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Question about food/weight for science minded folk?

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    Was wondering if anyone could help me out with understanding something that has been confusing and bugging me for days and making me feel like an idiot. A few days ago I was talking with a friend who is dieting and has a "cheat day" every so often. She tells me that she weighs herself just after such days in order to see the 'worst case scenario'.

    Her logic is that you cannot gain more weight than the food itself weighs. This makes sense to me - even if you ate a pound of sheer fat and didn't burn or use any of it, your body couldn't just invent more so surely you couldn't gain more than one pound of fat as a result.

    But at the same time, this makes no sense to me. What about light or small but very energy dense foods. For example, shakes designed for bodybuilders can contain several thousand calories. If you were to drink several, the shakes themselves might not weigh that much, but after digesting them you could gain a few pounds.

    This question has really confused me. Ignoring water weight and all that stuff and speaking on simply a hypothetical basis, does anyone have any insights or answers?

    Tl;dr: Can you gain more weight from eating something than the thing itself weighs?

    You are right. It is complete rollocks. Her assumption takes no account of the water she is consuming or any exertions she is making. Given that we are mainly made up of water in one way or another, the amount of fluid probably has more bearing on converting food energy into fat or muscle than the weight of the food itself. She is just cheating herself. That said though, there is probably nothing inherently wrong with having a cheat day. Call it eating a balanced diet.
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