5 Ways to Increase Fat Burning through Thermogenesis
The simple equation that sets the foundation for fat loss is calories in versus calories out. Calories, the unit of measure used to describe "how much" energy foods produce is, for the most part, the bottom line in getting lean. If you over-eat and take in more calories than you need, the body stores any excess calories as body fat. On the other hand, if you cut back on your intake of food, the body begins to burn up its stores of body fat.
While calorie control is important in attaining a ripped physique, thermogenesis � the burning of calories as body heat rather than calorie storage as body fat � influences your success in dropping as much body fat as possible.
Let's look at the five ways to increase thermogenesis.
1) Eating The Right Amount Of Protein
Still not sure you need more protein than the average Joe? In addition to building size, protein helps keep you lean. Here's how: Every time you eat you burn calories. That's right. Just as you burn calories when you go for a walk or ride a bike, you also expend energy (calories) when you eat.
How? It's part of the metabolism, the breaking down of food to obtain the energy/calories trapped within. In other words, it takes calories to break the food down into small particles, to unlock the energy (calories) inside the food and to fully digest, absorb and utilize them. The term scientists use to describe the entire process is thermogenesis.
Here's how thermogenesis works. When you eat something that is nearly all fat, say a tablespoon of butter which yields 100 calories, about 3% of those 100 calories are burned off as metabolic heat. Three percent or three calories are burned in order to breakdown, digest, and absorb that tablespoon of butter.
When you eat a food that is nearly all carbohydrate, such as half a bagel or a large apple that yields 100 calories, about 10% of the 100 calories are burned off as metabolic heat. Ten percent or 10 calories are burned in order to breakdown, digest, and absorb the half bagel or the large apple.
A neat way to conceptualize thermogenesis is found in this business example. There is the "cost" of doing business. If, for example Acme Roof Company takes in $100 but it costs the company $25 in expenses in order to get the $100, the net income to the company is $75. The same is true with foods. It "costs" the body energy to "get at" the calories found in food.
When it comes to thermogenesis, protein foods could be considered "expensive" in that it could take up to 30 calories to obtain the energy found in 100 calories of protein. How does this affect you? When you eat protein foods, say a small chicken breast yielding 100 calories, the body could burn up to 30 calories in breaking down, digesting and absorbing the small chicken breast. In reality, the 100-calorie chicken breast could wind up providing a "net" calorie intake of 70.
In this sense, we say protein foods are up to 30% thermic in nature. Carbohydrates are roughly 10-12 % thermic and fat is only 3% thermic. Fixing your daily protein intake at 1 gram per pound of bodyweight (or slightly higher) not only supports growth, but also enhances the metabolism. This is the protein intake recommended on the Lean Body Program.
2) Eating Five to Six Meals Muscles You up and Slims You Down
How many times have you heard that five to six smaller meals help build muscle? Turns out, smaller meals also increase the metabolic rate by increasing thermogenesis. Every time you feed the body, a small increase in the metabolic rate occurs. Therefore, eating 2,800 calories a day split over six smaller meals stimulates the metabolic rate six different times.
On the other hand, the individual eating the same number of calories each day spread over four meals will experience an increase in metabolic rate only four times. Over time, say a 6- to 12-week period, the person eating six times a day will experience a greater loss in body fat than the one eating four times a day because of the added increase in metabolic rate.
3) Yes! You Should Eat Less at Night
If you are trying to lose fat, you can benefit by curtailing your carbohydrate intake in the final meal of the day. The reason is that as you continue to eat carbohydrates during your first five meals of the day, the body's reserve tanks for carbohydrates (called glycogen), begin to fill up. The closer they come to being full, the smaller the thermogenic effect. So, for your final meal of the day you should cut down on your carbs and eat a little bit more protein. Have your protein with very low calorie vegetables, such as lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, cucumbers and peppers.
4) Rotate Carbs
We know the thermic effect of carbohydrates begins to fall as the muscles become full of glycogen. One way to increase thermogenesis is to reduce your carb intake for three consecutive days, followed by a single day where you return to a more normal intake of carbs. For example, a dieter might be eating 250 grams of carbohydrates a day or 50 grams split over each of the first five meals. He or she can decrease the amount of carbohydrates in the muscles by cutting the carbs by 50-70 grams a day. Instead of eating 250 grams, he or she could eat 180 to 200 grams.
Not only does this create a small caloric deficit leading to the burning of body fat, but it also begins to deplete the muscles of glycogen. The benefit is that when muscles are low in glycogen and carbohydrates are then re-introduced into the diet, the body responds with a significant increase in thermogenesis. When you return to a higher carb intake, a greater portion of calories are burned off as metabolic heat, leaving fewer to be stored as body fat.
5) Use a Thermogenic Supplement Formula
In addition to the tips listed above, dieters can benefit from using Charge! Rapid Fat Loss and Energy Booster. Charge! is a unique thermogenic support formula designed to increase thermogenesis leading to accelerated fat loss. The main ingredient is ephedra, "the dieter's herb." Ephedra increases the release of catecholamines, mini messengers that target fat cells breaking them down leading to rapid weight loss.
Taken with breakfast, Charge! can increase the thermic effect of eating for the first three to four meals each day. Charge! is also fortified with caffeine and white willow bark. Both increase the effectiveness of ephedra. Ginger and chromium round out the formula. Ginger supports the immune system and helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, which can help curb the appetite. Chromium also keeps blood sugar levels from spiraling upward. This moderating effect on insulin coupled with a small reduction in calories, can contribute to the shedding of body fat and the overall composition of a lean body. Always check with your medical practitioner before using any supplement.
by Robert Brooks