Thermic Effect

What The Thermic Food Effect Can Do for Your Metabolism

Before we start looking at the abilities of thermic food, and what it can do for you as you start looking for weight loss programs to implement into your online fitness coach courses and exercise routines, it’s important to say one thing: no food results directly in fat loss.

Although it’s true that some foods are better at promoting fat loss than others- that doesn’t mean you can eat one particular ingredient and instantly burn fat. While thermic food does play a role in the rate at which your metabolism works, and how quickly you can lose weight – that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing worth thinking about when you’re speaking to your personal trainer in London about how to sculpt the perfect body.

Here, we’re going to take a closer look at thermic food, and what it can actually do for your body.

What is the “Thermic Effect”

In simple terms, the “thermic effect” in food refers to the amount of energy that is required to process and digest anything that you eat. Some people refer to this process as thermogenesis or specific dynamic action.

Research suggests that the thermic effect accounts for around 10% of your total daily energy expenditure. And the amount of work your metabolism can do to get rid of fat during the thermic effect can change according to several factors, including:

  1. What kinds of Food You Eat

Different foods take different amounts of energy to process. Usually, the amount of thermic energy used for protein, carbs, and fat, are all different – with protein costing the most energy to use and store. Studies have also shown that the thermic impact of highly processed foods can be a lot lower than whole-food options.

  1. How much You Eat

Smaller meals eaten in a single sitting can result in increases in energy expenditure, while larger meals often lead to higher increases.

  1. Genetics

Finally, some people have a naturally faster metabolism than their peers. If you’re lucky enough to have a great metabolism, then the chances are that you use up a lot more energy getting rid of food, and can stay slimmer without as much effort.

What is the Connection Between your Metabolism and Thermic Food?

Whenever you eat food – of any kind – your energy expenditure rises. However, your fat burning mechanisms are also impaired, and your fat storage mechanisms switch on. The level at which each of these effects take place depends largely on what you eat, as some foods impair fat burning more than others, while some ingredients are more easily stored as fat.

The important thing to remember here is that foods with a high TEF value aren’t going to instantly make you lose weight. Though they can help you to make better nutrition plans for the process of fat loss, getting your ideal body depends on a number of factors – not just thermic effects.

That being said, the best type of diet for losing fat is often one that is both highly thermogenic, and good at satiating your hunger. For example, such foods might include:

  • Protein-rich meals
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Vegetables and fruits

The reason these foods are so good for your figure is that they cause a large metabolic boost, and result in less fat storage than some other meals. While you can’t instantly lose fat by adding spices to your meals or eating a grapefruit for breakfast every day, using the thermic effect of food can give a small advantage to your workout and fat-loss routines. The reasons for this is that:

  • Carbs and proteins have a much higher thermic effect than fats – leading to higher daily energy expenditure.
  • Carbs and proteins are more filling – which reduces your chances of overeating.
  • Protein and carbs can help to preserve your lean mass – which helps to promote a healthy metabolism.

Marc Dressen
Personal Trainer London

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