Thermogenesis: Turning Up The Heat On Weight Loss

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • Thermogenesis is the process by which warm-blooded animals produce heat. It is directly connected to metabolic rate. When thermogenesis is increased in the body metabolism speeds up and fat cells are used as energy to support the change in metabolism.

    The process occurs in different natural situations such as animal
    hibernation, cold adaptation, and eating.

    Most animals that hibernate eat excessively during the summer and fall months. Respiration within the brown fat generates heat and non-shivering therogenesis occurs.

    Cold adaptation is the creation of heat through shivering. All birds and mammals have a shivering thermogenesis response.

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    New research suggests that shivering for ten minutes can burn the same number of calories as one hour of exercise.

    Dietary Thermogenesis
    Diet induced thermogenesis is the process by which the body produces energy by metabolizing what we eat. A 2004 publication of research on dietary thermogenesis showed that a mix diet of proteins, fats and carbohydrates was responsible for five to fifteen percent of energy expenditure. 

    Thermogenesis is also an important factor in the regulation of body weight. It accounts for all of the energy that is expended in the resting state beyond the basal metabolic rate. High dietary thermogenesis can help with weight loss while low dietary thermogenesis may promote weight gain.
    What we eat influences the rate of dietary thermogenesis. Protein has great influence on the process of thermogenesis and the feeling of fullness that helps regulate body weight.

    Thermogenic Foods That Help With Weight Loss
    Calories are burned and weight can be lost through dietary thermogenesis. There are certain foods that can help the process.

    Spicing it up with hot peppers or black pepper will increase thermogenesis and can also effect satiety and fat oxidation. Capsaicin is the substance that gives hot peppers their flavor, and some studies show that the Japanese participants had an increase in energy expenditure after a meal containing capsaicin.

    Green tea contains caffeine and catechins, both of which promote
    thermogenesis. These two substances may enhance one another’s effects.
    Coconut oil contains fatty acids that inhibit fat deposition through enhanced thermogenesis. The medium chain triglycerides that are in coconut oil slow the accumulation of fat in the body. 

    Most foods contain mainly long-chain fatty acids, but coconut oil consists almost completely of medium-chain fatty acids that that are metabolized differently than long-chain fatty acids. Test rats were overfed with either long or medium chain fats, and the result was that the rats that were fed the medium chain fats gained 20% less weight and 23% less body fat. 

    A study published in the journal Metabolism suggests that two grams of ginger powder added to a hot water beverage enhances thermogenesis and creates satiety. This allows the potential for weight loss.

    Living life well-fed,

    My Bariatric Life

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Published On: April 18, 2014