The T-Factor Diet

The T-Factor stands for the thermic effect of food and exercise, and for adaptive thermogenesis. The thermic effect of food can be explained as the number of calories the body uses to change food into what is needed to keep the body alive. Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats require different amounts of calories to make this conversion, so it is not the calories you consume but what food you eat that matters.

The thermic effect of exercise is of concern because some exercise burns more fat than others. Whether your energy comes from stored carbohydrates or from stored fat makes a difference in your shape.

Adaptive thermogenesis is the body’s ability to conserve or waste calories while metabolizing food. The body can slow its metabolism and conserve fat in times of famine, but this natural protective device backfires when people become on-and-off dieters, choose the wrong foods, and neglect proper exercise.

Katahn, who directs the Vanderbilt Weight Management Program at Vanderbilt University, has determined through his research that only the fat in food contributes to fat stores in the body. The body requires a certain amount of fat daily, and if this fat is not in the foods ingested it will be taken out of the body’s fat cells, resulting in weight loss. The calories in carbohydrates and proteins are consumed in the metabolic process and become insignificant in weight management.

Calories are not counted on this diet, but grams of fat are. Charts in the book provide gram counts for various foods, and a fat substitution guide gives ideas on how to substitute a low-fat food for a high-fat one. Sample menus and recipes are included for those who like such guides.