Most of us have probably heard of the Resting Metabolic Rate, or the amount of calories that we burn just “sitting there.”
What you may not be aware of is that your body’s processing of food (digesting, absorbing, transporting, metabolizing and storing nutrients) expends energy as well and adds to your daily total of calories burned. This is called “diet-induced thermogenesis.”
Which macronutrient do you think causes your body to expend the most energy during processing? You guessed it, Protein. Protein increases energy expenditure by 30%, compared to 10% for carbs and 5% for fats.
Here’s where it gets really interesting: this increased energy expenditure of the body peaks an hour after eating, and ends 4 hours after eating. This is why small, frequent meals that are high in protein “get your metabolism going”, so to speak.