How do Solids, Liquids & Semi-Solids Foods Impact Energy Intake? || BLURB

How do Solids, Liquids & Semi-Solids Foods Impact Energy Intake? || BLURB

Blurbs are quick less than 2 minute reads under 300 words based on some interesting find here at Ketogeek and would share with you guys! These are short and quick practical takeaways from some of the studies we read. Science is always growing and piling on so one study or write-up doesn't equate to something set in stone. Lets continue to learn!


“Dietary Compensation” is the ability of food to disrupt or promote energy balance. Simply:

  • Negative Compensation: If something you ate led to overconsumption or increased energy intake
  • Positive Compensation: If something you ate led to reduced energy intake
  • Complete Compensation: If something you ate led to energy balance

This can serve as a decent starting point for uncovering mechanisms.


In this meta-analysis(1), data from 48 studies and 253 different pre-load foods was extracted and it was found that the most important factors determining energy compensation were:

  1. The time between meals, followed by the physical form(solid, semi-solid or liquid) form of food, highly independent of gender and BMI(Body Mass Index).
  2. Semi-solid foods had slightly higher energy compensation than solid foods while liquids had substantially weaker compensation
  3. The physical form, on average, was an important factor for 2 hours following the intervention food but after that, even semi-solids and solids showed weaker compensation
  4. Caution: Though these are general trends, lumping of foods here can dismiss mechanisms and exceptions.

The strong impact of inter-meal interval makes sense as body processes foods over time while the form of food can give us a vague snapshot of how fast it is digested with liquids usually digested faster than solids and semi-solids.


This meta-analysis indicates the importance of food's structure when it comes to being one of the strongest contributing factors towards energy intake in individuals, potentially superseding but reliant on macronutrient composition. As a vague rule of thumb, semi-solid and solid foods will generally support satiety and reduced energy intake compared to beverages. We also speculate that the body goes through "digestive cycles" during which the following meal might be calorically independent of the previous meal consumed if the time interval between two consecutive meals is large enough(we're talking hours.)


Liquid Foods: Fortified milkshakes, fruit juice, soft drinks, milk, smooth soups, sweetened water

Solid Foods: Vegetables, salads, bread, whole fruits, cheese, meat, pasta

Semi-Solid: Yogurt, jellies, chunky soups, thickened milkshakes, pates, pureed foods



Fahad is the founder of Ketogeek and hosts the Ketogeek Podcast, a world class health show about food, nutrition and health. He is into resistance training, Ashtanga yoga, calisthenics and various forms of training styles. Armed with a idealistic goals distilled in a world of realism, his goal is to help the world make a better place. He leads a life of extreme generalism or as he describes it, 'The Renaissance Lifestyle'.


It never ceases to amaze me how prosaic, pedestrian, unimaginative people can persistently pontificate about classical grammatical structure as though it's fucking rocket science. These must be the same people who hate Picasso, because he couldn't keep the paint inside the lines and the colors never matched the numbers.”
― Abbe Diaz