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Total calorie intake vs. individual food items we eat

by Mou Ghosh
(Kolkata, WB, India)

Even though I look bit chubby, I have a more or less OK BMR (basal metabolic rate). I have been following reasonable measures on diet aspect since few years now. Working out, though is not spontaneous with me. I hardly find myself doing it! I have a moderately active lifestyle.

My question is, if I eat chocolates and ice-creams more and still could manage the more or less same calorie intake by reducing on other food intake, will I be doing a sensible thing? How does it matter if the total calorie intake remains the same?

Does total calorie intake counts more or the individual food items we eat?

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chocolate and ice cream
by: Dr. Dan


You ask a very good question. You would think that if you ate the same number of calories it would not matter what you ate.

You could eat cookies and muffins. Or you could eat lean, healthy protein. And you would weigh the same.

Well, for a number of reasons it doesn't work that way.

For one thing there is something called the "specific dynamic action" of protein. This means that when you eat protein your body becomes energized. Your metabolism speeds up and you burn more calories. This doesn't happen with other foods.

Second, you've heard the old saying "you are what you eat." This is literally true. Your body tissues -- eyes, tongue, fingers, toes, liver, kidneys, all of it -- are made with the building blocks that you provide.

So if you eat lean protein and fibrous vegetables you get lean healthy organs. And if you eat ice cream and cookies you get... well, look around and you see what you get. Diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, depression and obesity.

Dr. Dan

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