What is it about nutrient-richness that helps promote weight loss? Several factors are involved. Nutrient-rich foods provide our body with outstanding nutrient support that enables our body to carry out its metabolic activities in an optimal way. Metabolic activities, such as the burning of unwanted fat (a process called beta-oxidation), are best supported by a diet that is rich in nutrients Nutrient-richness also means that we provide our body with ample nutrients at a minimal calorie cost.
(Many researchers use the term “nutrient density” to describe this special dietary combination of high-nutrients plus low-calories.) It’s helpful to think about nutrientrichness by comparing it to its dietary opposite. Imagine a person whose diet is largely composed of nutrient-poor highly processed fatty foods and fast food, i.e, extremely low-quality food containing very few nutrients. If that person consumes enough food, he or she will eventually obtain a supply of some nutrients; however, many vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy metabolism—as well as most recently discovered antioxidants and phytonutrients abundant in plant foods that research is now showing to play important roles in maintaining a healthy weight—will be virtually absent. In addition, how many calories of low nutrient-density food will it take to get even some nutrient basics?
With very low-quality foods, if a person eats somewhere around 6,000 or 7,000 calories’ worth of food, he or she will probably get an adequate supply of basic nutrients. But the caloric cost will be far too high. Body fat and weight gain will increase from excessive calorie consumption. In contrast, the use of low-calorie foods to increase food volume and the use of nutrient-rich World’s Healthiest Foods to support metabolism are core research principles in the science of weight loss.
When your weight loss strategy centers around low-calorie and nutrient-rich World’s Healthiest Foods, the research odds are strongly in your favor for weight loss success. And this is not difficult to do; in fact, I will show you how to get most of the nutrients you need in the Healthy Weight Loss Eating Plan (page 91) and spend less than 1600 calories.