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marian1

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My husband insists that if I ate 5 lbs. of fudge I wouldn't gain any more weight than if I ate 5 lbs. of lettuce. He said I can't gain any more weight than the weight of the food eaten. ???

deemccaffrey

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Marian,
Your question is a good one.  Although we might be tempted to think in simplistic terms that we gain as much weight as the weight of the food we eat, our bodies are not that simplistic.  Metabolism of food, assimilation of nutrients, burning of calories, and storage of fat is a complex process based on several scientific laws of physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics (energy).  In fact, to illustrate this, we can look at the human body's consumption of water.  If a person drinks a gallon of water a day, and if the water is at room temperature, that water will weigh 8.3 pounds.  Drinking 8.3 pounds of water does not make us gain 8.3 pounds of body weight.  First, all substances change in weight depending upon the temperature and pressure.  This is called density.  When water is heated it becomes heavier, and when it is cooled or frozen, it becomes lighter (this is why ice floats in water). Second,  because the water is metabolized and utilized in various ways by the body.  Some of it is absorbed, some of it is used to transport nutrients to bones and tissues, and some of it flushes out wastes.  We do not necessarily flush out all of the water we drink, nor do we absorb all of it and hold on to it in the body.
If we eat five pounds of lettuce, we will not gain five pounds.  In fact, if we eat five pounds of lettuce, we will most likely lose some weight.  That is because lettuce is a form of insoluble fiber that requires more calories to be expended just to digest it than the calories it provides the body.  Five pounds of lettuce contains 260 calories, but it takes more than 260 calories to digest it.  Additionally, most of that lettuce will leave our bodies undigested because it is insoluble and used in the body as roughage (helpful for maintaining healthy bowel function.)
As for the five pounds of fudge, we will most likely gain some weight, although we will not gain the weight of the fudge itself.  Fudge is pure sugar and carbohydrates that contains no fiber, therefore it takes little energy to digest the fudge. Also, most of the carbohydrates will break down easily into simple sugars that, if not converted to energy will be stored as fat.


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Dee McCaffrey
http://www.processedfreeamerica.org
marian1

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Between my husband and myself, I maintain if I ate, say, 5 lbs of fudge before going to bed I would gain more than 5 lbs. of weight. If I ate 5 lbs of lettuce before going to bed I would not gain more than 5 lbs. Is this possible, or not?

deemccaffrey

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Reply with quote  #4 

It is possible that if you ate 5 pounds of fudge before going to bed that you could gain some weight due to the fact that you cannot possibly burn off that many calories while you are asleep and most of the carbohydrates will be converted to fat.  Lettuce does not contain nearly the number of calories or the number of carbohydrates, and in fact is mostly just insoluble fiber that will pass right through you, so yes it is possible that you would actually lose some weight.


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Dee McCaffrey
http://www.processedfreeamerica.org
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