The Thermic effect of food.
What role does this play in body composition?
Creating your optimal body composition requires getting your food planned out well with frequent feeding through out the day and knowing what types of foods will create the thermic effect.
What is the Thermic effect?
TEF (Thermic effect of Food) is when you eat food, your body must expend energy to digest, absorb, and store the nutrients from the food you’ve eaten. Consuming certain types of calories actually increase the rate at which your body burns calories which is known as the thermic effect of food.
After each meal, your metabolism fires up soon after you start eating and reaches its peak two to three hours after as your body needs to process the nutrients you have ingested, digest them, metabolise and deliver to the needing tissues.
The thermic effect of food will differ with each meal depending on what that meal consists of. Protein, fat, carbohydrates, all effect how many calories are burned due to the thermic effect of food.
There are many factors that influence the thermic effect of food. These include things like portion/meal size, meal frequency, type of food, and body composition, age, gender, hormones, and genetics
What foods create the best thermic effect?
Foods breaks down into energy, creates heat and burns calories what ever the food may be but there are foods that will create more heat and really get your metabolism firing.
Protein, being the most complex macronutrient is the most thermogenic macronutrient and requires so much energy and has such a high metabolic cost that is found in all the hormones, enzymes and other metabolites involved in processing the amino acids.
Protein fires up your metabolism. They burn a great deal of calories just by being present in the stomach. Protein slows down the release of carbs and fats into your bloodstream, assisting your metabolism to keep your muscles hungry and keeping your body lean and strong considering that your having sufficient protein per day for your body Try have a protein source with every meal/snack throughout the day.
Protein sources from fresh wild animal products, including red meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish.
To a lesser degree the vegetable sources of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
If it’s the vegetarian option your looking for but just try to combine the vegetarian option with another source to help make it a complete protein and so your ingesting all 9 essential amino acids.
Carbohydrates coming from sugars, grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and dairy, and give you immediate energy and are easier to break down and digest than protein and fats are the least thermogenic of the three.
Cutting out carbohydrates altogether when you’re trying to lose weight really does slow down your metabolism.
If you’re main goal is to maintain/increase muscle mass and still have a good amount of energy through out the day then eating low carb/high fat is a viable strategy. It’s all about when you ingest the carbs you need i.e. around times of energy expenditure (nutrient timing). When carbohydrates are ingested directly post training your TEF will raise very high.
Eat frequently through the day with protein rich meals to keep a higher thermic effect.