You may have heard the term “thermogenic” before or that something has thermogenic properties, but what exactly is it? And more importantly, how can it help you in your weight loss journey? Thermogenics are natural ingredients that help your body use calories quicker and easier. And, when partnered with other efforts, can help to lead to more weight loss.
What does a thermogenic do? Thermogenic, by definition, simply means an induction of heat. When it comes to your body, you use energy (i.e., calories) to produce heat. This is often referred to as metabolism or metabolic rate. Each person has a different metabolic rate – or how quickly or slowly calories are used. The higher someone’s metabolic rate (or metabolism) is, the quicker calories are burned from our body fat storage.
Thermogenic products contain natural ingredients designed to boost your metabolism and ultimately, increase fat burning. Depending on the ingredients, thermogenic products work in a variety of ways. Some will increase hormone levels, such as adrenaline and dopamine, to release fat that is stored in cells and allow them to be easily used. Other ingredients enhance metabolism by keeping adrenaline in the body longer to boost the fat burning results. Lastly, thermogenic products have also been shown to reduce appetite.
How can they be added to a weight loss program? Thermogenic ingredients have small, positive effects on metabolism to increase caloric expenditure and weight loss over time. Although more studies are needed, it has been shown that thermogenic products provide a metabolism boost, especially when combined with exercise. On their own, they will not likely make a huge impact on body weight change but can provide additional weight loss when involved with a nutrition and exercise program. Depending on the thermogenic ingredients, the increased metabolism boost can extend to up to 24 hours.
A powerhouse of abilities. Most thermogenic products include natural ingredients, such as caffeine, green tea, capsaicin (a component in peppers) and other plant extracts. Some products contain just one ingredient, while others use a proprietary blend of compounds known to increase metabolism.While using an herbal and antioxidant thermogenic blend, you also unleash a mighty dose of other nutrients that provide additional health benefits as well. Antioxidants are known to reduce the risk of diseases, such as certain types of cancers and heart disease. They also reduce inflammation and fight off free radicals. While other herbal ingredients may boost immunity, improve brain function and increase energy levels.
Thermogenic products can provide a safe and healthy way of burning fat better, while giving you a boost in energy. Results are best seen when combined with an effective nutrition and exercise plan, as they provide small benefits on their own.
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By: Katie Chapmon, MS, RDN
Katie Chapmon, MS, RDN is an award-winning Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in Bariatric Nutrition and Weight Management with 10+ years of hands-on clinical experience for leading medical providers. She is the proud recipient of the 2010 Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award and 2018 Excellence in Weight Management Practice Award through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For the past several years, she has been working with industry partners and consumers to improve nutrition education within the field, and maintains a private practice counseling pre and post-surgical patients. She is a national speaker, consultant and published author and enjoys time hiking and cooking in the kitchen. Katie also partners with Nutritional Resources (d/b/a HealthWise) for creation of educational content for weight managment professionals.