The Visual Weight Loss System - VEEP

Meal Induced Weight Loss - Part 2

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Most of us think the only way we can increase the amount of energy we burn off every day, and thus create more weight loss is through activity or exercise.

Our previous article on this weight loss subject made the point that one of the best ways to increase your daily energy expenditure (the total calories you burn off every day) is through eating and digestion.

There are two mechanisms by which we can do this.

The first is called Meal Induced Thermogenesis. This refers to the fact that the simple act of eating causes you to burn off more energy in the form of heat.  This is not via digestion, but rather via the production of heat instead of ATP. More energy burned over the long haul helps with weight loss.

The second is via Gastric Action. This refers to the amount of energy required to digest and break down what you eat.

The idea is that different foods require different amounts of energy to digest.  

You can literally increase your metabolism by the foods you eat.  It’s a different way to look at food. Instead of focusing weight loss directly, or on nutrient composition or glycemic index, you look at how much energy is in the food versus how much energy it takes to digest it.

So, the big question is how do you do this for weight loss. What foods do you eat, and how do you get meal-induced thermogenesis for more weight loss.

Let’s get right to it.

There are 3 main components to Meal Induced Thermogenesis – The frequency of meals, and what you eat and what time of day you eat.

Meal Frequency:
Most of us are familiar with the idea to eat more frequent, smaller meals. One of the main reasons is that every time you eat, some of the energy from the food you eat is burned off as heat. Thus, the act of eating raises your metabolism. Eating every couple of hours keeps your metabolism constantly burning via heat. Add a full glass of water to the equation in the in between hour and you up the ante of thermogenesis even more.

TIP: Eat something every couple of hours
TIP: Drink a glass of water in the in-between hour
TIP: Don’t overeat for the day.

What You Eat:
For reasons that are still unclear, Meal Induced Thermogenesis favors protein and carbs over fats. You get more of a thermogenic effect from a meal high in protein and carbs than one high in fats. Further, because of the satiety value of fats, you tend to want to eat less frequently when favoring fats.  Part of this may seem contradictory to other things you may have heard, even on this site about fats, but keep in mind we are only looking at increasing thermogenesis here. There are other factors, particularly Leptin Resistance. The advice here is best applied to an additional 2 to small meals per day. We will get to the bigger meals in just a minute.

TIP: Ad a few extra small meals in your day comprised of protein and carbs but no fat.

When you Eat:
Meal Induced Thermogenesis has certain times of the day you get a bigger impact than others. One of those is after fasting. For most of us, that would be upon waking. What this points to is one more reason to never skip breakfast. That first meal of the daily gives your metabolism a very big kick.  Another is during sleep. While sleeping, your body tends to run out of glucose and tend to burn fat. Here is how you can accelerate this process.

TIP: Eat a small protein meal before bed. You will get more thermogenesis when sleeping and protect against muscle catabolism

Pollo Loco – Chicken Breast with Broccoli
Carls Jr. Charbroiled Chicken Salad (leave out dressing)
Subway – Oven Roasted Chicken Breast on honey oat, heavy on the bell pepper. (no mayo) – not ideal but better than not
Subway – Oven Roasted Chicken Salad
Starbucks – Turkey sandwich – Minus mayo – not ideal but better than not.
Jack in The Box – Asian Chicken Salad
Daphne’s Greek Café – Kabob Lunch with Side salad in lieu of rice. Leave out pita bread

Thermogenesis induced by a high-carbohydrate meal in fasted lean and overweight young men: insulin, body fat, and sympathetic nervous system involvement.
Marques-Lopes I, Forga L, Martínez JA.

Meal-induced thermogenesis and obesity: is a fat meal a risk factor for fat gain in children?
Maffeis C, Schutz Y, Grezzani A, Provera S, Piacentini G, Tatò L.

Fat intake and energy-balance effects.
Westerterp-Plantenga MS.

Satiety related to 24 h diet-induced thermogenesis during high protein/carbohydrate vs high fat diets measured in a respiration chamber.
Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Rolland V, Wilson SA, Westerterp KR.

Diet-induced thermogenesis: variations among three isocaloric meal-replacement shakes.
Scott CB, Devore R.