How quickly can a person gain weight?

I know that supposedly you shouldn’t try to LOSE more than about 2 lb per week on a safe and healthy weight-loss plan, and I also know that on some diets (e.g., Atkins and South Beach) you can lose quite a bit of weight very quickly by following the “induction” phase rules, or whatever.

My question is, can you gain weight more quickly than you lose it? Or, just how quickly can you gain weight, anyway? What’s the fastest a person could reasonably expect to gain weight? Does it vary by body type and metabolism? (what is “metabolism”, anyway?) Does it depend on what you’re eating and on the type or amount of activity you’re getting? If I went on the “sit on my butt on the couch and eat Fritos” diet, would I gain 5 pounds a week? 10 pounds? What’s the upper limit we’re talking here?

Any time you ingest 3500 calories more than you expend in exercise you will gain a pound. Therefore, all it would take is a lack of exercise coupled with a drastically increased calorie intake to gain as much weight as you want. I leave the actual timeframe involved as an exercise for the student… :wink:

Here are some average people that tried to gain as much weight in 30 days as possible. It is a good read. The site is also good if you were ever tempted to see what it would be like to infect yourself with the worst case of Athlete’s Foot possible.

Overeating will raise your metabolism, just as undereating will lower it. The human body likes things just fine the way they are and is remarkably able to adapt to new circumstances to maintain the status quo.