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.