You May Feel Like You Packed on Pounds after a Big Meal, but Is That Really Possible?

It basically boils down to math. It is accepted that consuming 3,500 calories is equal to gaining one pound of weight. So you would have to consume 3,500 calories in addition to the normal amount of calories you consume daily.

If you eat 1,500 calories a day, then you would have to eat an additional 3,500 calories for a whopping total of 5,000 calories in one day to even try to gain a pound. That doesn’t take into account any calories you might burn from physical activity, which you would need to factor in to get a more accurate number.

With or without the extra calories to make up the difference of physical activity, just consuming the 5,000 calories is extremely unlikely. You would have to be filling your dietary needs for the day with foods like a burger covered in “the works” equaling about 860 calories, or slices of chocolate cake for about 795 calories.

Realities of holiday weight gain
While many people are certain they have gained at least five pounds during a typical six-week holiday period, an actual study shows it is more like one pound. Researchers from the Development Endocrinology Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, measured body weight in a sampling group of 195 adults. The same subjects were weighed at four additional intervals between six and eight weeks.

The multiple weight measurements provided the researchers with data regarding pre-holiday, holiday, and post-holiday weight changes among participants. A final body weight measurement was obtained on 165 participants approximately one year later.

feel fat“In order to determine the effect of both the season and the holiday period on changes in body weight in U.S. adults, we measured weight in a convenience sample of adults from September to March and calculated individual changes in body weight before, during, and after the winter holiday season. We hypothesized that any observed weight change would be similar during each measurement period,” explained researchers.

Findings showed that there were no real weight fluctuations in the pre-holiday or post holiday measurements, nor in the final measurements after a year. Measurements during the holiday itself yielded only minor weight gain.

“Although people typically say they gain five to 10 pounds over the six-week holiday period, the best study to date, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that on average, most people gained just one,” said Samantha Cassetty, R.D., M.S., Nutrition Director at Luvo. “Fewer than 10 percent of the study participants actually gained more than five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.”

-The Alternative Daily


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