Weight Loss
Moderators: spoiled_candy, coach_k, Mollybygolly, devilish_patsy, nycgirl


How long does it take to turn to fat?


Quote  |  Reply
I'm curious, if you eat 3500 more calories in one day more than you burn (just as an easy example) how long wil it take to turn to fat and show 1lb more on the scale?  Conversely, if you burn 3500 calories in one day more than you consume, how long until it shows 1lb less on the scale?

I'm just wondering how long it takes the body to actually make the fat from the excess calories.
5 Replies (last)
Wow. I dont know how someone could eat 3500 cal plus daily expenditure of lets say 2000 calories for a total of 5500 calories.. but I guess it could happen. I suppose it would show up rather quickly. As far as burning 3500 more then eating.... that might put you into starvation mode slowing your bodies metabolism and storing energy... so that could take a while.

Now those are my uneducated guesses. Maybe someone has more concrete information.
I was just using that as an example since it is easy math (3500 calories = 1lb)
#3  
Quote  |  Reply
One thing to note is that you have to eat a lot more than one pound of food to get that one pound of real body weight. If you ate 3500 calories of a healthy bean burrito you'd have to eat 12.5 serving sizes which amounts to 9.5 pounds of actual food (never mind all the water you'd need to drink just to be able to chew all that down).

A bit more unhealthily, 3500 calories of butter (a tad over 2 cups) would weigh only 2.1 pounds and 3500 calories of sugar (4.5 cups) would weigh 4.1 pounds.

In either example the rate at which the foodstuff turns to body fat depends upon the digestive process. Food is chewed in the mouth. There base chemicals in saliva begin to seperate the food up. In the stomach acids further take the food apart. In the small intestine, enzymes attach to the digested food and bring it into the bloodstream. The pancreas and liver regulate how quickly your tissues take in blood sugar and fatty acids from the blood (and how quickly they become stored as short-term glucogen and long-term body fat). Even the large intestine gets in on the act (microbes there ferment soluble fiber into slightly caloric substances).

This process takes time.  Foods with higher fiber and fat take longer to digest than simple sugars (eating a banana gets you energized very quickly). But the whole process doesn't take that long - you're hungry 12 hours after eating a 1000 calorie dinner. When you have a BM and get rid of the 8.5 pounds of burrito your body didn't use, the 1.1 pounds of butter or 3.1 pounds of sugar, you're done: the math has come full circle.  (Some of the excess weight is lost thru perspiration and exhaling also.)

As far the other way (one assumes that the orignal poster wishes to know how long it takes to lose weight rather than gain it, :)) ....  If you eat less than you burn, your body fat gets converted to energy fairly continuously. Surely if your body waited 72 hours to start burning fat when you have undereaten, you would not have the energy to walk, to type on the keyboard, to breathe or to pump blood.

The issue is that very much most of the weight stored in your body fat is not converted to energy as you lose weight. This is a good thing as you have enough nuclear energy in one pound of matter to power a human for 100 million years (see Einstein's equation, E=mc^2) - you'd have to wait the duration of life on Earth just to lose those freshman fifteen! As it is, the body fat is broken down into waste byproducts, the energy of the breakdown is used by the body to do its stuff, but then it takes time for your body to get rid of the waste byproducts. This you do by doing a #1 and doing a #2 (and little bit is lost thru perspiration and exhaling).

The more regularly you do #1's and #2's the more consistently your scale weight will reflect your non-waste weight - you don't want extra weight clogged in your plumbing.

That's one reason dieters benefit from drinking lots of water and eating lots of dietary fiber.

I'd also warn against getting obsessed on the day-to-day dramatics of BM's and such. The trend line is a better measure of long-term weight loss than any one day's measurement. I've been dieting for over 2 months now, and for half the days my weight is exactly the same as the day before, a third of the days it's less, and a sixth of them it's more. The ups and downs on any specific day have little to do with how much food I ate or exercise I did the previous day (but the timing of the BM's in relation to the weight-ins which I refuse to keep track of). Yet, the trend line is almost completely straight - 2.5 pounds of weight loss per week, every week for 10 weeks.

i don't know about the time it takes for actual food but my nutrition teacher said that beer turns to fat in the matter of hours!
It took me 8 years of eating TONS of food to gain 55 lbs..( 3 more kids in that time too) but it takes a long time to get fat. I assume the body plateus when gaining as well or I would have weighed 300 or more by now.
5 Replies
Advertisement
Advertisement