Metabolism is the sum of the reactions in the body’s cells that helps with the necessary energy for functions such as development, growth, and movement. Metabolism can be affected by many factors like health conditions, physical activity, biological sex, diet, and age. Basal metabolic rate is the energy needed to maintain critical body functions, such as breathing while at rest. The calories burn daily this the largest contributor and are also known as total energy expenditure.
The processing of food and digestion, including fats, proteins, and carbs, also require energy and are known as the thermic effect of food. As compared to others, some food takes more energy, and this can slightly increase metabolism. Less energy is consumed by fat to digest than proteins and carbs. Out of the three macronutrients, protein has the highest TEF.
As compared to some, food takes more energy to digest. What matters the most is the total dietary intake. Depending on the meal macronutrient content, the TEF, the energy required to digest food, differs.
The energy required to digest macronutrients –
- Fat – 0–3% of the ingested fat
- Protein – 10–30% of the energy content of the ingested protein
- Carbs – 5–10% of the ingested carbohydrates
The body’s most energy is required to break down and store proteins, which is why the highest TEF has accounted for about 10% of total daily energy expenditure. Consuming a high protein diet helps us burn more calories overall for this reason. Studies have shown that highly processed meals take less energy to digest than whole foods. This is likely because of the lower amounts of protein and fiber in highly refined foods.
The resting rate of metabolism can be increased by the high protein rate research has shown. People with a high-calorie diet a 2015 study found that a high amount of protein consumption significantly increased 24-hour resting energy expenditure compared with a low amount of protein. A high protein diet consisting of 40% protein increased fat burning and produced higher total energy expenditure compared with a control diet that contained 15% protein, a study in 2021 has determined.