric intake. You do this by paying attention to the calories per pound in the food you choose to eat. The best part of it is that you eat for satiety and optimize the amount of nutrients you take in at each meal.
5 Key Findings from Weight Loss and Caloric Density Research
What does research tell us about the caloric density eating approach? Below is a summary of the best studies:

1. People can eat freely foods that are about 300 calories per pound or less and not gain weight.

2. People can consume relatively large portions of foods that are between 400 and 800 calories per pound and still lose or maintain their weight depending on their individual activity levels and metabolism.

3. Foods with a calorie density of 800-1,800 should be limited as these can contribute to weight gain and interfere with efforts to lose weight.

4. Foods over 1,800 calories per pound should be extremely limited as these foods can very easily contribute to weight gain and obesity and can also greatly interfere with efforts to lose weight.

5. In 2007, the American Cancer Institute and the World Cancer Research Fund published a report which recommended the average calorie density of the American diet be lowered to 567 calories per pound. This can easily be achieved if one eats freely of unrefined, unprocessed fruits, veggies, starchy veggies, and intact whole grains and legumes. It is important to note that this means without the addition of salt, sugar and/or fat/oil to them.
Never Diet Again by Following the Caloric Density Eating Approach
Using the caloric density approach is one that is truly simple and based on common sense. Better yet, it is easy to stick with which allows you to manage your weight for the rest of your life without dieting. Because you essentially end up eating more food with fewer calories, you will feel satiated and happy.

In a nutshell, by having a rough idea of how many calories there are in a given weight of food, one can enjoy a larger amount of food without increasing their total daily caloric intake. Foods that fall in this category tend to be whole,
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