Calorie Counter

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Settle this argument with friends

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• Posts: 12,731Member Member
Momepro wrote: »
I think the most productive thing is to ask the person, if they eat 1/4 pounds of cake, and nothing else, where does the other 3/4 pounds of cake come from? Honestly, I'd really like to see someone who thinks this try to explain how 3/4 pounds just come into existence.

Right?
That's my argument, lol! The response was "It just doesn't work that way. You (meaning me) are just oversimplifying a very difficult concept. You can have more calories than an item weighs. Duh. "
The maximum calorie density by weight is 9 calories per gram of fats. If one ate a pure pound of pure, compressed fats, I suppose it would have 4,077 calories, while gaining a pound of fat is usually taken to be 3,500 calories because a fat cell is filled with roughly 10% water. So to fill up greater than a pound of fat by eating a pound of fat would still require in take of water.

But when you aren't dealing with other intake like water, thermodynamics / chemistry still holds that matter won't be created nor destroyed. I just don't see where it is being explained where the other matter comes from to violate that.

I don't think it's terribly relevant in this context (though I'm not a biochemist), but there is ongoing matter intake if still alive, that people often forget: We breathe.
• Posts: 7,234Member Member
Momepro wrote: »
113.3981 grams (1/4lb) is approximately going to be right around 300ish calories depending on toppings and what not. To gain one pound you must eat 3,500 calories or so over your total burn. So, no.

However, you can gain more weight than an item weighs depending on what the item is - there are some very hearty calorie foods out there that are light weight - gainers and such.

Otherwise, using that logic, everyone would gain/lose weight in accordance with the food's weight, so we'd all be eating one strawberry a day, right?

But say a food is as calorie dense as possible. Just absolutely maxes out the possible amount of calories. Ignoring any other conditions, such as good or liquid digested besides the "cake", or any caloric burning off you may do. Just retaining every bite of that cake and nothing else, would it suddenly weigh more inside your body than it did on the plate?
If you have a 0.25 lb slice of cake that contains 3500 calories, your weight will initially still only go up by 0.25lbs after you've eaten it.

Digestion takes time, and that cake has to pass through your intestines before your body can store any of the energy as fat.

A quarter pound of any food having 3500 kcal is impossible. Fat is the most calorie-dense nutrient, with 9 kcal per gram. A quarter pound is about 113 grams. A quarter pound of fat would have 1,017 kcal, about 29% of the 3500 kcal we think of as equalling a pound of fat. I believe that is an approximation, but I don't know whether it's off by enough to account for the full 4% difference between the weight of the fat you're eating and the predicted calories contained in the stored pound of fat.

Edited because the quote that is showing up is not the message I was trying to quote, which said,
But say a food is as calorie dense as possible. Just absolutely maxes out the possible amount of calories. Ignoring any other conditions, such as good or liquid digested besides the "cake", or any caloric burning off you may do. Just retaining every bite of that cake and nothing else, would it suddenly weigh more inside your body than it did on the plate?

It looks like that was from SusieBanyon, but I'm not sure -- the quote embedding on what I quote looks messed up. Sorry, I found it upthread -- it was Momepro who asked about a food as calorie-dense as possible.
edited March 18
• Posts: 865Member Member
AnnPT77 wrote: »
Momepro wrote: »
I think the most productive thing is to ask the person, if they eat 1/4 pounds of cake, and nothing else, where does the other 3/4 pounds of cake come from? Honestly, I'd really like to see someone who thinks this try to explain how 3/4 pounds just come into existence.

Right?
That's my argument, lol! The response was "It just doesn't work that way. You (meaning me) are just oversimplifying a very difficult concept. You can have more calories than an item weighs. Duh. "
The maximum calorie density by weight is 9 calories per gram of fats. If one ate a pure pound of pure, compressed fats, I suppose it would have 4,077 calories, while gaining a pound of fat is usually taken to be 3,500 calories because a fat cell is filled with roughly 10% water. So to fill up greater than a pound of fat by eating a pound of fat would still require in take of water.

But when you aren't dealing with other intake like water, thermodynamics / chemistry still holds that matter won't be created nor destroyed. I just don't see where it is being explained where the other matter comes from to violate that.

I don't think it's terribly relevant in this context (though I'm not a biochemist), but there is ongoing matter intake if still alive, that people often forget: We breathe.

I'm not sure even when hyperventilating that someone can up their matter via breathing. Generally breathing involves taking in O2 and letting out CO2 which is a net carbon atom loss.
• Posts: 12,731Member Member
AnnPT77 wrote: »
Momepro wrote: »
I think the most productive thing is to ask the person, if they eat 1/4 pounds of cake, and nothing else, where does the other 3/4 pounds of cake come from? Honestly, I'd really like to see someone who thinks this try to explain how 3/4 pounds just come into existence.

Right?
That's my argument, lol! The response was "It just doesn't work that way. You (meaning me) are just oversimplifying a very difficult concept. You can have more calories than an item weighs. Duh. "
The maximum calorie density by weight is 9 calories per gram of fats. If one ate a pure pound of pure, compressed fats, I suppose it would have 4,077 calories, while gaining a pound of fat is usually taken to be 3,500 calories because a fat cell is filled with roughly 10% water. So to fill up greater than a pound of fat by eating a pound of fat would still require in take of water.

But when you aren't dealing with other intake like water, thermodynamics / chemistry still holds that matter won't be created nor destroyed. I just don't see where it is being explained where the other matter comes from to violate that.

I don't think it's terribly relevant in this context (though I'm not a biochemist), but there is ongoing matter intake if still alive, that people often forget: We breathe.

I'm not sure even when hyperventilating that someone can up their matter via breathing. Generally breathing involves taking in O2 and letting out CO2 which is a net carbon atom loss.

For sure, not directly. And O2 mostly used for burning. But, various elements in air, and I would think used in our biochemistry in various minor ways. Is the CO2 out equal oxygen to the O2 input? What about the nitrogen: Used biochemically, or exhaled? Plus there's a bit of other gases, and a tiny amount of water vapor.

I truly don't know what it does: Outside my wheelhouse. But it's matter going in, without eating.

Matter going out on the exhale, too, including most of the products of our lost fat. My point was that there's a matter intake/output cycle at work there that people often don't think about, not that it's a source of significant body weight.
• Posts: 865Member Member
AnnPT77 wrote: »
AnnPT77 wrote: »
Momepro wrote: »
I think the most productive thing is to ask the person, if they eat 1/4 pounds of cake, and nothing else, where does the other 3/4 pounds of cake come from? Honestly, I'd really like to see someone who thinks this try to explain how 3/4 pounds just come into existence.

Right?
That's my argument, lol! The response was "It just doesn't work that way. You (meaning me) are just oversimplifying a very difficult concept. You can have more calories than an item weighs. Duh. "
The maximum calorie density by weight is 9 calories per gram of fats. If one ate a pure pound of pure, compressed fats, I suppose it would have 4,077 calories, while gaining a pound of fat is usually taken to be 3,500 calories because a fat cell is filled with roughly 10% water. So to fill up greater than a pound of fat by eating a pound of fat would still require in take of water.

But when you aren't dealing with other intake like water, thermodynamics / chemistry still holds that matter won't be created nor destroyed. I just don't see where it is being explained where the other matter comes from to violate that.

I don't think it's terribly relevant in this context (though I'm not a biochemist), but there is ongoing matter intake if still alive, that people often forget: We breathe.

I'm not sure even when hyperventilating that someone can up their matter via breathing. Generally breathing involves taking in O2 and letting out CO2 which is a net carbon atom loss.

For sure, not directly. And O2 mostly used for burning. But, various elements in air, and I would think used in our biochemistry in various minor ways. Is the CO2 out equal oxygen to the O2 input? What about the nitrogen: Used biochemically, or exhaled? Plus there's a bit of other gases, and a tiny amount of water vapor.

I truly don't know what it does: Outside my wheelhouse. But it's matter going in, without eating.

Matter going out on the exhale, too, including most of the products of our lost fat. My point was that there's a matter intake/output cycle at work there that people often don't think about, not that it's a source of significant body weight.

The CO2 exchange for O2 is not exact, but rather fixed. Hyperventilating happens because a person's body can no longer provide CO2 that needs removal fast enough to keep up with the O2 coming in - I believe the whole process is a rate limiting feedback so that the less CO2 there is to remove, the less O2 will ever get in.
Atmospheric nitrogen is highly inert. That's what makes the bacteria that lives in symbiosis with legumes so incredible, that they'll alter it. After O2 and N3, there's Argon, which isn't going to react. Then CO2 in the atmosphere which isn't really going in animals.
You do have water vapor in the atmosphere. I'm not sure that we ever take in more water from the air than we expel. I think that would essentially be slow drowning. At the least, I'd move somewhere less humid to eat my cake.
• Posts: 83Member Member
A lot of the oxygen we take in acts as a receptor for hydrogen that is used in cellular energy production, it becomes water.
• Posts: 61Member Member
On top of what everyone has said, and I'm not a biologist, but I think that even if one eats a whole pound of pure fat, some of that is expelled (quite quickly I would surmise) without the calories being absorbed and stored in the body.
• Posts: 17,128Member Member
Momepro wrote: »
I have friends that are honestly convinced that one slice of cake that weighs about a quarter of a pound, including frosting and beung very rich, can make you gain at least a pound of weight.
I say physics makes that impossible. Technically you can gain 1/4 pound from that, most of which will quickly be digested and go away. They think I'm crazy and deluding myself. I'm saying it's not possible gor something to cause you to gain more weight than the item weighs.

Sure - the wedding cake syndrome.

Bridal party starves themselves all week long to fit into their dresses on Sat, has 1 piece of cake at reception, and gains 5 lbs on Sun. (probably some alchy too!)

They depleted their carb stores below normal on their weigh-in on Sat morning.

Ate a bunch of carbs that stores with water.

Weighed Sun morning.

happens all the time.

In those types of situations - doubtful they stored anything as fat, as insulin would have sent it off to liver and muscle stores for the carbs, fat used as energy source right then for likely dancing along with some carbs.
edited May 17
• Posts: 12,368Member Member
DKLI wrote: »
On top of what everyone has said, and I'm not a biologist, but I think that even if one eats a whole pound of pure fat, some of that is expelled (quite quickly I would surmise) without the calories being absorbed and stored in the body.

And there is a 3% cost to breakdown fat. so if you took 3500 cals of fat, assuming you are in a surplus, 3,395 cals would be distributed to body fat, or a gain of 0.97 lbs
• Posts: 865Member Member
heybales wrote: »
Momepro wrote: »
I have friends that are honestly convinced that one slice of cake that weighs about a quarter of a pound, including frosting and beung very rich, can make you gain at least a pound of weight.
I say physics makes that impossible. Technically you can gain 1/4 pound from that, most of which will quickly be digested and go away. They think I'm crazy and deluding myself. I'm saying it's not possible gor something to cause you to gain more weight than the item weighs.

Sure - the wedding cake syndrome.

Bridal party starves themselves all week long to fit into their dresses on Sat, has 1 piece of cake at reception, and gains 5 lbs on Sun. (probably some alchy too!)

They depleted their carb stores below normal on their weigh-in on Sat morning.

Ate a bunch of carbs that stores with water.

Weighed Sun morning.

happens all the time.

In those types of situations - doubtful they stored anything as fat, as insulin would have sent it off to liver and muscle stores for the carbs, fat used as energy source right then for likely dancing along with some carbs.

That would be unintentionally performing the kind super compensation bodybuilders do for a show: carb deplete to ramp up receptivity, then carb load to fill muscles with glycogen and water. Probably a fair amount of salt at the meals too, which is also often used in that situation.
• Posts: 1,905Member Member
Great.....now all I can think about is cake.
• Posts: 11Member Member
Momepro wrote: »
I have friends that are honestly convinced that one slice of cake that weighs about a quarter of a pound, including frosting and beung very rich, can make you gain at least a pound of weight.
I say physics makes that impossible. Technically you can gain 1/4 pound from that, most of which will quickly be digested and go away. They think I'm crazy and deluding myself. I'm saying it's not possible gor something to cause you to gain more weight than the item weighs.

So... I saw you said you were arguing over simply eating the cake and not anything else. But as others have mentioned it can happen in conjunction with other things. The first thing I think of however is inflammation and other such reactions to the ingredients in the cake. I know if I eat something my body doesn't like I can gain 1 to 5 lbs. I can't say that it's "fat" though. I'm guessing it's water weight because I also get bloated. It can be gone the next day as long as I watch what I eat and exercise. I haven't weighed the food items in question but I'm pretty sure I'm not eating over 3500 calories. It can be a few slices of pizza, some cake etc usually things containing dairy, gluten and or soy.
• Posts: 15,399Member Member
one slice?

gaining one pound?

yeah.

sure.

• Posts: 10,816Member Member
1 lb of fat weighs the same as 1 lb of muscle