How quickly does the scale reflect overeating?

Options
7elizamae
7elizamae Posts: 758 Member
I'm not even sure how to ask the question properly, but I'm curious. (The 10,000 cal thread got me thinking.)
If I eat, say, 3500 calories over my TDEE, how quickly will I gain a pound?

Replies

  • elisa123gal
    elisa123gal Posts: 4,306 Member
    Options
    I think it is individual.. I gain and lose my week almost exactly a week after I overeat or diet.. which ever the case may be.
  • 7elizamae
    7elizamae Posts: 758 Member
    Options
    I think if it was more predictable I'd be less likely to overeat -- knowing what the results would be and when I would see them.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,816 Member
    Options
    7elizamae wrote: »
    I'm not even sure how to ask the question properly, but I'm curious. (The 10,000 cal thread got me thinking.)
    If I eat, say, 3500 calories over my TDEE, how quickly will I gain a pound?

    *Scale weight*? With the right foods, pretty much instantly . . . but not accurately. (Drinking a pint of water adds a pound on the scale immediately, but no fat, right?)

    So, first, digestive contents have weight: On the scale, you see the physical weight of the food in your stomach. Next, water retention from extra carbs/salt becomes relevant. What is it (I always forget), something like 3-4g water retained for each g of carbs, until the carbs are fully processed? Water weight from sodium depends on electrolyte balance, so unpredictable AFAIK - typically fairly short term.

    When does the fat gain happen? That's the hard question. Different things digest and are stored at different rates. Fat can be stored as fat pretty easily (no transformation). Other nutrients need transformation (takes a tiny bit longer). Research says full digestive transit can take 50+ hours, so something around there ought to be close to the outer limit for full digestion, maybe most of storage . . . but it's influenced by both activity and other eating/drinking during those hours.

    It's really hard to tell this stuff experientially, but my best guess, from logging daily weight for more than a decade (even when not trying to lose weight) suggests that around day 2 after the over-indulgence is when I'll start to see the fat gain stabilize, if I'm eating at maintenance. Before that, water weight and digestive contents obscure what's going on. Guessing, and personal. (Yes, I've eaten 3500+ calories over maintenance in one day, during that time period, occasionally.)

    Maybe someone else has some science; I don't.
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,013 Member
    Options
    7elizamae wrote: »
    I think if it was more predictable I'd be less likely to overeat -- knowing what the results would be and when I would see them.

    The results are based on the math. If you are in a deficit for the week, you are moving toward your goal. If you are not in a deficit for the week, you're not moving toward your goal. Log your food, hit your calories, over the long term you'll reap what you sow. Rather than rely on motivation, form good habits so you can eat at the right calorie level for the rest of your life, not just chase a number on the scale and then cross your fingers it stays off :smile:
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,182 Member
    Options
    If you eat 3500 over your TDEE, your weight will increase if you check it the next morning.
    There's no way to guarantee how much. Your extra calories will be some random combination of carbs, fat, and protein with some random combination of soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as some random amount of minerals and vitamins, and then there the random amount of water you drink.