The Diet Denominator: Fill Your Tank for Less

A practical guide to choosing low energy density foods


The Diet Denominator

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Free Online Diet Tool

Major Food Groups


Diet Denominator Scale

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Everyday and fast foods

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Major Food Groups

Fats have the highest diet denominator

Foods high in fiber and water have a low diet denominator

Be it in the grocery store, a fast food restaurant, or back at home, the food choices and options presented to us seem endless. Despite this fact, all foods are made up of three major macronutrients: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Foods also contain micronutrients: vitamins and minerals, plus water and fiber in varying degrees. It is the proportion of these components that lead to the variability in the amount of calories they contain.


As you will learn, you can take advantage of the natural variety in the foods that you eat so that the proportion of calories from these components benefit you in terms of the number of calories per gram the foods you choose contain and thus overall number of calories that you consume. This will assist you in achieving your weight loss goals.

· Foods contain three major macronutrients (constituents), fats, carbohydrates, and protein in varying proportions contributing to the number of calories in any given amount of food

· The variability in macronutrients, water, and fiber all contribute to the energy density of foods

· When the same amount of  two foods by weight are compared, the one with the least calories is the most energy lean

· Fats contain more than twice that amount of calories per gram than carbohydrates or proteins

· Water does not contain food calories and fiber is very low in caloric content compared with the three macronutrients

· An adequate amount of the right nutrients in the correct proportions is essential to good nutrition

Try the free online energy density calculator here:


All you need is the Nutrition Facts panel on your food item. Take a look at the sample chart below. See book for details.

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Still not a believer?

Read about energy density diets at the Mayo Clinic here:

More magazine articles appearing in Muscle and Fitness
written by Frank G. Bottone, Jr., PhD on Energy Density.

Long before it was popularized!

Be Water Wise (below left)

High Protein Diet and Hunger (below right)
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The Diet Denominator is available for purchase at leading online book retailers such as:

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For more information, visit Dr. Bottone’s author page on at:

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Articles written by Frank G. Bottone, Jr., PhD appearing in
Muscle and Fitness (below left) and Men’s Fitness (below right).

Another article in the American Dietetic Association’s (ADA’s) Weight Management Newsletter

Food Group

Diet Denominator
(calories per gram)