Thermogenesis and the reduction of overweight

Thermogenesis is one of the basic processes of our body. During this thermogenic process, the body processes fats and other nutrients to maintain its activity. Knowing how this process works is essential to control your weight and maintain a healthy concentration of body fat.

One of the main enemies of our health is the excessive fat that accumulates in our body. These fats come from food and excess calories that, with few exceptions, we consume daily. This could lead us to think that if we reduce calorie intake, as is done in traditional diets, we should lose fat considerably and improve our figure.

However this is not entirely true. Our body is intelligent and is used to enduring times of famine and poor nutrition. If we apply a high-demand calorie restriction to our diet that is not accompanied by physical exercise, the body will adjust spending to those available calories. Something that will not have the desired effect and that, as an additional problem, will end up affecting our health.

Fortunately, it is possible to effectively control the presence and use of fats in our body through proper management of metabolic thermogenics. A process that, despite this strange name, ultimately boils down to unbalancing the calorie equation through a healthy diet and an adequate level of physical activity.

metabolism and thermogenesis

Although they are often confused, the truth is that the processes of metabolism and thermogenesis are independent and are not always related. It is true that both processes burn fat and generate energy, but they do not do it in the same way.

On the one hand, we have the basal metabolism, which accounts for 60 to 70% of a person’s daily energy expenditure. This expenditure is equivalent to the basic functioning of the body to maintain its vital systems and continue to function normally. In other words, it is the energy that the body consumes to keep “idling”, if we compare it to the behavior of a car. As we can see, its variation is scarce, in percentage terms.

For its part, thermogenesis is a process of energy generation stimulated by certain functions of our daily activity. One of these processes is the thermogenic effect of food. When we eat, the body uses around 10% of our daily energy expenditure to digest, absorb, distribute and store the nutrients we take in daily.

This amount includes the effect of so-called thermogenic foods, which facilitate the breakdown of fats, have a diuretic effect and improve the functioning of the body. Among them we have black pepper, cayenne or coffee. Including them in our diet will always be a good help.

However, the most important thermogenic effect is that of physical activity. Its influence depends on the level of training of the person, so that it varies between 10% of importance that it supposes in sedentary people to 50% of trained people. Obviously, this percentage is adjusted with the basal effect that we have already mentioned, so that the more the person trains, the more energy they consume and the lower the weight of the basal metabolism, in order to total that 100% of energy expenditure.

Finally, we would have adaptive thermogenesis. This is linked to changes in body temperature, as well as the effect of certain hypocaloric diets, such as Keto. Its influence is small and does not usually exceed 10% of daily caloric expenditure.

fat and protein

The next aspect to analyze has to do with food and subsequent processes. The body uses two basic components to generate energy: fats and proteins . Fats are synthesized in the liver from fatty acids, which form ketone bodies. These are discharged into the blood, where they are used, or are stored as a reserve in the tissues. A task in which thermogenin, the hormone responsible for the process, is of great importance.

Regarding proteins, these are a basic energy source and that supposes a high level contribution, to give the body greater performance and repair tissues. In fact, proteins require a greater replacement than fats, precisely because of their primary nature and their greater usefulness as a building element of the body.

Therefore, the first thing that we must be clear about when starting a diet or one that reduces fat and takes better advantage of thermogenesis is to achieve a high intake of protein and a low level of fat. The explanation is simple: once the proteins in the diet have been mobilized, the next step would be to mobilize the fats. A low-fat diet involves activating the reserves present in the body, in a pure thermogenic process (fat burning). 

Also, let us think that, if the amount of protein is not adequate and we do physical exercise, we have many chances to suffer an injury, derived from the progressive muscle deterioration caused by the lack of said proteins.

Taking advantage of the thermogenic effect

At this point, we already have everything we need to know to activate this thermogenic effect in our body. An approach that is based on two major issues.

On the one hand, we have to talk about diet. As we have mentioned, it is essential that our diet has a high protein intake, an adequate amount of carbohydrates and a reduced percentage of fats. These should be healthy, like olive oil or avocado, for example.

On the other hand, it is essential to perform physical activity , which increases our energy expenditure. This activity, together with our basal metabolism and the rest of the aforementioned effects, must add a caloric expenditure greater than the calories we ingest in food. 

So if you want to take advantage of this thermogenic effect, instead of imposing too strict a caloric restriction, you should opt for a healthy diet, along with an amount of physical activity appropriate to the characteristics of the person. Using a treadmill, cycling, aerobics, or even going for a walk can be good options to start with.

If you are already complying with these premises, then you are already taking advantage of this thermogenic effect. But chances are, as you lose fat, you’ll notice less of an improvement. In these cases, it is not a bad idea to use the best thermogenic you can find, as a booster.

These products help you mobilize fat and convert it into energy , stimulating the body and giving you extra vitality both when training and when carrying out your daily activities. However, its consumption should always be combined with physical activity, since if there is no energy deficit there will be no demand for fat and thermogenics will not help.

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