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How long does it take for calories to turn to fat?

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Old 04-14-2012, 04:21 PM   #1
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Default How long does it take for calories to turn to fat?

So, in the last week, I've taken a break and fully expect to gain a pound or two from eating excess calories. So far, my weight hasn't changed. I know sodium causes instant weight gains, but what about calories? How long does it take extra calories to show up as fat?
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:58 PM   #2
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good question
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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http://www.livestrong.com/article/42...s-turn-to-fat/

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Old 04-27-2012, 11:49 AM   #4
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It depends on the speed of your digestion, what you ate and your overall activity level. If you cram down 2500 calories today, and you digest them all perfectly, and you burn 2000 of them, the 500 are held up as reserves in various forms for a day. Maybe a little less... maybe a little more.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:24 PM   #5
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Food always weighs more than the weight it can add to your body. For example there's absolutely no way that a pound of food or beverage can add more than a pound of fat. A pound of pure butter, oil, or fat comes pretty close, but who eats a pound of butter, anyway.

Because of this, you ordinarily don't have to worry about food you ate today adding pounds sometime in the future. The most weight is added immediately (and some of that will be burnt off).

This means that if I eat anything that I think I shouldn't have, then getting right on the scale gives me sort of a "worst case scenario."

Now if I drink three large glasses of water and then get on the scale, I'm going to see a three pound gain. None of that is going to turn to fat, because there's no calories. Now some of that weight could stick around if I'm eating a lot of sodium, but still any time I weigh myself I can consider it a "worst case scenario."

Now weight fluctuates for a lot of reasons, so it's not a perfect system, but it works really well. I've never found that something I ate today will cause me a weight gain tomorrow or next month (except with water retention after sodium - but even that doesn't just "appear" it can only show up if I eat or drink something that weighs as much or more than the weight I gain because of it).

You can''t gain weight from the air. Only from the food and drink you eat, but you sweat, pee, and poo much of that out. So your weight is going to be a combination of your bone, muscle, fat, body fluids digesting food, and waste products. You don't ever know exactly how much of each, but your current weight on the scale can always be seen as "worst case scenario."

You can't eat a pound of chocolate and gain two pounds from it. You won't even gain a pound from it (because there's sugar and water in the chocolates). Eating a pound of butter could (in theory) cause you to gain a pound (if it's over and above what else you've eaten today). But you can't gain more than the food weighs, so if you get on the scale right after eating an off-plan food - that is your worst-case scenario).

Ironically, everyone says frequent weighing is demotivating, but I find it incredibly liberating. Whenever I eat off-plan, I weigh myself immediately, and see "the most weight" I could possibly dealing with. So if I eat a two ounce candybar, I know it can't add more than 3 ounces to my body weight - it's only those ounces adding up that become permanent damage.

By getting on the scale after a slip-up I can see concretely that I haven't blown anything. What I see on the scale is the worst thing I'm going to see unless I keep eating.

Now when I drink water and eat vegetables, I know that what I see on the scale is only temporary. I know that weight will disappear as soon as I pee it out. As a result though, I always keep my weight in perspective.

If I haven't eaten off plan, I know that any gain is likely fluid retention, so I drink MORE water because I know it will help flush out extra water. I also eat lower-carb than my normal, because that also tends to flush water weight. If I suspect that the weight might be due to slight constipation, I'll devote more of my calorie budget to fruit, but for the most part I just stick to my food plan and assure myself that it will all work out (and if I don't have a loss in several weeks I consider increasing my activity and/or reducing my calorie intake).
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:43 PM   #6
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Oh good, I was wondering the same thing this week- I've been off plan for 2-3 weeks and eating too much unhealthy food. I've gained 2 lbs but I've been worried that somehow I will gain more weight from the recent excesses.

It's a relief to know that any actual weight gain is within a few hours.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katy Did View Post
Oh good, I was wondering the same thing this week- I've been off plan for 2-3 weeks and eating too much unhealthy food. I've gained 2 lbs but I've been worried that somehow I will gain more weight from the recent excesses.

It's a relief to know that any actual weight gain is within a few hours.

Remember though that while the weight shows up on the scale immediately, it hasn't turned to fat immediately. You may still be operating at a deficit.

If you eat a 2 lb cauliflower and down it with a large glass of water, on the scale you're going to see a 3 lb gain, but it's not going to last long.

Also, if you eat a pound of chinese food today you will gain a pound on the scale (until the food digests). Some or none of that may become fat.

And the sodium in the chinese food can effect you for a few days so that in addition to the pound from the food, you may "hold on to" the water you drink over the next few days. That's how one pound of food CAN become three pounds of weight (temporarily) but only if you drink another two pounds of water.

I hope that's not confusing, but it's important not to get too worried about the scale weight from any one incident. In the long run, it will all work itself out - but you can remember that you can't gain two pounds of fat from less than two pounds of food - can't happen. So it gives you at least the "worst case scenario" which can be comforting.
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