Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Adaptive thermogenesis during energy deficits: a different explanation

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Mean pattern of respiratory exchange ratio, as measured over 30-min intervals from a 24-h observation in a respiration chamber.
Fig. 2: Individual respiratory exchange ratio values in relation to body mass index of participants.


  1. Dulloo AG, Jacquet J, Montani JP, Schutz Y. Adaptive thermogenesis in human body weight regulation: more of a concept than a measurable entity? Obes Rev. 2012;13 Suppl. 2:105–21.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Martins C, Roekenes J, Salamari S, Gower BA, Hunter GR. Metabolic adaptations an illusion, only present when participants are in a negative energy balance. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020;112:1212–18.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Müller MJ, Heymsfield SB, Bosy-Westphal A. Are metabolic adaptations to weight changes an artefact? Am J Clin Nutr. 2021;114:1386–95.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bray GA, Bouchard C. The biology of human overfeeding: a systematic review. Obes Rev. 2020;21:e13040.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Nunes CL, Casanova N, Francisco R, Bosy-Westphal A, Hopkins M, Sardinha LB, et al. Does adaptive thermogenesis occur after weight loss in adults? A systematic review. Br J Nutr. 2022;127:451–69.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Nymo S, Coutinho SR, Torgersen LH, Bomo OJ, Haugvaldstad I, Truby H, et al. Timeline of changes in adaptive physiological responses, at the level of energy expenditure, with progressive weight loss. Br J Nutr. 2018;120:141–9.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Westerterp KR. Diet induced thermogenesis. Nutr Metab. 2004;1:5.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Miles-Chan JL, Dulloo AG, Schutz Y. Fasting substrate oxidation at rest assessed by indirect calorimetry: is prior dietary macronutrient level and composition a confounder? Int J Obes. 2015;39:1114–7.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Verboeket-van de Venne WPHG, Westerterp KR, Hemans-Limpens TJFMS, De Graaf C, Van Het Hof KH, Weststrate JA. Long-term effects of consumption of full-fat or reduced-fat products in healthy non-obese volunteers: Assessment of energy expenditure and substrate oxidation. Metabol. 1996;45:1004–10.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Verboeket-van de Venne WPHG, Westerterp KR. Influence of the feeding frequency on nutrient utilization in man: Consequences for energy metabolism. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1991;45:161–9.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Nunes CL, Jesus F, Francisco R, Matias CN, Heo M, Heymsfield SB, et al. Adaptive thermogenesis after moderate weight loss: magnitude and methodological issues. Eur J Nutr. 2021.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



KRW analyzed the data, writing up, and is responsible for the content.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Klaas R. Westerterp.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author is a member of the editorial board of the journal.

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Westerterp, K.R. Adaptive thermogenesis during energy deficits: a different explanation. Eur J Clin Nutr 76, 1351–1352 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links