It may not be a licence for a liquid lunch exactly, but consuming foods high in water could be the key to losing weight, nutritionists say.
Dishes with a high water content, including pasta and rice which absorb liquid as well as soups and stews, appear to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
But don’t be fooled into thinking you can simply down a glass of water with your lunch. Studies suggest the liquid has to be a key component of the meal you are eating, scientists from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) say.
At the same time padding out these meals with vegetables which are high in both water and fibre will mean you can eat more while in fact consuming the same amount of calories. And you shouldn’t feel peckish an hour later.
So be liberal while using the grater over your spaghetti bolognese, as long as its carrots you’re sprinkling.
Do the maths
You may need a calculator.
The BNF’s advice is to use foods low in energy density to make up the bulk of your diet. These are foods lower than 1.5 calories per gram and include baked beans, boiled eggs, or vegetable stir-fry with noodles.
You can work this out by dividing the number of calories by the weight of your food. So your 180g sandwich with 360 calories has 2 calories per gram.
As such it falls into the category of medium energy density foods, which also include lasagne, pizza steak and salmon. "You need to control the portion sizes of these foods and eat them alongside lots of lower energy density foods," says Bridget Benelam, a nutrition scientist at the BNF.
June 19, 2009