Dieting has gotten a bad rap in the past. Several fad diets and misconceived notions have exploded claiming that by limiting your calories translates to eating less food. This simply isn’t true. While it is true that being in a caloric deficit will yield weight loss, eating less overall is not the answer.

Understanding Nutrient Density

Nutrient density is the abundance of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) with a low calorie count. We’ve always been told to eat natural whole foods, fruits and vegetables, and for a good reason.

Processed foods have empty calories to them. In other words, they might fill you up, but they have much less nutritious qualities to them. You’re also likely to eat more of them because of the abundance of sugar.

It’s been shown that people binge eat sugar because of chemical reactions in the brain. This reaction causes them to eat well after they’re full.* Consequently, excess calories results in fat storage.

*Think about something: when’s the last time you heard of someone binge eating broccoli or meat in the same volume someone consumes Halloween candy, Christmas cookies, or potato chips?

Overall Body Health

Foods rich in micronutrients are great for overall health. Meeting your Recommended Daily Intake (RDA) of certain vitamins and minerals will help your gut biome, vital organs, GI tract, and skin (hair and nail) health. Keeping these parts of your body healthy is the first step to improving your health.

Weight Management / Weight Loss

As mentioned above, large amounts of high nutrient dense foods often yield low calories. That said, it’s great for people trying to lose or maintain their weight. Coupled with portion control, adding a serving of fruits and vegetables to each meal will not only deliver a good micronutrient supply, but help fill your stomach.

Popular Nutrient Dense Foods

Meats (steak / beef, venison, chicken, turkey)

Vegetables (spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, avocado, chickpeas)

Fruits (apples, bananas, oranges, berries)

Final Thoughts

Everyone’s different. That said, not everyone will react to the same diet as others. However, if you limit your sugar intake and add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, you will see changes. Be sure to add a balanced exercise program with cardio and resistance training.