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  1. #1
    Air
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    How long does it take to gain weight?

    Say my body needs 2500 calories to function. Say on a given day I consume 6000 calories. How long does it take for that one pound to show up?

    I didn't eat too well the week before last but kept my weight steady. This last week I tripled the amount of veggies plus got on my bike a few extra times, took up a martial arts class and an extra 6 hours of fast dancing. My reward was a gain of five pounds this week. I'm trying to figure out if this is related to the calories consumed the week before (which wasn't all that bad (2700 a day) but combined with not too much activity...) or if something else weird is going on.

    Thanks!

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    Banned. Turboem1's Avatar
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    This is a difficult question to answer because it changes over time.

    If you eat food you will automatically gain the weight of what you just ate right away.
    Give it time and your body will use some calories for energy.
    More time and it passes through your system and eventually leaves your body through feces and urine.

    But to permanently gain one pound of fat you have to have consumed about 3500 Kcal of energy from extra carbohydrate or fat.


    The thing is over time after you eat (say 6,000 calories) its hard to estimate what you used for energy, what the weight of the food was, how much of it was excreted, how long your body held on to that food before it was totally out of your system, when the next time you ate was ect..

    Also there is a large change in weight of food per calorie. To get an extra 3500 calories you would need to eat about a pound of butter or over 2 pounds of pasta and so on

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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    After suddenly taking on lots of extra exercise could the gain be water weight. I actually gain weight on days that I ride but loose it later in the week. Individual days gains or losses mean much less than steady gains or losses say for a week or month.

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    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    3500 calories = 1 pound ... and are you weighing yourself the same time of day, under similar circumstances? Has your water intake gone up too?

  5. #5
    Air
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    Yup, weighing the same time of day after morning duties. I'll do an 'official' weigh in for fitday once a week but step on every once in a while out of curiousity. It's also weird that the days I feel lighter I seem to gain it and the days I feel heavier I've seemed to lose. Water intake is pretty stable - it was so cold when I rode that I drank some but not a lot more than I usually do over the course of a day. And when I went dancing I sweated my ass off and drank about the same that came off.

    The jump happened over the course of two days - but I've always noticed jumps happening like that and not so gradually. Very odd. It's been stable now for a few days.

    Here's usually where motivation for me gets hard.

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    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    (it could be muscle gain?) I know over the summer I was riding a lot, but not eating enough. The week I started eating more appropriately, I promptly put on a couple pounds, but it was muscle, and the ensuing weeks I continued to lose weight. Don't give up!

    (of course, in October I stopped riding so much but didn't tone back the diet to compensate. Guess who now has the wrong kind of extra weight to get rid of? Ugh)

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    Senior Member I_Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air
    Say my body needs 2500 calories to function. Say on a given day I consume 6000 calories. How long does it take for that one pound to show up?

    Thanks!
    With my metabolism, yesterday...

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    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    One thing I do is weigh pretty much every day. Then I take the lowest and highest weight. They both better be moving in the right direction.

    I find a lot of variance during the week - 2 to 3 lbs easily. Probably because I tend to eat more on the weekends (and I am more active too)

  9. #9
    Senior Member I_Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air
    Say my body needs 2500 calories to function. Say on a given day I consume 6000 calories. How long does it take for that one pound to show up?

    I didn't eat too well the week before last but kept my weight steady. This last week I tripled the amount of veggies plus got on my bike a few extra times, took up a martial arts class and an extra 6 hours of fast dancing. My reward was a gain of five pounds this week. I'm trying to figure out if this is related to the calories consumed the week before (which wasn't all that bad (2700 a day) but combined with not too much activity...) or if something else weird is going on.

    Thanks!
    Seriously. Are you on any medications? Some can really screw with your metabolism - some I take tend to do that. I can gain weight in a day but I always find a delayed reaction in the loss. Keep the same diet and exercise for another week maybe two and then check the results. If you’re still gaining, I'd see either a doctor or dietician.

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    As I understand it the excess calories should be transferred into storage (FAT) when the digestion process is complete. There is no middle holding area or middle ground for food consumed. The problem here is that a single pound is very difficult to see or measure.

    I have been at my goal weight for 18 months but my goal weight is really say a 5 pound range. I don't weigh the same amount two morning in a row when I step on the scale almost invariably it is up or down by a pound or two. One of the biggest contributors to weight fluctuation is fluid retention. Our bodies are 80%+ water. A gallon of water water weighs eight pounds so if you manage to retain an additional 32 oz of water you will "gain" 2 pounds. Over the Christmas holiday I was taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug naproxen sodium (prescription Aleve) and over the course of 9 days I put on 14 pounds while my diet remained the same. I stopped taking the drug, lived in the bathroom for two days and was back at my normal weight.

    Some folks will mention muscle gain as a reason for weight gain. We gain muscle quite slowly, cardio activity like riding or running don't tend to bulk people up (sure you do gain muscle over time but not big heavy bulky muscles). Five pounds of muscle is a lot of muscle. A person can't gain weight in muscle without eating more than they are burning either. In order to build muscle bulk a person MUST actually consume the additional calories necessary to grow that muscle.

    If the numbers you quote are accurate I would attribute your change in weight to a fluid change. If that is the case it should disappear as rapidly as it arrived.

    Good Luck.
    Hybrid Riding Fool
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  11. #11
    Senior Member I_Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crtreedude
    One thing I do is weigh pretty much every day. Then I take the lowest and highest weight. They both better be moving in the right direction.

    I find a lot of variance during the week - 2 to 3 lbs easily. Probably because I tend to eat more on the weekends (and I am more active too)
    Personally, I weigh myself once every two weeks. If I'm being a good boy the weight is usually less, or at worst the same. I found weighing in every day created a roller coaster effect with my weight-related "emotions".

  12. #12
    Air
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Morrow
    If the numbers you quote are accurate I would attribute your change in weight to a fluid change. If that is the case it should disappear as rapidly as it arrived.

    Good Luck.
    This triggered an idea. How much does salt key into all of this? I just checked my salt intake (truthfully I'm happy enough when I'm below in calories and fat so I don't check that often) and it may be a bit high (3032 mg over the last two weeks and 2828 mg over the last week). Then again I just went back to November when I was losing weight and my sodium was at around 3800 (but sweating more...maybe).

    I hope it's just fluid change...though after it jumped it's stayed there. If salt's the culprit is just drinking more water a good way to flush your system?

    [By the way - my caloric intake was 2200 for the week with all that activity]

    [No meds by the way]

    Some folks will mention muscle gain as a reason for weight gain. We gain muscle quite slowly, cardio activity like riding or running don't tend to bulk people up (sure you do gain muscle over time but not big heavy bulky muscles). Five pounds of muscle is a lot of muscle. A person can't gain weight in muscle without eating more than they are burning either. In order to build muscle bulk a person MUST actually consume the additional calories necessary to grow that muscle.
    I had no idea about that. It obviously makes sense but makes a lot more sense compared to the bigger picture.

    Thanks all!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Hambone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Morrow
    <snip>Some folks will mention muscle gain as a reason for weight gain. We gain muscle quite slowly, cardio activity like riding or running don't tend to bulk people up (sure you do gain muscle over time but not big heavy bulky muscles). Five pounds of muscle is a lot of muscle. A person can't gain weight in muscle without eating more than they are burning either. In order to build muscle bulk a person MUST actually consume the additional calories necessary to grow that muscle.[emphasis added -hambone]
    are you sure about this?

    Your body won't use stored energy (aka fat) to put on muscle mass?

    (I'm not suggesting I rely on the muscle mass increase as cause for weight gain in general just questioning the biology of your statement.)
    Inside me is a thin man dying to get out.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Hambone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air
    <snip>This triggered an idea. How much does salt key into all of this? I just checked my salt intake (truthfully I'm happy enough when I'm below in calories and fat so I don't check that often) and it may be a bit high (3032 mg over the last two weeks and 2828 mg over the last week). Then again I just went back to November when I was losing weight and my sodium was at around 3800 (but sweating more...maybe).
    for me it can have a huge impact.

    I can cheat the scale a few pounds by cutting salt for three days before weigh in.
    Inside me is a thin man dying to get out.
    (He is kept comfortable by some pie, a half case of Bud, two cheese-dogs and a big screen Sony.)

  15. #15
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I_Bike
    Personally, I weigh myself once every two weeks. If I'm being a good boy the weight is usually less, or at worst the same. I found weighing in every day created a roller coaster effect with my weight-related "emotions".
    Yes, I used to think the same way - but I decided to just grit my teeth and bear it. Now, I don't worry about any day - but I want to see it. When I did the other way, two weeks would become a month because I really didn't want to know, and then 3 months, and then 6 months - and they next thing you know, I have gained 20 lbs.

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    Senior Member I_Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crtreedude
    Yes, I used to think the same way - but I decided to just grit my teeth and bear it. Now, I don't worry about any day - but I want to see it. When I did the other way, two weeks would become a month because I really didn't want to know, and then 3 months, and then 6 months - and they next thing you know, I have gained 20 lbs.
    Oh, well if I'm not working at weight loss or maintaining my weight the scale is a forgotten as a rice-cake...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hambone
    are you sure about this?

    Your body won't use stored energy (aka fat) to put on muscle mass?

    (I'm not suggesting I rely on the muscle mass increase as cause for weight gain in general just questioning the biology of your statement.)
    Yes I am quite sure about this.

    Look at it this way, the stored energy (FAT) has weight, when you burn for energy it disappears even if you could do an exact one to one conversion of fat to muscle (which you can't) you would still be left with a zero sum game. As I recall a pound of muscle only has something like 2800 calories in it but you still are unable to take that pound of fat and turn it into more than a pound of muscle.
    Hybrid Riding Fool
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  18. #18
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Morrow
    Yes I am quite sure about this.

    Look at it this way, the stored energy (FAT) has weight, when you burn for energy it disappears even if you could do an exact one to one conversion of fat to muscle (which you can't) you would still be left with a zero sum game. As I recall a pound of muscle only has something like 2800 calories in it but you still are unable to take that pound of fat and turn it into more than a pound of muscle.
    Air, Mike is right, you don't convert fat to muscle. Muscle is denser than fat by 7X, but You do have to burn off the fat then build lean muscle mass. I always tout the protein boost to prevent cannibalization of muscle tissue and promote fat burn. It is conceivable you are picking up some bone density, however. Cycling is close enough to a load bearing exercise that you'll add bone density. That would likely be a pound or so and over a long period of time though.

    I do tend to think though, especially with the rapidity of the gain that it's fluid weight as well. If your ankles start swelling, it's an issue you'll need to bring up with your doctor.
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