Objective Daily energy expenditure consists of three components: basal metabolic rate, diet-induced thermogenesis and the energy cost of physical activity. Here, data on diet-induced thermogenesis are reviewed in relation to measuring conditions and characteristics of the diet. Methods Measuring conditions include nutritional status of the subject, physical activity and duration of the observation. Diet characteristics are energy content and macronutrient composition. Results Most studies measure diet-induced thermogenesis as the increase in energy expenditure above basal metabolic rate. Generally, the hierarchy in macronutrient oxidation in the postprandial state is reflected similarly in diet-induced thermogenesis, with the sequence alcohol, protein, carbohydrate, and fat. A mixed diet consumed at energy balance results in a diet induced energy expenditure of 5 to 15 % of daily energy expenditure. Values are higher at a relatively high protein and alcohol consumption and lower at a high fat consumption. Protein induced thermogenesis has an important effect on satiety. In conclusion, the main determinants of diet-induced thermogenesis are the energy content and the protein- and alcohol fraction of the diet. Protein plays a key role in body weight regulation through satiety related to diet-induced thermogenesis
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