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Old 07-27-05, 08:49 AM   #1
youngster
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calories intake vs weight gain question

hello to all,

I am wondering how many calories equal to 1lb. I read somewhere that 3500 calories = 1 lb, but I don't really think this applies to me. for instance, I ate way too much yesterday, about 2 000 calories more than what I should have eaten, and this moring my scale told me I had gained 3 pounds compared to yesterday...??? according to what I found on internet, I would have had to eat about 10 000 extra calories to gain that much weight in a day!

so is it different from one person to the other? is it really 3500 calories for 1 lb or am I mistaking? I know that your weight can vary from a day to the next, so usually I weight myself once a week, but I was curious this morning to know how many pounds I had gained.
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Old 07-27-05, 09:50 AM   #2
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You can't look at calories as directly related to day to day weight. Too many other factors. Calorie intake and calories burned vs. weight gain or loss must be figured over time.

Example: 1500 calories of green beans would be around 5 pounds of green beans, so you would weigh 5 pounds heavier until your body processes the food and gets rid of most of the bulk that has no nutritional value. 1500 calories of cookie dough ice cream on the other hand would weigh considerably less than a pound. So, based on caloric intake the weight gain or loss would be equal for either the beans or ice cream, but only after your body processed the food.

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Old 07-27-05, 10:12 AM   #3
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the thing is, the excess is mainly because I ate nuts and cookies. also, as I had eaten it the day before, my body had way more that enough time to process the food
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Old 07-27-05, 10:33 AM   #4
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3500 calories = 1 pound for everyone. It's universal.
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Old 07-27-05, 10:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheebahmunkey
3500 calories = 1 pound for everyone. It's universal.
So, using this universal equation,...how many calories in a pound of water?
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Old 07-27-05, 10:59 AM   #6
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Water retention is a big factor as well. Salty foods like nuts lead to greater water retention which leads to more pounds on the scale reading. Don't fret over a one day weight diff. Keep to your once a week weigh ins to get a true idea of your changes. 3500 is universal as cheebah said. It doen't have to have been from the previous evening. It can accumulate.

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Old 07-27-05, 11:02 AM   #7
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Just to clarify, the 3500 calorie per pound equation can only be applied in the long run... you can definitely not burn 3500 more calories than you consume on a given day and expect to weight a pound less the next morning. More generally, if you track caloric intake/output over several weeks (at the minumum) you will find that you'll lose a pound for every 3500 difference... but this depends on the specific person. For a person that is already physically fit, it becomes harder and harder to lose additional weight.
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Old 07-27-05, 11:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdog
So, using this universal equation,...how many calories in a pound of water?
ok, my comment wasn't that literal smart guy. If you take in 3500 excess calories, that will be one pound of weight added.
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Old 07-27-05, 12:13 PM   #9
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One pound of body fat contains about 3500 calories of stored energy. So if you want to "burn" your fat for energy, a daily energy deficit of 500 calories will lead your body to burn about one pound of fat (and muscle) per week. Make sense?

Conversely, if you eat more energy than your body needs to run, it will store the excess as fat (and if you are working out, muscle). By the time you have eaten about 3500 excess calories, you will have stored about one pound of fat. OK?

But fat is not the only place weight comes from or goes to. You retain water or become dehydrated. You have more or less food in your gastrointestinal tract. A variation of several pounds over the course of one day is completely normal. Even weighing at the same time each day will involve some slight fluctuation. It does not necessarily represent the gain or loss of fat.

Got it?

(Disclaimer: these generalizations are prone to individual metabolic variation.)
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