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Thermic effects of foods



Understanding Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)


The thermic effect of a food or a group of foods is determined by the amount of energy that your body uses to digest it and the metabolic responses associated with those foods. In general, the harder the food is to digest, the higher its thermogenic value.


When food requires a great deal more energy to break down or digest than it delivers, the overall calorie and energy value of that particular food is "negative".

On the other side of the spectrum are low thermogenic foods which are digested extremely quickly. The sugars from these foods enter the bloodstream at a faster rate than the value they deliver and, hence, lead to their storage in the body as fat. The energy value of these foods is “positive”.


Foods with high thermic effect (fat burning foods):

  1. Most protein-based foods have high thermogenic values. Liquid protein drinks, however, are easily digested and are not part of this category. Proteins also contribute indirect thermogenic value due to their muscle building impact after intense exercise. The more lean muscle mass your body carries, the more thermogenic you become, as lean tissue has a higher metabolic demand than fat cells.

  2. Fibrous vegetables also have very high thermogenic values due to the intensive digestive process required to break down the cellulose fiber in vegetables.


Brown rice has a higher thermic effect than white rice does due to the added fiber. Whole grain breads also have a slightly higher thermic effect than white bread due to their higher fiber and grain content.


Here’s a powerful combination - by combining protein and high-fiber vegetables you can supercharge your fat burning processes and facilitate lean muscle growth.

If your goal is to develop that lean ripped look with a beautiful set of six-pack abs, a nutrition program based on lean proteins like chicken, fish, lean beef, tuna, eggs, paneer, beans, sprouts and vegetables such as green leafy vegetables, salads, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, cabbage, zucchini will most certainly get you to your goals quicker than a diet based on high starches from bread, potatoes, pasta.

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