Did you know that some of the calories you eat are used to break down the food? TEF or Thermic Effect of Food refers to the energy used by your body to digest and break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Sometimes also known as Diet Induced Thermogenesis (DIT).
For a diet with normal protein consumption at around 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, TEF accounts for 5-10% of the energy from carbohydrates and fats, and 20-35% of the energy from proteins.
If you eat a different amounts of carbohydrates, protein and fats than the average individual, the estimated TEF percentages above do not apply.
High protein diets (more than 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight) increase TEF and you will therefore burn more calories from a diet high in protein compared to a diet with normal protein intake. This is another reason why high protein intake when cutting is beneficial.
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Halton TL. The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Oct;23(5):373-85.