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Thermogenesis certainly has some interesting ideas about fitness and weight loss. Together, we’ve looked at how it can help us diet more comfortably, help our bodies use excess energy, and literally burn fat while active and at rest. Now, let’s look at the absolutely, unquestionably, most important part of any fitness program — the food. As it turns out, just like exercise and movement, food may have a thermic effect on our bodies as well. Examine, an independent nutritional research group, offer an in-depth overview on the thermic effects of food, and using food as a heat source.

Food as a Heat Source

The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the process of turning food into energy while it is being digested. When you eat a delicious but heavy meal, your body will divide the energy it gains from that food. Part of the energy will be stored for later use, and some of that energy will go towards digesting and processing the food itself.

TEF accounts for an estimated 10 percent of our daily energy expenditure, and can help our body burn energy, even at rest. The amount of sway TEF can have on our bodies depends on our diets and the nutritional makeup of the foods we eat.

For example, lean proteins diverts up to 20 to 30 percent of its calories to the digestion process. The TEF of foods high in fats or carbs is lower. That means fat cells store more energy and digestion receives less energy.

Age, weight, and exercise levels can influence TEF as well; however, the biggest influence will always be the types of food we eat.

Upping the Heat

By focusing on the types of foods we eat we can increase TEF. It also strengthens our digestion and metabolism at the same time. Lean proteins and natural fats, chicken and avocado for example, offer a higher TEF rate and keep blood sugar stable. Coffee and dark chocolate, in moderation, offer caffeine, monosaturated fats, and vitamins that help accelerate thermogenesis. Carbs, natural sugars, and healthy fats help balance out our nutrition.

By diversifying your plate, you can use food as a heat source, giving you more energy and a healthier lifestyle all in one. The Council for Retirement Security is working to protect senior benefits, helping to ensure as healthy and happy retirement as possible, for everyone.