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Can the thermic effect of food help to burn fat?
December 09, 2006
Issue #010, December 10, 2006 Newsletter
The "Diet Free ... At Last!" Health & Lifestyle e-Newsletter is dedicated to keeping you updated on important health and weight-loss related issues...
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Table of Contents:
Article: Can the Thermic Effect of Food Help to Burn Fat?
"Miracle Food" of the month: Cranberries
Recipe of the month: Cranberry Sauce
Article: Can the Thermic Effect of Food Help to Burn Fat?
The thermic effect of food relates to the amount of energy that is needed to be expended by the body in order to digest a particular food. Some foods don't require very much energy at all to digest, which means that we can theoretically store as fat almost all the calories in the food if we do not burn it off. The most common foods that fall into this category are highly processed foods and unhealthy fatty foods. The body has to expend very few calories to convert these foods into calories, therefore almost the entire food is stored by the body as fat and very little is burnt off.
In contrast, foods that have had very little processing or are as close to their natural state as possible burn off a lot more calories during the digestion process, which decreases the amount of calories the body stores as fat. Fruits, vegetables, natural grains like rice, wheat, barley, rye and beans, peas, lentils and high fibre foods all burn off a lot of calories during digestion, meaning there is less that can be converted to fat and stored.
Some foods even burn off more calories during digestion then the food itself ... these foods are known as having a negative caloric balance. This is particularly true when you have a food that is high in fibre. Digestion has to work much harder to digest foods with a high level of fibre, which increases the amount of calories burnt and decreases the amount of calories stored as fat.
This is the reason why eating whole, natural foods has such a dramatic effect on weight loss ... and ultimately, your health. You can never go wrong by eating more fruits, vegetables and whole, natural foods and reducing the amount of highly processed junk food. Not only will you benefit from the "thermic effect" of food and automatically burn more calories, but you will also get the benefit of the vitamins, minerals and polyphenols these foods have naturally.
Of course, we have to keep in mind that the process of metabolising our food is more complicated than just balancing energy in to energy out. That is why I don't believe that calorie counting is an effective way of dieting. The reason is because there are many foods that have similar calorie contents, yet their metabolic effect on the body is extremely different.
For instance, some foods actually speed up the metabolism which increases the body's fat burning capabilities, whereas other foods actually slow down your metabolism and make your system very sluggish, gearing it towards fat storage not fat-burning. And these different foods can have the exact same calorie count!
4 Reasons Why Counting Calories Is Not Effective...
Calorie counting and calculating the optimal number of daily calories is not an exact science because every person is unique and has a different metabolism. There are many different Food Calorie Charts, calorie calculators and formulas on the market for calculating our optimal daily caloric intake, and they usually produce very different results. There are a few reasons why a food calorie chart or calorie formula may not produce the results you are hoping for:
"So If I Shouldn't Count Calories, How Do I Know How Much I Should Eat?"
Rather than counting calories, the "Diet Free ... At Last!" Weight Loss Program teaches you how to plan meals that will be directly targeted to supporting your specific hormonal situation. As you correct your hormonal imbalances, you will notice that your body will start to re-balance itself, and part of the re-balancing process includes losing weight and losing fat.
So obviously the process of burning off calories and fat and increasing your metabolism is a very complicated process. There are many factors that affect it and these factors are very important in your overall success rate in not only losing weight healthily, but being able to keep the weight off forever.
"Miracle Food": Cranberries
As a tribute to the Christmas season, I have focused on cranberries as this month's miracle food.
Everyday we hear about "new" research studies proving the "miraculous" healing powers of many different foods. Most of these foods are really just normal everyday foods that everybody used to eat as part of a normal diet. Of course, in the last 50 to 80 years highly processed convenience foods have taken the place of these healthy whole foods to the detriment of our health.
More and more people are replacing healthy, nutritious whole foods with nutritionally empty processed foods full of chemicals, preservatives and additives. Food forms the building blocks of every cell and tissue in our body. If the food we eat is nutritionally deficient, it obviously is not going to do a very good job of rejuvenating our health and preventing the development of disease.
If, on the other hand, we go back to basics and eat healthy, nutritious food, our bodies have the chance to use the vitamins and minerals in these foods to improve all areas of our health.
Now, cranberries have been in the media a lot recently due to its highly effective benefit of promoting a healthy urinary tract. This is because cranberries are very high in antioxidants called proanthocyanidins or condensed tannins and these antioxidants are very powerful and have a unique effect of preventing bacteria from "sticking" to the urinary tract wall, which then decreases the incidence of urinary tract infections.
This is not the only health benefit you can expect from cranberries ... check these out...
Now, the best thing about using Superfoods to improve your health is that you can eat these foods in delicious dishes instead of having to pop a pill! You can check out the internet for many delicious recipes using cranberries ... I have included here 2 of my favourite recipes for Christmas...
Recipe of the month: Cranberry Sauce for Turkey
2 cups whole cranberries 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Recipe of the month: Cranberry Stuffing for Turkey
1/2 cup wild rice 1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup cranberries 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
1/2 cup apples chopped 1/2 cup celery
2 cups chopped mushrooms 1/2 chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic 6 cooked chicken sausages chopped
1/2 cup sultanas 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1 teaspoon each poultry seasoning or sage, salt & pepper, and cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Well, that's it for now. Hope you've enjoyed this e-Newsletter as much as I've enjoyed writing it! If you have any fun recipes using cranberries (or any recipes at all) that you'd like to share with others, please feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include them in future issues.
I hope you all have a wonderful, safe and happy holiday season!
All the best,
Geri RichardP.S. If you'd like to check out our previous newsletter issues, just click on this link ...
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Written by Geraldine Richard (c) Copyright 2002 - 2006 weightloss-dietfree.com
Written by Geraldine Richard
(c) Copyright 2002 - 2006 weightloss-dietfree.com
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