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episode #207

Burn Calories By Eating This Food!

December 5, 2022 in Podcast


In this micro episode, I discuss the thermic effect of food and how it can play a small role in helping you reach your weight loss goals!

The thermic effect of food is the amount of energy expended during digestion. It’s also known as diet-induced thermogenesis or metabolic heat production. It’s an important part of overall energy expenditure and can contribute up to 10% of total daily caloric expenditure for adults.

Certain types of foods require more energy to be broken down than others. The 3 macronutrients have different effects on your metabolic rate. When expressed as a percent of the energy content of the nutrient, the thermic effect of fat is 2%, carbohydrates are 8%, & protein is a whopping 25%!

This is one of the reasons why I believe that it’s difficult to overconsume protein as compared to carbohydrates & fat. By prioritizing protein in your meals throughout the day, you can increase your calorie burn from TEF and optimize your progress towards your desired weight goal.

Brain (1s):

Hello and welcome to the Get Lean and Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gr. I'm a certified health coach, trainer and author, and this podcast is for middle aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple, actionable items to get long-term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show. All right, welcome to the Get Lean e Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gr. Hope you had a great weekend, spent it with some family and friends, and hopefully you'll listen to my interview with Rob Wolf.

Brain (43s):

This was the second time I've had him on the podcast and always enjoy my conversation with Rob. You know, he is been in the health game for a long time, sort of started the whole paleo movement and so we discussed all about, gosh, we different health markers, we talked about HR V, which is heart rate variability. We also evaluated some of my blood work, which speaking of that, I'm getting that done on Wednesday. So we'll see. We'll see how it looks after Wednesday, and I'll give you an update. Also, we touched on the importance of electrolytes and you know, he has the company Element T and you know, it's a brilliant idea.

Brain (1m 22s):

You know, he's selling salt, quality salt, but most people are chronically dehydrated, including myself and my wife. You know, you're sweating out these minerals on a day-to-day basis and you're not taking them in, so you gotta add this to your water. Or like for me, I've, I've enjoyed their chocolate salt where, where I actually add that to my co like a cold brew or just like a iced coffee as a pre-workout. And that's been my pre workout for the, for a while now. So really enjoy that product actually became affiliate. So there is an affiliate link on the show notes and I'll be putting 'em on the next, you know, on the upcoming episodes as well.

Brain (2m 5s):

So you can get, if you do try it out, you get sort of, you get a free variety pack. So a little gift for you for trying it out. And I'm a big fan. I wouldn't put them in there if I didn't think it was a worthwhile product and something that I enjoy myself. So real, really enjoy that. And, and so yeah, check out my interview with Rob and today for the micro podcast. I wanted to touch on, you know, if you listen to any of my interviews with like Dr. Don Layman who we touched all about protein and we talked about it with Dr. Bill Campbell as well, is it comes up as sort of a, a good quality of protein and then we that we talk about this thermic effect of food.

Brain (2m 47s):

And you know, the question comes up, well what, what has the highest thermic effect? Is it carbs, protein, or fat? Well, if you guess protein, you're right. You know, and that's why people, a lot of people like to, and one of the reasons why people say, you know, prioritizing protein is, is so important. And this is obviously one of the reasons, and just to let you know what thermic effect means. It's your, it's your body's ability to digest, absorb, metabolize, and store that food. And so the thermic effect can represent up to 10% of your caloric intake of healthy adults. So essentially there's this energy required to digest a macronutrient fat car or protein, and it's a certain percentage of the energy provided by that macronutrient.

Brain (3m 40s):

So for example, fat provides nine calories per gram and it's thermic effect. So the amount of energy it takes to digest that is just zero to 3%. So very small amount of energy it takes to digest fat carbohydrates is four calories per gram and it's thermic effect is five to 10%. And then protein provides four calories per gram. And its thermic effect is anywhere from 20 to 30%. So this is quite a big difference and that's why a lot of people, you know, say, well, protein is great for a lot of reasons, satiety, building muscle and also a high themic effect because it takes a lot of energy to actually digest it.

Brain (4m 26s):

And so on that note, if you think about your resting metabolic rate, your rmr, this is the amount of energy used when your body's at rest. So if you laid down all day, how many calories, calories would your body use if you were just not doing anything? And that's your resting metabolic rate. So your thermic, the tef, which is your thermic effect of food, is related to this measure because it refers to the, to an increased in resting metabolic rate after the consumption of food. So it's almost like you're burning energy just from eating a, a certain food type. And so that's why a lot of people love protein. Now, you know, I think it's important to understand this.

Brain (5m 9s):

Do I think it's like the end all? No, I think it's like a cool sort of effect of, you know, what happens when you're, when you're eating certain foods, you know, we always talk about prioritizing protein. And so all I'll say with that is, is if you think about it this way, the thermic effect of food contributes to your overall energy expenditure when you're consuming food. So you're adding, so you're using up some of your stored energy, energy reserves in order to break down that food into its parts. And the more calories used in this process, the greater the potential for fat loss over time.

Brain (5m 51s):

So it can contribute and help with fat loss, obviously. And so like mentioned before, certain foods require more energy to be broken down than others. And like I said, fat is about 2%, carbs is about 8%, and proteins are whopping 25%. So I'll just give you an example just to clarify a little bit more. If you ate a hundred calories of fat, okay, a hundred fat and you have to digest cata, catabolize it, absorb it, transport the fat, you're using about two calories to do that. If you had a hundred calories of protein, this process would take the digesting, the absorbing, the transporting.

Brain (6m 34s):

This will take about 25 calories. So you're using energy just to eat the food. What, what, what couldn't be better than that, right? So this is part of the reason why it's also difficult to overeat protein as compared to easy, you know, easily overeat carbs and fat. So prioritize protein. This is just one, one other reason why this thermic effect of food and you know, it, it can play, it can play a role in helping you re re reach your weight loss goals. It's not the end all, but I just think it's something to, you know, be aware of and is one of the reasons why people always talk about protein in that manner.

Brain (7m 16s):

So that's all I wanted to touch on today, the thermic effective food. If you have questions, email me, brian brian grn.com. I do have a book coming out. It's taken a little bit longer than normal, but hopefully in the new year it'll be out and about and I look forward to sharing that with you. So anyways, have a great rest of the week and I will talk to you on Friday. Thanks for listening to the Get Lean E Clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes@briangrn.com for everything that was mentioned in this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was.

Brain (7m 60s):

Thanks again and have a great day.

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