# Calorie Counter

You are currently viewing the message boards in:

# Gaining more pounds than you eat

2»

## Replies

• Posts: 1,378Member 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.

I don't think this is true, because you also have to eat enough fat for the amount of calories you burned as well. So say I burn 4,000 calories today, I would have to eat 2lbs of fat to gain 1lb. So the food I eat would weigh more than the weight I gained.

• Posts: 1,378Member Member
also you are confusing people they are looking way way to far into you question, probably because you used the term 1lb fat gained instead of 1lb gained and that is what people are looking at for some reason.
• Posts: 1,282Member Member
Let's see if I understand the question here.

Say today I have eaten exactly enough calories to equal my precise TDEE. Then I decide to measure out and drink 454 grams of cooking oil. You're curious if I would gain more than a pound because those 454 grams of oil add up to ~4, 086 Calories?
• Posts: 1,911Member Member
Oy, this thread makes me want to throw things.
• Posts: 1,282Member Member
MissusMoon wrote: »
Oy, this thread makes me want to throw things.

Throw a pound of oil. It'll make a satisfying splash.
JaneSnowe wrote: »
Let's see if I understand the question here.

Say today I have eaten exactly enough calories to equal my precise TDEE. Then I decide to measure out and drink 454 grams of cooking oil. You're curious if I would gain more than a pound because those 454 grams of oil add up to ~4, 086 Calories?
JaneSnowe wrote: »
Let's see if I understand the question here.

Say today I have eaten exactly enough calories to equal my precise TDEE. Then I decide to measure out and drink 454 grams of cooking oil. You're curious if I would gain more than a pound because those 454 grams of oil add up to ~4, 086 Calories?

Ya, that's basically it. It's just a theoretical question, I don't expect there's a definitive answer I was just thinking it would be interesting if your body was able to gain more weight than the food actually weighed to begin with.
• Posts: 15Member Member
The bigger question (that fewer people know the answer to) and one that may answer this question, is "When you lose a pound of body fat, where does it go?"
• Posts: 1,282Member Member

The bigger question (that fewer people know the answer to) and one that may answer this question, is "When you lose a pound of body fat, where does it go?"

edited June 2016
• Posts: 1,144Member 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..........

Energy is burned off inside your body and breathed out, the weight you lose through peeing or pooping isn't fat, and the food you eat isn't yet fat or muscle until your body processes it. So I don't understand the weighing more than you took in, but weighing less than you offloaded in obvious waste does make sense, it's in your breath!
• Posts: 844Member Member
JaneSnowe wrote: »
Let's see if I understand the question here.

Say today I have eaten exactly enough calories to equal my precise TDEE. Then I decide to measure out and drink 454 grams of cooking oil. You're curious if I would gain more than a pound because those 454 grams of oil add up to ~4, 086 Calories?
JaneSnowe wrote: »
Let's see if I understand the question here.

Say today I have eaten exactly enough calories to equal my precise TDEE. Then I decide to measure out and drink 454 grams of cooking oil. You're curious if I would gain more than a pound because those 454 grams of oil add up to ~4, 086 Calories?

Ya, that's basically it. It's just a theoretical question, I don't expect there's a definitive answer I was just thinking it would be interesting if your body was able to gain more weight than the food actually weighed to begin with.

Oh there is a definitive answer: Yes. If water and other resources were not limited, and the increased connective tissue, blood serum and transport water etc used to transport, store and surround the remaining calories after digestion plus the stored fat itself add up to over a pound.

Will it happen? Thats a different question that changing every and any variable there a possible way to skew the result either way...
• Posts: 844Member Member
Oh and of course, that is assuming your TDEE and weight and intake measurements were so precise as to calculate no net effect positive or negative, and you know exactly how much water to drink to cause no change in weight, which is absurd and probably almost never true (on purpose at least). So assuming no inflammation or dehydration, no gross change in ambient moisture in the air and evaporation during the day...so many variables. This is why its so hard to predict what your weight will do with each difference in calories. You have done your best to calculate calories, but cannot/will not/do not know to control so many other variables, it makes it frustrating when you expect one result from the scale, but see another due to all the other factors.

• Posts: 844Member Member
robininfl wrote: »
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..........

Energy is burned off inside your body and breathed out, the weight you lose through peeing or pooping isn't fat, and the food you eat isn't yet fat or muscle until your body processes it. So I don't understand the weighing more than you took in, but weighing less than you offloaded in obvious waste does make sense, it's in your breath!

He also has to weigh and measure exactly his liquids, which nobody does. Drinks are more than calories, but water weight as well, if you hold on to more of that water, your weight goes up.

Just say you had a bowl of watermelon every meal, you could do a calculation of the calories and expect to lose a half a pound for the day by calorie counting method, but instead, you gain several pounds by the end of that day. Then you pee and expire so much CO2 and water you lose a few pounds overnight. Then say in yet another case you were allergic to that watermelon and it causes inflammation which causes you to retain more water than you would normally a few days and instead you keep on a pound instead of losing a half pound...or you aren't allergic but you change the bacterial load in your intestines with your change in nutrients for them via that watermelon diet ,which further complicates things and can cause a net increase or decrease in weight dependent on your bacterial composition down there and its reaction to your food which passes through...so many things to screw up your "hey I ate less, why do I not weigh what I expected???"
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.

Yup, this is the answer right here.

You could gain more than a pound of adipose tissue, composed mainly of fat but also of some water. Presumably you also drink during the day.

You can't gain more weight than the sum total of food and drink in that day less the amount you excrete, and in practice you will gain less than that because you lose some mass to the atmosphere.
edited June 2016
• Posts: 15Member Member
Yes, theoretically. But also keep in mind it's pert near impossible to gain or lose a pound of pure fat. Remember that the weight of food and it's caloric content are not that closely related. You need water to stay hydrated and water weighs a lot, but has no caloric content. A pound of pure body fat will also have associated water weight necessary for the body to support that weight.

You are using ~3500 calories as part of your calculations, but that number is a rough estimate based on human metabolism. You are missing all the factors that go into making that rough (but fairly accurate) number. This is why weighing yourself is such an inexact science. Your weight fluctuates constantly because of fluid intake, food intake, and elimination. Immediately after eating said 85.7% of a pound of fat, you'd only weigh 85.7% of a pound more. However, assuming you continue to stay hydrated, your body may metabolize that into roughly a pound of body weight.
• Posts: 1,911Member Member
robininfl wrote: »
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..........

Energy is burned off inside your body and breathed out, the weight you lose through peeing or pooping isn't fat, and the food you eat isn't yet fat or muscle until your body processes it. So I don't understand the weighing more than you took in, but weighing less than you offloaded in obvious waste does make sense, it's in your breath!

Thank you.
• Posts: 256Member Member
Can you breathe out more air than you breathe in? Maked u think
• Posts: 13,793Member Member
You're also using the chemical contents of what you breathe in to mix'n'match and recombine with what you eat & drink, plus chemical stuff you internally manufacture under the influence of a variety of inputs that include freakin' sunshine.

It seems conceivable to me that you could eat something that weighs less than a pound that would result in your gaining more than a pound, once you took into account all that biochemical brouhaha.

I can't think of a reason why the physical weight of your food would be a limiting factor on how much you'd gain.

I don't know whether you actually do, but it also sure seems like you could potentially exhale more than you inhale, also - as someone mentioned, breath is how weight leaves, and you also exhale a bunch of moisture that you didn't inhale. But whether the physical weight of the breath is different, or just the chemical/physical composition? Beats the heck out of me.

It seems like the energy entering & leaving have to net out somehow, because physics, but I don't know how that constrains individual in-flow & out-flow streams. And weight of the inputs is only marginally related to energy in the inputs.
• Posts: 933Member Member
The 3500 accounts for the water content in the fat which would not add to the weight gain. If you were able to ingest pure fat without water, you would gain the total weight of the fat assuming that your TDEE was estimated accurately.