Thermal effect of food

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thermal effect of food

Thermal effect of food: Booster for fat burning

Boosting fat burning through a targeted selection of foods – this has been discussed many times in the past. Green tea extract and chilies are supposed to get the digestion going properly and boost the metabolism, which in turn sets the fat burning process in motion. However, hardly anyone knows that it can also make a big difference which macronutrients you eat. Because: in contrast to carbohydrates and fats, proteins are clearly ahead in terms of fat burning.

How does the thermal effect of food work?

Those who want to boost their fat burning generally have two options: Exercise and a calorie deficit of about 200 to 500 kcal daily. In combination, both factors are particularly effective. In addition, there is another way to burn fat, once you take advantage of the thermal effect of food.

The thermal effect, also known as TEF (Thermic Effect of food) for short, indicates how much energy the body has to expend to digest certain foods. Digestion costs energy, which you can consciously increase depending on your choice of food. In fact, the foods you eat play a big role – especially as an athlete.

Our calorie consumption is primarily characterized by the basal metabolic rate – the amount of energy your body needs to maintain all processes. The basal metabolic rate is thought to account for about 60 to 70 percent of total calorie consumption, followed by what’s called the power metabolic rate, which comes from physical activity.

Currently, the thermic effect of food is thought to account for about 10 percent of total energy expenditure – which is quite a lot, considering that this caloric expenditure can be achieved through food alone. This is based on the assumption that energy expenditure is particularly high when eating natural foods.

By the way, how many calories you can burn with the help of the thermal effect of food depends not only on age, metabolism and genetics, but also on gender. Fat burning is said to work better in men than in women.

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thermal effect of food

Thermal effect of macronutrients

The thermal effect of macronutrients basically depends on the composition of the food. The diet is by and large composed of

  • Proteins,
  • fats and
  • carbohydrates


which in turn can affect the thermal effect and overall caloric expenditure. According to research, the thermal effect of protein-rich foods is said to be much higher than that of carbohydrates and fats. While the thermal effect of carbohydrates and fats is said to be between 5 and 15 percent, proteins burn about 20 to 25 percent of energy. Some experts even claim that the energy metabolism of proteins should be around 30 to 40 percent.

However, in the case of carbohydrates and fats, the values can vary greatly – depending on the food being utilized. How many calories the body burns through the thermal effect of food ultimately depends on the food in question. For example, complex carbohydrates in the form of whole grain products are said to release significantly more energy than simple carbohydrates. The situation is similar with fatty acids: Here, (poly)unsaturated fatty acids (compared to saturated fatty acids) are said to be ahead.

How much is thermal effect of food?

Thermal effects of food are the changes in temperature that occur when food is consumed. These effects can be beneficial, such as when the body uses heat from food to produce energy, or harmful, such as when food causes the body to overheat. The thermal effects of food can also depend on the type of food eaten and on the environment in which the food is consumed.

How do you calculate the thermal effect of food?

The thermal effect of food is the number of calories that the food provides. This number is used to calculate the number of calories that the body will burn to digest and process the food.

What foods have a thermogenic effect?

Thermogenic foods are foods that have been shown to increase the body’s metabolism and help burn calories. Some of the most thermogenic foods include spicy foods, green tea, caffeine, and Omega-3 fatty acids. These foods help to increase the body’s energy expenditure and promote weight loss.

What is the thermic effect of food and physical activity?

The thermic effect of food and physical activity (TEF) is the number of calories that the body burns in order to digest and metabolize food and to carry out physical activity. The TEF accounts for about 10% of the average person’s daily caloric expenditure.