For many Americans, appropriate portion control is a challenge, especially when it comes to foods high in fat and sugar. Is scaling down the amount you eat always the answer? There may be another option.

Surprisingly, more can be less. The trick is to target healthy, low calorie foods high in “satiety value,” which means they’re both filling and satisfying. Making your calories count─without actually having to count them─is one of the greatest of all weight loss strategies.

When you’re endeavoring to trim pounds, consuming more of these smart foods can help to displace the heavier items you might otherwise fill up on. The good news is that in doing so, you get to enjoy generous quantities, assuming that you’re choosing natural, whole foods, and still trim your waistline─or at least minimize weight gain.

Fresh fruits and vegetables fit the bill beautifully as they’re naturally low calorie while being high in volume─both in terms of water content and fiber. That means they fill you up without filling you out. Fiber-dense produce and whole grains are also typically low in fat. The few exceptions, like olives and avocados, contain “good” fats that offer numerous health benefits.

Most high fat foods are the opposite of the model we’re aiming for, however, as they tend to be low in volume/high in calories and should be consumed in careful moderation. Think processed meats, full fat dairy products, ice cream, desserts, fast foods, and anything fried. When eating fatty, low-fiber items like these, you can consume vast amounts of calories before actually feeling full.

It may help you to learn that a new USDA model called “My Plate” has replaced the 19-year-old food pyramid as the icon reflecting the revised U.S. Dietary Guidelines. This colorful four-part plate is split into four sections: red for fruits, green for vegetables, orange for grains, and purple for protein, with a separate blue section for dairy outside the plate. The proportions make healthy eating easier than ever before─as long as the choices in each category are smart.

The ideal scenario with this model is that ¼ of your plate would be filled with lean protein, like chicken, fish, tofu, etc., ¼ with whole grains like brown rice or comparatively low glycemic, unprocessed starches like yams or corn-on-the-cob, and the remaining ½ of the plate be comprised of fresh fruits and vegetables.

As long as you stick to whole foods, this approach can simplify your life and boost your health while also promoting a slim waistline. It’s very difficult to overeat most fresh, unrefined foods due to their high water and fiber volume. Go ahead, have a fresh apple binge and see how far you get.

If you do opt for rich entrées on occasion, here’s a scientifically proven trick─which is also a big reason French women seldom get obese. It’s as simple as consistently enjoying a light first course before main meals, such as a clear soup, salad, or half a grapefruit. In doing so, you will invariably consume less when the main course arrives. Fewer calories, greater satisfaction? That’s definitely eating to win!