Thermogenesis is the process by which the body produces heat to maintain body temperature constant. Heat production usually occurs in cold environments. On the contrary, in climates with high temperatures there is the release of heat (thermolysis) that may happen through sweating. When thermogenesis occurs due to climate change, stress or overeating, it is called adaptive thermogenesis. This process is under the control of the sympathetic nervous system through which certain hormones such as catecholamines induce an increase in heat production. The muscles and the liver play a major role in this mechanism, but the brown adipose tissue is also partly involved. Adaptive thermogenesis plays a key role in the appearance of obesity. Numerous studies indicate that a big percentage of obese people have a lower than normal thermogenenic ability.
But, how can thermogenesis help you lose fat? It will increase your metabolic rate, which can help you burn more calories. However, don't expect miracles. The thermogenic effect is usually small, so it will only lead to gradual weight loss.
Diet and thermogenic effect:
Diet-induced thermogenesis refers to the loss of energy of the body in response to the intake of food. Certain foods work better than others in the stimulation of lipolytic (fat burning) activity. To understand this you must first know a few things about metabolism.
The factors that can cause changes in basic metabolism are:
- Muscle mass
- Muscle activity
- The thermic effect of food
The thermic effect of food represents the expenditure of calories by the body in response to the intake of certain nutrients. More specifically, protein can cause a caloric spending of 30% of the calories. For example, 25g of protein contain 100 kcal and induce an energy expenditure of 30 kcal. This means that these 30 calories are simply not absorbed by the body. The energy spending in response to the intake of carbohydrates and fats is much lower and more specifically it is 2-5% for fats and 5-10% for carbohydrates. This does mean that you should start eating only foods rich in protein and eliminate any other food group from your diet. High-protein diets do increase the metabolism, but they can also cause fatigue and liver failure.
Here are some foods that act as Natural Thermogenic Fat Burners :
- Citrus aurantium or bitter orange is a plant native to China and was brought to Europe by Alexander the Great. It contains synephrine, a substance that stimulates the body's oxidation process. Given its significant thermogenic activity, the Ministry of Health has placed limits on the content of synephrine in supplements for weight control, but to date there are no studies that show toxic effects associated with its use.
- Fucus is a seaweed present in large quantities in the Atlantic Ocean. It contains a large amount of iodine. This substance has the ability to stimulate the function of the thyroid, a gland that regulates metabolic processes in our body and therefore is also involved in thermoregulation. Fucus also possesses diuretic properties and is a powerful natural thermogenic fat burner.
- Garcinia cambogia is a plant native to Indonesia. Its action is related to the presence of hydroxycitric acid, which prevents the sugars from the diet to be stored as fat and turns them into energy. In addition it induces a remarkable feeling of satiety.
- Green tea is a plant used as a beverage. It has antioxidant properties, slows down the aging process, and promotes a preventive action against atherosclerosis and thrombosis. When taken after a high fat meal it accelerates the transformation of fats into energy.
- Guarana is a plant of the Amazon rainforest full of theophylline, theobromine and caffeine. It has many beneficial properties: it's anti-anemic, analgesic, stimulant, aphrodisiac and anti-diarrheal. As far as thermogenesis is concerned, it has the ability to promote the ideal body temperature, which causes a feeling of well being in the individual who consumes this substance. It also helps to reduce hunger and is a diuretic.
- Capsaicin: capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers. Capsaicin promotes fat mobilization though the increased release of catecholamines from the adrenal glands, followed by the interaction with the adipocyte beta-adrenergic receptors. The exact same mechanism is also involved in the combination of ephedrine and caffeine. About half of the effects of the combination of ephedrine and caffeine occur due to the thermogenic activity of these substances, while the other half is the result of appetite suppression. A recent study in rats, found greater reductions in fat stores in the rats who received capsaicin compared to those who took a placebo. Although the majority of studies were performed on rats, some studies on humans have found the same effect. For example, a study of Japanese women who followed a high-fat diet, showed that the consumption of chili led to the increase in energy spending and in the oxidation of fats.
Additional ways to lose weight:
Apart from thermogenesis, which simply increases the metabolism, there is another way to lose weight. Eat less food. I'm sure that this sounds obvious, right? If you could actually do that you wouldn't even need thermogenesis to lose weight. But, what's stopping you from consuming fewer calories and finally losing weight? The thing that's stopping you is called hunger. Your body does care, if you want to drop a dress size. It doesn't care, if you want to look like your favorite movie star. Your body simply wants to survive! This is why it activates hunger, as a mechanism to keep you from starving yourself. So, how do you reduce hunger?
There are a few substances that can increase satiety and practically force you to consume less food, with no effort on your part. There are also called anorectics or anorexigenics or appetite suppressants. A few of these substances include: Phentermine, Rimonabant, SibutramineCathine, Diethylpropion, Phenmetrazine, Benfluorex, Butenolide, Phentermine, Phenylpropanolamine, Pyroglutamyl-histidyl-glycamine, Sibutramine, Diphenylhaminamine, Glenhamidamine, Glenidamine, Glenidamine, Glenidamine, Glenidamine, Glenidamine, Glenhamidamine, However, some of these appetite suppressants can have serious side effects. For example, phenylpropanolamine was associated with hemorrhagic stroke, which led the FDA to request its withdrawal from the US market. Ephedrine has also caused many health concerns. Appetite suppressants don't have to get approved by the FDA, only if they contain 100% natural ingredients. Most natural appetite suppressants on the market are based on hoodia, green tea and seaweed.