It may surprise you that your body does not treat all calories in the same way.
This is because all calories do not behave in the same way.
Their impact on your weight is determined by which micronutrients they come from: proteins, carbohydrates or fats.
It may also surprise you that by eating the right foods, you can naturally burn the right amount of calories which would otherwise require exercise to burn.
Therefore we must understand two terms: metabolism and the thermogenic effect.
Metabolism Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that take place inside the cells of our bodies that convert calories we consume into energy needed to maintain life.
This energy is either used up during digestion, during daily activities or is stored in the body as fat.
Thermogenic Effect Thermogenic effect is a term that refers to the energy used up by our bodies in the process of eating, chewing, swallowing, digesting, metabolizing and storing the food we eat.
This means that out of the total amount of calories we consume from macronutrients, a percentage of calories is used up.
This percentage differs for different micronutrients.
It must be noted that the thermogenic effect reduces the calories available to the body and increases the body metabolism for a brief period of time.
This can lead to nutrition weight loss.
Proteins Out of the total calories that we consume from proteins, 25% of the calories are used up just to digest the proteins.
This means that if you have consumed 100 calories from pure protein, in the form of egg whites or protein powder, about 25 calories would be burnt by the thermogenic effect.
Therefore only the remaining 75 calories would be available to your body.
Carbohydrates Out of the total calories that you would consume from carbohydrates, about 7% is lost to the thermogenic effect of food.
It should be noted that some carbohydrates get converted into glucose more quickly than others, that is, they have higher glycemic indexes.
Therefore the thermogenic effect also varies accordingly.
Carbohydrates with low glycemic indexes usually have a comparatively higher thermogenic effect since they convert into glucose at a slower rate and take longer time to do this.
This should tell you that if you are into nutrition weight loss, you must avoid refined sugars and other foods which have higher glycemic indexes.
Fats Fats have a thermogenic effect of only 3%, which is quite low.
This means that you are expending fewer of the calories you consume from fats.
Does this mean that you must reduce your fat intake? Not necessarily.
Fats actually keep you from getting hungry.
They also help in the digestion of proteins.
A Balanced Diet Now, the thermogenic effect for fruits is 15% and for vegetables is 30%.
Think about this: if you consume 100 calories from proteins instead of 100 calories from carbs, you will actually burn more calories due to the higher thermogenic effect of proteins, even though you are consuming the same number of calories.
But it is not advisable to totally replace carbs with proteins or fats with carbs.
Therefore, eating a diet high in protein, low in refined carbs and fats and sufficient in fruits and vegetables should lead you towards nutrition weight loss.
Eating Patterns So far we have learned that the thermogenic effect depends on the macronutrients our calories come from.
Apart from this, your food habits and patterns of eating also affect the thermogenic effect.
If you are used to avoiding breakfast and eating only a single meal daily, you will not benefitas much from the thermogenic effect.
Therefore it is more advisable to eat about six to eight smaller meals at evenly spaced intervals.
Nutrition Weight Loss utilizes this pattern of eating to increase your body metabolism as the thermogenic effect is increased by more than the usual 10%.