Tips for Thought

Eat To Beat Your Diet: The Importance of Eating Healthy

Our diet plays an integral role in determining our lifestyle. By selecting the right foods, our bodies can benefit from the various nutrients and minerals these foods provide. Dr. William W. Li explores how eating can help us achieve health in his latest bestseller, “Eat To Beat Your Diet: Burn Fat, Heal Your Metabolism, and Live Longer.”

Who is William W. Li?

Dr. William W. Li is a physician, scientist, and bestselling author, who is most known for his role as the President and Medical Director of the Angiogenesis Foundation. The Angiogenesis Foundation is a nonprofit organization that champions angiogenesis-based science to improve one’s health. Angiogenesis is a bodily process that involves growing new blood vessels which helps support wound healing and provide oxygen-rich blood to various organs and tissues in the body. Dr. Li’s research and effort led him to over forty FDA-approved therapeutics and devices for severe illnesses like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and blindness.

Dr. Li focuses on “food as medicine” through molecular nutrition. This discipline combines both biology and biotechnology to understand the food’s interrelated processes and effects within the body.

Thanks to this discipline, scientists and readers worldwide have a chance to understand better the cellular mechanisms responsible for our food’s health benefits, which can help pave the way toward preventing disease, better health, and even recovery from illness.

Dr. Li has a website where he posts informative blogs and links to his courses and masterclass.

Dr. Li also has a Youtube channel discussing the science behind eating and how healthy foods can improve our health.

Why is Good Nutrition Important?

Proper nutrition is necessary for growth, recovery, and maintenance of bodily functions. There are many classifications on how food is labeled, whether based on chemical properties, function, mass concentration, origin, or nutritional value.

How Do We Classify Foods?

If we were to classify foods according to mass following the quantity needed for cells and organisms, it would be according to the following:

1. Macronutrients: Macronutrients are foods the body requires large amounts of. They are further classified into:

a. Proteins: Foods that help the structure, function, and regulate bodily tissues and organs.

b. Carbohydrates: Foods that the body turns into glucose to give the body more energy.

c. Fats: Foods that work as a fuel source for hormone regulation.

All three serve as the basis of any diet.

2. Micronutrients: Micronutrients are food sources that should only be taken in small amounts. They are responsible for regulating metabolism and energy processes. Most people get their micronutrients from various vitamins and minerals.

Food For Metabolism:

In a nutshell, living beings eat food sources to sustain life. Maintaining life is called metabolism, which involves various chemical processes within the body. Even if humans are not eating or resting, the body continues to work to help maintain life. Some essential bodily functions done by metabolism include:

  • Breathing
  • Blood circulation
  • Food digestion
  • Cell growth and repair
  • Managing hormone levels
  • Regulating body temperature

Dr. Li explains in his book that certain foods we eat can affect our metabolism, either positively or negatively. Many people with weight problems often blame their “bad metabolism” for their weight problems. However, that is not necessarily true. A fast metabolism doesn’t always lead to thinness, much like how a slow metabolism doesn’t always lead to obesity.

Nevertheless, every person has a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), also known as the minimum amount of calories one’s body needs to continue functioning while at rest. The BMR differs between individuals and fulfills about 60-70% of the body’s energy. People who go on crash diets like high-calorie restrictions or rapid weight loss can decrease their BMR, leading to why weight loss is not necessarily linear.

So, if you’ve ever had instances where you’ve gone on a diet to lose weight, there will be moments when you hit a “plateau.” This effect is entirely normal, although it can be frustrating for many.

The Problem With Crash Dieting:

Many people wishing to lose weight would need to make dietary adjustments. While limiting one’s caloric intake is not bad, most people tend to fall for “crash diets,” which involves strict restriction. Whether it’s no carbs, sugar, or meat—these diets can be unsustainable in the long-term, hence, why they “crash.”

Crash or fad diets are also harmful to the body. Even if the number on your weighing scale goes down, it’s not a guarantee that one has lost fat because such weight loss may stem from a loss of muscle mass and water.

Another way crash diets are unsustainable is that it often leads people to regain their original weight (or more) once they’ve weaned off the fad. This instance can lead to the yo-yo diet effect, which has long-term impacts on the body, like increased body fat percentage, slower metabolism, and a high risk of developing long-term diseases.

What Should I Eat To Lose Weight?

Dr. Li explains in his book that you shouldn’t give up on your favorite foods because you’re on a weight loss journey. Moderation is essential, and he expounds on how certain foods we already love can significantly affect the body. Foods like tomatoes, dark chocolate, and sourdough bread can enable the body to activate defense systems and boost immunity properties.

He also talks about the surprising new science of weight loss, like how healthy body fat can enable you to lose weight, how to improve your metabolism in old age, and even ways in which yo-yo dieting can be beneficial (to a certain degree). By implementing these fundamental principles and choosing the proper foods, you can lose weight, improve your metabolism, and lengthen your lifespan.

Fans of Dr. Li’s work may know he has a Youtube channel filled with dietary tips, science-based research on weight loss, and discussions with other experts like Dr. Steven Gundry and Dr. Jason Fung. Nevertheless, having the book in your arsenal can be a great reference guide, especially if you’re looking for evidence-based research on losing weight effectively while picking the right foods.

Dr. William W. Li’s book, Eat to Beat Your Diet: Burn Fat, Heal Your Metabolism, and Live Longer, Heal Your Metabolism, and Live Longer” is available on Amazon in various formats.