Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Will that day of overeating make you fat?

Tuesday Tip: Will that day of overeating make you fat? 🍔

We can all relate to that feeling of eating way too much and worrying we will instantly gain fat. But is this really a cause for concern? Can one ‘binge’ really make you gain fat overnight? In the main – no!

It takes approximately 3500kcal extra calories to gain 1 lb of fat. That’s about

500kcal extra per day over the week. Even if you did that for a week that still wouldn’t guarantee that you’d gain 1lb of fat immediately because your energy expenditure is never the same each day.

But what about if you eat it in one day?When we overeat, we think that all that extra food is going to turn into fat, but that’s not necessarily true. But then why do the scales go up the next day? And why isn’t it stored as fat?

Some of the calories are used for digestion and absorption of food itself. When you’ve overeaten your body temperature also rises and you get more ‘fidgety’ as your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) inceases (all the subconscious movements increase e.g. respiration, blinking, etc ). Some of the extra food will be used to replenish glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. For each 1g of glycogen 3g of water is retained. Even if the glycogen stores are full the body still doesn’t prioritise converting carbs into fat. This only happens if you’re consistently eating more cals than you burn. Storing carbs as fat is the body’s least preferred method of using excess carbs. Sodium also increases water retention so if part of what you overate was carb and salt heavy then there’ll be significant water retention – not fat! In addition you have the weight of the actual food in your digestive system.

So one single day/meal probably won’t lead to too much fat gain. The weight gain you see is mostly fluid and glycogen stores. It’s longer term overeating that leads to fat gain. If you get right back on track you’ll be ok! If however your average daily cals are consistently over your calorie requirement over the course of days/ weeks then that will lead to fat gain.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

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