What’s the magical formula to achieve your weight goals? Everyone is looking for the simple diet or pill to lose extra pounds. With all the medium hype about new products & diets, it’s easy to forget the basics.
Weight maintenance is really a simple matter of energy balance. Energy balance is achieve when “energy in” is equivalent to “energy out”.
“Energy in” comes from food you consume every day, whereas “energy out” is the number of calories you expend each day.
Eating less calories than you expend results in power loss, whereas consuming more than you expend results in weight gain.
Three factors that have an effect on your energy expenditure are :
Basal metabolic rate – the number of calories the body needs to maintain body functions while at rest.
Thermic effect of food – the number of calories required to digest, absorb, transport, & store food.
Physical activity – the number of calories expended during daily activity, lifestyle & exercise.
Is there anything you are able to do about it? Are there things you can do to help boost your body’s calorie-burning power? Let’s try to figure it out.
1. Factors Affecting Thermic Effect of Food You Eat
Thermic effect of food (TEF) is the energy you use to eat, digest & metabolize food. Diet induced thermogenesis is different for each nutrient & represents about 10% of the total amount of energy ingested over 24 hours.
Fats have thermic effect approximately 3%. Dietary fat is very easy to process.
Carbohydrates induced thermogenic respond is about 7%.
Proteins are hard to process. Protein is the most thermogenic nutritious, with the thermic effect close to 30%.
Regular eating habit
There is good evidence that frequency of food entrance has effects on metabolism & therefore very likely in the long term on weight, all other things being equal.
Studies have found that irregular meal frequency may lead to obesity over time. Researchers who compared the effect of meal anywhere from three to nine meals per day & regularly eating six times per day found that irregular patterns produced a lower TEF12.
Hot spicy foods
Hot spicy foods can really spice things up. These thermogenic herbs & spices are: chilli pepper, horseradish, mustard, cinnamon, fennel sow, garlic, ginger, ginseng, guarana & turmeric.
Some studies have shown hot pepper & very spicy foods can increase metabolism by about 20% for about 30 minutes. A study9 in 2003 evaluated 10 Thai women & their glucose response after a glucose drink & their metabolic rate with & without 5 g of fresh chili pepper. The chili pepper enlarged the metabolic rate above resting metabolic rate. There was also an immediate growth of 20 percent in the metabolic rate within a few minutes of taking the chili pepper.
Protein has lately received a lot of attention with new research showing its satiating ability as well as its thermogenic fat burning characteristics.
There is clear evidence8 that protein exerts an increased thermic effect when compared to fat & carbohydrate. A main reason for the difference might be due to the fact that the body has no storage capacity for protein. The increased amount of power attributable to this thermic effect is probably too small to have a visible effect on weight loss in the short term, but over period of months or years, this distinction may become significant, both clinically & statistically. Evidence is also convincing that upper protein diets increase satiety when compared to lower protein diets.
The Danish researchers conducted a study comparing the effects of meat protein, soy protein & carbohydrates on a 24-hour energy expenditure with young, healthy, overweight & mildly obese men in a randomized, only blind, three-way crossover study stable four days. The study concluded substituting 17 to 18 percent of the carbohydrate energy with pork meat or soy protein produced 3 percent higher 24-hour energy expenditure. The animal albuminoid in the pork meat produced 2 percent higher 24-hour energy expenditure than the soy protein.
Another study7 looked for differences in thermogenesis & macronutrient oxidation between lean & obese women. Lean & obese women were studied on two occasions, one week apart. In single visit, they consumed a protein-rich meal; in the other visit, a fat-rich meal. The two meal were iso caloric, of equal volume & given in random order. Thermo genesis was not significantly different between lean & obese women after eating the protein-rich or the fat-rich meal. However it was significantly upper, by almost three-fold, after consumption of the protein-rich meal in comparison with the fat-rich meal in both study groups.
Amazing Water thermogenic effect
Drink lots of water! You’ve heard it so several periods, isn’t it?
But now comes scientific proof that water drinking really does help you to boost your metabolic rate – the rate at which calories are burned.
Researchers in Germany report that water consumption increases the rate at which people burn calories. The impact is modest & the findings are preliminary, but the researchers say their study might have important implications for weight-control programs.
German scientists1 tracked energy expenditures among 7 men & 7 women who were healthy & not encumbrance. After drinking approximately 17 ounces of water, the subjects’ metabolic rates better by 30% for both men & women. The increases occurred within 10 minutes of water consumption & reached a maximum after about 30 to 40 minutes.
The researchers estimate that over the course of a year, a person who increases water consumption by 1.5 liters a day would burn a more 17,400 calories, for a weight loss of approximately five pounds. They note that up to 40% of the increase in calorie burning is caused by the body’s attempt to heat the ingested water.
Recent study demonstrated that this thermic effect is not seen with ingestion of salt-containing fluids. Scientists propose that the water-drinking induced increase of energy expenditure may be explained by stimulation of osmosensitive structure5.
The world’s healthiest drink – Green Tea
There is strong confirmation that green tea has thermogenic properties (boosting the number of calories used by the body) & promotes weight loss, especially when combined with increased physical activity & a healthy diet.
Both caffeine & catechin polyphenols in green tea aid in stimulating the body metabolism. Scientists have established that green tea thermogenic effect cannot be completely attributed to its caffeine content because the effect of green tea is greater than an equivalent amount of caffeine.
Green tea polyphenols are known to promote weight loss by increasing the metabolism of fats by the liver (thermogenic effect), inhibiting lipase (fat absorption enzyme) in the digestive tract & providing a feeling of satiety & fullness3. Recent high-quality study demonstrated that green tea can reduce body weight in obese persons by increasing energy expenditure & fat oxidation.
2. Factors Affecting Basal Metabolic Rate
Basal Metabolic Rate (or resting metabolic rate) is the minimal caloric requirement needed to maintain all your internal physiological functions at complete rest. This is the amount of power your body would burn if you slept all day (24 hours).
Basal Metabolic Rate accounts for about 65-70% of your total daily calorie needs, but this figure varies due to different factors.
Let’s look at several key factors that affect BMR :
Body composition (Muscle-to-Fat Ratio)
Body composition is important factor which determines rate of metabolism. Body creation is the difference between total lean weights compared to fat weight.
It is a simple fact that muscle burns more calories than fat does – even while at rest. Muscle tissue is about 8 times extra metabolically demanding than fat. A higher % of lean body weight (muscles) results in a higher metabolism compared to individuals of the same weight with a lower percentage.
An interesting point is the fatter anyone will burn almost the same amount of calories during exercise but the leaner person burns more calories at rest.
In youth, the BMR is higher. As we age, our calorie needs lack. On average it drops 2% each decade.
After 30 years of age there is usually a gradual decline in lean body weight & an increase in fat weight although this is mainly due to hormonal changes. A decline in our metabolic rate be able to also be attributed to a gradual change in lifestyle which is one thing we can manage. It is interesting to note that regular exercise in adulthood will slow the rate at which lean weight is lost & help keep an optimum metabolism.
When it comes to aging and muscle loss, “if you don’t utilization it, you’re at prohibition to drop it.” So, utilization it!
Body size & weight
The more weight you carry, the faster your metabolism is likely running. The fact is that the more weight causes your body to work harder just to sustain itself at rest, so in most instances, the metastasis is always running a bit faster.
That’s one reason it’s almost always easiest to lose weight at the start of a diet, & harder later on. When you are very overweight your metabolism is already so high that any small cut in calories will result in an immediate weight loss.
Then, when you lose significant amounts of body fat & muscle, your body needs fewer calories to sustain it. That helps explain why it’s so simple to regain weight after you have worked to lose it.
Dieting, Fasting, Starvation
Dieting, fasting or malnutrition all result in a lowering of BMR. When you restricted calories too low your metabolism slows down. Your body slows below in order to adapt to the lower calorie intake so it can function with less fuel. And, it actually begins holding on to each calorie you eat & storing it as fat. This is why people who aliment, usually gain back their weight once they start eating normally again.
The negative result of dieting on metabolic rate can be offset with a positive effect from increased physical activity.
Weather or environmental temperature
Both the heat & cold raise the BMR. If we are too cold we shudder. Shivering burns up much energy from the constant contraction & relaxation of muscle cells trying to produce heat to maintain body temperature. When we are hot we also burn extra energy through the process of sweating.
Psychological state, stress
Stress hormones can raise the BMR. Stress & anxiety can cause a rapid increase in power expenditure. When a person is in state of high alert, stress hormones circulate the blood & communicate to cells to break down energy stores ready to provide a greater supply of energy if needed.
Thyroid hormone thyroxine
The thyroid hormone thyroxine regulates the basal metabolic speed. People with an under-active thyroid gland tend to be sluggish & overweight.
Some people have a naturally quicker metabolism.
Generally, men have earlier metabolisms than women because they tend to be larger & have less body fat.
Children & pregnant women have superior BMR’s.
Fevers can raise the BMR.
So what factors can you control?
Build lean body mass. People who have more muscles on their bodies burn more calories just sitting or sleeping than people who have more fat on their bodies.
Avoid restrictive diets. Your body slows down in order to adapt to the lower calorie intake
Energy Expended During Daily Activity
Physical activity include the calories you spend during normal daily activities (such as walking, driving, or household chores) as well as the calories you spend during purposeful exercise sessions (like jogging, swimming, & resistance training).
The calories burned in physical activity differ widely, but it usually accounts for about 20-30% of the total daily calorie needs.
Exercise is a key ingredient to increase metabolism. The aerobic workouts burn extra calories in the short term, & weight training builds the muscles that will boost your metabolism in the long run.
During heavy physical exertion, the muscles may burn through as much as 3,000kJ (717 kcal) per hour. Energy used during exercise is the only form of energy expenditure that you have any control over.
Other important things to believe for permanent results
Slow down when eating. It takes 10-20 minutes for your brain to get the message from your stomach that you’ve had enough to eat. If you eat too fast, you’ll outdo your calorie needs before you even realize you’re full!
Dietary fiber is a group of very complex carbohydrates – found mostly in plants – whose chemical structure prevents them from being digested by humans. Although some metabolism of fiber (by certain bacteria) occurs in the intestines, we lack the digestive enzymes desired to break down the bonds that hold together fiber’s sugar units. Therefore, fiber cannot be different to glucose & contributes no calories to our diet. Most dietary fiber passes through the enteric tract undigested.
Fiber helps you to feel full longer without adding calories, so fiber helps you to lose weight & maintain that weight loss. Eating enough fiber will also help to manage blood sugar & will keep your energy levels high.
High fiber foods :
Vegetables : asparagus, artichoke, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprout, carrots, cauliflower, green peas, turnip, spinach, etc.
Fruits : apple, apricot, fig, orange, peach, pear, plum, trim, raspberries, strawberries, mango, date
Legumes : black beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, fleet beans
Grains : barley, oatmeal, wheat bran, brown rice
Nuts & seeds : almonds, sunflower seed, pistachio nuts
Apples & Pears
Although apples & pears are not “metabolism boosters” in the literal sense, these fruits are worthy of notice as may really aid in weight loss.
The evidence supporting the utilization of low energy dense fruits for weight loss comes from clinical interventions.
Brazilian researchers, studying the impact of fruit intake on weight loss, establish that overweight women who added just three apples or three pears a day to their diet lost more weight on a low-calorie diet than women who added oat cookies. All groups consumed exactly the same calories, with a diet consisting of 55% carbohydrates, 15% protein & 30% fat.
Satiety index determines the Faculty of specific foods to create satiety, a feeling of fullness.
“Satiety Index” diet concept was developed by Australian researcher Dr. Susanne Holt at the University of Sydney. It was developed by having participants come in the morning & eat 240-calorie portions of a specific food. Then they rated their manner of hunger every 15 minutes, & over the next two hours, participants could eat as much as the liked, all below the observation of researchers.
Why should you meditation about the satiety index? Some foods fill your stomach faster and/or remain in your stomach longer, & therefore do a better job of holding off hunger.
Using white bread as the baseline of 100, researchers scored 38 unusual foods that were given to the participants. Foods scoring top than 100 were judged to be more satisfying than white bread, while those under 100 were less satisfactory. Foods that have a higher satiety index keep hunger down longer, & would be better choices for those who want to lose weight.