Back to the TDEE

OK, back to the energy equation and understanding TDEE.

(b) Thermic Effect of a Meal (TEM) - TEM is the energy increase that takes place after you eat a meal containing protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol.

The increase in energy expenditure is due to the cost of digestion, absorption, mobilization and storage of these macro-nutrients. On average this component comprises approximately 10% of TDEE however - and perhaps most importantly - the thermic response to ingested foods is driven primarily by the ratio of macro-nutrients.

That is to say, depending on the ratio of carbs, fats and proteins in a given meal, the thermic effect of the meal can vary widely. While both protein and carbohydrate will illicit notable and significant thermic responses, fat does not. This is one of several reasons why higher fat diets have been blamed for increased bodyfat levels over the years.

However, as mentioned throughout this chapter, the effects fats have on bodyfat is a complicated issue as certain fats are helpful for reducing bodyfat, blocking fat storage, increasing beta oxidation, etc. Though the effect of fat on TEM is important to know, it's even more important in my view to remember not all fats are created equal in this regard or their effects on metabolism.

To conclude TEM, it can be stated that TEM varies according to the mixture or ratio of macro-nutrients eaten at a given meal and can be manipulated - to either increase or decrease TDEE - by differing dietary composition. This information will come in handy and will make more sense when we look at calorie breakdown of the macro nutrients in the later section of this chapter.

(c) Energy Expenditure of Physical Activity (EEPA) - EEPA is the most variable component of TDEE. Translated, it's up to us to be either couch potatoes or gym rats! EEPA is composed of both involuntary (i.e., shivering) and voluntary muscular activity, such as exercise.

As mentioned previously, it has been shown that even under sedentary conditions total energy expenditure can fluctuate enough to make a difference in the long run.

EEPA is influenced somewhat by body weight and composition. Meaning, a heavier person will require more energy than a lighter person and a leaner person will require more energy than a fatter counterpart of the same weight for the same activity and intensity.

However, EEPA is primarily driven by an individual's desire and ultimate performance of activity, which is how hard they bust their butt on a particular activity.

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