Blog Directory - Blogged foodliterate: Weight Management

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Weight Management

I previously discussed how obesity is something most of us can control and told you that the food industry is working to help us all combat the battle of the bulge. The food industry is researching everything from thermogenesis, appetite suppression, satiety boosting, and fat absorption blocking.

Approximately 70% of your daily total energy expenditure is from your basal metabolic rate, another 30% or so from physical activity and the last 10% from thermogenesis. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy you expend to simply stay alive (breathe, pump blood, etc.) and is really hard to measure outside of a lab, so most people use resting metabolic rate (RMR). Your BMR can be influenced (read: increased) by anaerobic activities like weightlifting as higher muscle mass means a higher metabolism. Physical activity, like aerobic exercise, results in direct calorie burning. This means every time you walk, climb stairs or anything else that increases your heart rate helps shed calories. Which leaves us thermogenesis; the heat generated by your body from the burning of fat calories.

Some of the ingredients that appear to have the best thermogeneic properties include bitter orange, tyrosine, capsaicin, ginger, caffeine and green tea. Of these, the one with the most "buzz" is green tea, or more specifically EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). EGCG is the most common catechin polyphenol found in green tea, ~50% in fact, and the most pharmacologically active one. Researchers are looking at the relationship between caffeine and EGCG and how they work to stimulate thermogenesis. So far it appears that they modulate fatty acid oxidation by interaction with the sympathetic nervous system.

Now, thermogenesis isn't a magic pill (or drink), but if you can burn just 50 calories per day (on a 2500 calorie per day diet) you will lose 10 pounds in a year. So this is definitely something to keep on your radar as more information and products become available. I'll be talking about satiety boosting and appetite suppression next post, so be sure to check back!


Anonymous said...

great topic!!
I took a multi-vitamin with EGCG and noticed a great difference while I was trying to lose weight.

Do you know if EGCG is safe during pregnancy? I am unsure if it is natural or not?

Barbie - Professional Foodie said...


I'm not a doctor and really can't speak to whether or not EGCG is safe during pregnancy, but I can tell you that is natural. EGCG is a polyphenolic antioxidant (flavinoid) found in not only tea, but also in vegetables, cocoa and wine. So if you are consuming a varied diet which includes vegetables, chocolate and/or tea, I can assure you that you are ingesting EGCG in addition to the quantity found in your supplement.
I hope that helps you and please let me know if there are any other topics you'd like to know more about!