This past weekend was thanksgiving for us folks up in Canada. (I have no idea why we have a different date for this…actually, I don’t even know why we celebrate it…but whatever.)
Anyway, needless to say there was lots of food and I ate a lot of food.
And then I got to thinking. How much food would I have to eat to gain 1 pound of fat this weekend?
The answer is ALOT.
Lets assume my basal metabolic rate burns approximately 1800 calories per day (this is probably pretty close)
So that means if I eat 1800 calories today I won’t gain weight or lose weight, I’ll just stay the same.
Lets also assume that 1 pound of fat has approximately 3500 calories in it. (based on the calculation of 9 calories per gram of fat)
Putting these two numbers together gives us 1800 + 3500 = 5300
That means I would have to consume 5300 calories this past sunday in order to gain 1 pound of fat. (the real number is probably slightly higher as there is a metabolic cost to actually laying down/building those fat cells)
I highly doubt I ate 5300 calories on sunday. But today my bodyweight is almost 4 pounds higher than it was before sunday dinner. (so it would appear as though I gained 4 pounds of fat)
Most of my weight gain is the food itself being in my gut, and a large amount of water that gets stored and retained along with the food.
Over the course of the day today I’ve been slowly losing weight and I’m down almost 2 pounds. I’ll bet by wednesday I’m back down to my pre-thanksgiving dinner weight.
It takes quite a bit of food to actually gain an extra pound of fat. But most of us gain fat slowly over time by overeating a few hundred calories every day.
Add in holidays, and a night or two out each week and it’s no wonder that most people seem to gain weight without noticing.
If you don’t purposefully take a day off of eating ala Eat Stop Eat, or at least take a day or two to eat very low calories to offset the overeating that happens on the weekends and at special events, there is almost no chance that you will ever be able to lose weight.
Just remember, for every day you overeat, you have to add in a day of under eating just to avoid gaining weight.
If you want to LOSE weight you have to add in a second day of under eating.
This is the whole trick with weight loss and the reason fasting works so well.
P.S. Even though my bodyweight went up, my waist measurement stayed exactly the same.