# Calorie Counter

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# Gaining more pounds than you eat

Just asking out of curiosity, is it theoretically possible to gain more weight than the weight of the food you ate?

There's 453.59 grams in a pound and fat has 9 cal / gram, so a pound of pure fat would have 4,082.3 calories.

So in theory, if you ate 3500 calories of PURE fat over your TDEE, you'd actually gain more weight than the fat you ate...

~3,500 calorie surplus = 1 pound fat gain
3,500 calories / 9 cal per gram = 388.89 grams of fat eaten
388.89 g / 453.59 = 85.7% of a pound eaten
So you'd eat 85.7% of a pound of pure fat and gain a pound of body weight?
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## Replies

say what????? and why? smh enjoy your fat slurpy
• Posts: 256Member Member
It's actually an interesting question but not one I would want to put into practice.
edited June 2016
• Posts: 29,557Member Member
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edited June 2016
• Posts: 1,062Member Member
fat isn't the only macro that causes you to gain weight... not sure where you're going with this
• Posts: 162Member Member
I believe the ~3500calories is an estimation as when you gain and lose weight it is not pure fat and that is the reason they do not use the 4082 calories you calculated.
• Posts: 153Member Member
Seems like that would violate conservation of energy.
• Posts: 256Member Member
SeanNJ wrote: »
Seems like that would violate conservation of energy.

Energy isn't measured by weight though.
SeanNJ wrote: »
Seems like that would violate conservation of energy.

Exactly. I've heard people say something like if I eat a pound I'd gain two. I was just thinking through whether it's actually possible to gain more weight than you actually eat.

And I used pure fat instead of another macro because it's 9 cal/g instead of 4 with protein and carbs. A pound of carbohydrate for example would be 1,814.4 calories (4*453.59), so you shouldn't be able to gain more body weight than the weight of the food itself (setting aside other factors like stored water).
edited June 2016
• Posts: 15,236Member Member
SeanNJ wrote: »
Seems like that would violate conservation of energy.

Exactly. I've heard people say something like if I eat a pound I'd gain two. I was just thinking through whether it's actually possible to gain more weight than you actually eat.

And I used pure fat instead of another macro because it's 9 cal/g instead of 4 with protein and carbs. A pound of carbohydrate for example would be 1,814.4 calories (4*453.59), so you shouldn't be able to gain more body weight than the weight of the food itself (setting aside other factors like stored water).

The 3500 calorie amount is from an experiment done in a lab...it's not set in stone....as our bodies are not labs with men in white coats standing around us...
ntw25 wrote: »
its an excellent question and one that has troubled me. I have a tendency towards OCD so I weigh myself a lot. I have been known to weigh before dinner and again after and come across exactly the problem you describe. i have put on 2 lbs, but know (because I am OCD) that my dinner only weight 1.5

The second part of my conundrum is that I usually weigh 2 -3lbs lighter in the morning than before i went to bed. I know I have pee'd a couple of times (I got up) so that might account for 0.5lb. Where is the rest ?

I have checked under the bed..........

Water weight might account for these temporary ups and downs. Do you weight everything before dinner? try weighing yourself 3x before eating to make sure you get an accurate reading. Then, ensure you weight everything you eat AND drink. Unless your scales aren't accurate, it should be close.

Regarding over night, you lose water from pee, but also from breathing and sweating. So even if you collected your pee, you'd still be off. By the way, don't collect your pee, that's gross
SezxyStef wrote: »
SeanNJ wrote: »
Seems like that would violate conservation of energy.

Exactly. I've heard people say something like if I eat a pound I'd gain two. I was just thinking through whether it's actually possible to gain more weight than you actually eat.

And I used pure fat instead of another macro because it's 9 cal/g instead of 4 with protein and carbs. A pound of carbohydrate for example would be 1,814.4 calories (4*453.59), so you shouldn't be able to gain more body weight than the weight of the food itself (setting aside other factors like stored water).

The 3500 calorie amount is from an experiment done in a lab...it's not set in stone....as our bodies are not labs with men in white coats standing around us...

Regardless, there are 9 cal/g in fat right? So a pound of fat should have 4,082 calories. Assuming the 3,500 example were anything less than 4,082 for an individual, you would gain more weight than the food you ate right?

Just seems counterintuitive to me that you could (in theory) gain more weight than the weight of your food.
• Posts: 256Member Member
It's energy you convert into fat though, not physical weight.
• Posts: 1,062Member Member
SezxyStef wrote: »
SeanNJ wrote: »
Seems like that would violate conservation of energy.

Exactly. I've heard people say something like if I eat a pound I'd gain two. I was just thinking through whether it's actually possible to gain more weight than you actually eat.

And I used pure fat instead of another macro because it's 9 cal/g instead of 4 with protein and carbs. A pound of carbohydrate for example would be 1,814.4 calories (4*453.59), so you shouldn't be able to gain more body weight than the weight of the food itself (setting aside other factors like stored water).

The 3500 calorie amount is from an experiment done in a lab...it's not set in stone....as our bodies are not labs with men in white coats standing around us...

Regardless, there are 9 cal/g in fat right? So a pound of fat should have 4,082 calories. Assuming the 3,500 example were anything less than 4,082 for an individual, you would gain more weight than the food you ate right?

Just seems counterintuitive to me that you could (in theory) gain more weight than the weight of your food.

its not just the weight of the food... what about water retention from high carb meals? or sodium? so many factors
• Posts: 126Member Member
• Posts: 3,933Member Member
You are confusing "fat" meaning adipose tissue with "fat" the substance/macro (aka lipids). A lb of adipose tissue is primarily made of fats, but it also contains water and other constituents of tissue, hence the reason it's only ~3500 calories versus ~4100 calories.
edited June 2016
• Posts: 24,424Member Member
First, 3500 cals of fat for 1 lb of weight. Which doesn't violate the conservation of energy or anything else. Because when you gain a lb you don't gain a lb of fat but a pound of tissue, with fat, connective tissue, water, etc...

Second, that 3500 is an estimate from an experiment in the 50's (following an experiment in the 20's). It's called the Wishnofsky formula.

This explains it:
Max Wishnofsky asked in a 1958 report "What is the caloric equivalent of one pound of body weight gained or lost?"1 After a thoughtful analysis of the existing literature, Wishnofsky concluded that "the caloric equivalent of one pound of body weight lost" or "gained will be 3500". Fifty years later and with thousands of citations in the scientific literature and the lay press, Hill and his colleagues repeated the oft-used statement "an energy deficit of approximately 3500 kcal is needed to lose 1 lb of body weight" in the authoritative textbook Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. Hill is not alone, with the same rule of thumb posted more recently on the Mayo Clinic, Livestrong, and countless other web sites. But Wishnofsky's Rule as applied is inaccurate, leaving many counselled patients wondering why their prescribed weight loss is far less than expected even when they rigorously adhere to their dietitian's recommendations.

The article is excellent.
• Posts: 1,282Member Member
ntw25 wrote: »
its an excellent question and one that has troubled me. I have a tendency towards OCD so I weigh myself a lot. I have been known to weigh before dinner and again after and come across exactly the problem you describe. i have put on 2 lbs, but know (because I am OCD) that my dinner only weight 1.5

The second part of my conundrum is that I usually weigh 2 -3lbs lighter in the morning than before i went to bed. I know I have pee'd a couple of times (I got up) so that might account for 0.5lb. Where is the rest ?

I have checked under the bed..........

http://www.livescience.com/49157-how-fat-is-lost-body.html
• Posts: 256Member Member
So don't breathe if you want to survive in the absence of a food source.