The Thermic Effect of Food

by BodyWar on August 6, 2020 , no comment.

No, this isn’t some sort of pseudoscience, but rather a real effect from consuming food. Literally, your body burns energy (ie, calories) in order to process food/calories. The “thermic effect of food” describes the energy expended by our bodies when we consume and process food. Imagine that! You can actually burn calories by eating.

Now wait(!)… Hold on(!)… Before you try replacing the treadmill with ice-cream, you must understand that eating cannot or should not replace exercise, and also that not all calories provide the same thermic effect.

Protein requires the greatest thermic expenditure with estimates up to 30%. Fat, however, is the polar opposite and has a very poor thermic effect at maybe only 2 – 3%. Carbohydrates fall somewhere between Protein and Fat. Keep in mind that Fat has roughly twice as many calories (per gram) than either Protein or Carbohydrates: Fat has 9 calories per gram versus Protein or Carbohydrates, which each have 4 calories per gram. So not only is Fat more calorically dense, fewer of those Fat calories will be burned during processing.

As you can see, “calories” are not created equal. So if you want to get the greatest fat burning and weight loss benefits from your diet, then be mindful of the Thermic Effect of Food… And so the next time you eat a juicy steak and begin sweating, you’ll understand why this is happening.

Eat Smart, and of course #trainangry

Team PNI

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