Increase energy expenditure with food: the thermogenic effect of nutrients

Have a metabolism very low is quite common and certainly you could be one of the “victims”.

Following restrictive diets over time and physical inactivity or both factors together, may have influenced this aspect.

Low metabolism is a form of adaptation that the body implements by reducing vital functions such as heat production (some people no longer sweat for this reason), liver and pancreatic function (digestion in many subjects is compromised ) and much more.

All quite common situations. Yet by eating very little we find ourselves with a weight that doesn't want to go down.

Added to this in some cases is the impossibility of doing physical activity, so the hope of increasing the metabolism is a chimera.

Perhaps you are also among those people who believe that the daily consumption of calories depends exclusively on how much we move.

But that's not the case.

There are actually 3 factors which affect daily energy expenditure:

1) basal metabolic rate: i.e. the kcal that the body consumes to maintain vital functions;

2) physical activity: which contributes to caloric consumption only in case of movement;

3) the thermogenic effect of nutrients: the expected caloric consumption to digest, absorb and assimilate nutrients. Which affects 10-15% of total caloric expenditure depending on the type of diet.

Here, having made this premise, the quality of what we eat significantly affects this portion of caloric expenditure, also called diet-induced thermogenesis which depends on which macronutrients undergo these processes (i.e. whether fats, carbohydrates or proteins).

 Fats have a very little effect, only 3% of the calories introduced through fats are used for digestive processes , absorption and assimilation.

This percentage rises to 7% for carbohydrates, while for proteins the same processes mentioned affect 30%.

Enormous differences, which denote how a diet rich in fats and carbohydrates that we usually follow when we let ourselves go is not only theoretically rich in calories but also with a low impact on the metabolism.

A disaster.

A more rich in protein instead (which does not mean necess apparently high in protein), compared to a standard diet, is a strategy to keep the metabolism higher while eating.

That's why most of the slimming diets are also high in protein as well as low in calories. They are based on this principle.

To increase daily energy expenditure, we can therefore modulate macronutrients in a very simple way: increasing protein and reducing fat.

Very easy to say, a little more complicated to do.

Foods capable of increasing thermogenesis significantly, we understood that they are those rich in proteins.

We could start by inserting protein foods into our diet already in the morning, even if a little unusual given our Mediterranean habits: eggs, lean salami, Greek yogurt, for example.

Then always combining first and second courses at lunch and eating a second course with a side dish at dinner .

In this way you will have included a protein source in each meal capable of significantly stimulating diet-induced thermogenesis.

Obviously with the quantities varying according to the type of subject.

Good, now that you've found the strategy to raise the me tabolism with the simplest and most pleasant way that exists (eating) you can apply it on yourself.

Without forgetting that physical activity remains a fundamental element. And not only for this aspect.

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