How long does it take for your body to put on weight from one sitting?

Let’s say that a friend of mine broke his diet this past weekend. Just went on an orgy of eating and boozing that would make Henry the VIII proud. At what point in time could he step on the scale with full knowledge that the extent of the damage had been done?

In other words, if he stepped on the scale, say, Tuesday morning would all of the bad stuff he had put in his body that was going to be stored as fat, have already been stored?

I’d imagine after his last pubshit, you’d pretty well know where you stand. If you eat 4 pounds of wings at a sitting, you weigh 4 additional pounds (plus beer, minus bones). Pretty soon after cellular respiration kicks in, and you’ll start losing that mass via CO2 and water. Factor in moisture loss from breathing, urination, and defecation in addition to mass lost from defecation and you should know what you’ve gained.


That doesn’t take into account any excess energy which is stored as fat due to the presumed calorie surplus. How long does it actually take for surplus food to become fat, anyway?

There was a recent thread about this subject - maybe a month or two old at the most.

Nobody could find an exact answer, but I kind of reasoned things out on this basis:

  • It only takes 24 hours (give or take) for something to get through your digestive tract. It’s either been absorbed into the blood by then or it passes right through you.

  • Your blood can’t hold much sugar or fat before it kills you, as diabetics clearly demonstrate.

  • Liver and muscle can hold only a day’s worth of energy as glycogen and would only be depleted if you’d been heavily exercising. For most people, you could only store a couple hundred extra calories there. They don’t store fat at all.

  • Everything else must have been deposited into fat.

So… 2 days is pretty much the maximum possible time and it’s likely that the process can be completed much more quickly than that.