Some of the calories in the food you ingest will be used to digest, absorb, and metabolize the rest of the food, and some will end burned off as heat. The overall process is known indifferently as thermic effect of food (TEF), dietary induced thermogenesis (DIT), or specific dynamic action (SDA).
TEF represents about 10% of the caloric intake of healthy adults eating a standard mixed diet, but your actual number will depend on several factors, which include your lean body mass and the size and composition of your meal. The energy required to digest each macronutrient (its TEF) can be expressed as a percentage of the energy provided by this macronutrient:
Fat provides 9 Calories per gram, and its TEF is 0–3%.
Carbohydrate provides 4 Calories per gram, and its TEF is 5–10%.
Protein provides 4 Calories per gram, and its TEF is 20–30%.
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