Can You Gain Weight From One Day of Overeating?

Gaining weight requires consuming way more food than you probably think

Most of us of have been here at least once before: for whatever reason—a holiday, a special occasion or maybe just due to stress—we overindulge our appetite and overeat.

As a result, we're left feeling bloated, drowsy and maybe even upset with ourselves for having eaten way too much. That over-stuffed feeling may even make you feel like you gained some weight over the course of just that one day.

But the truth is, even if you step on the scale and the number has gone up since the last time you checked, it's very unlikely that you could gain even one pound of extra fat in a single day.

A recent article from Women's Health Magazine, which consulted the expert insight of Samantha Cassetty, R.D., M.S., nutrition director at Luvo points out that it's nearly impossible to gain weight in just one day, even if you significantly exceeded your normal daily intake.

"The reason comes down to calorie math. Though it’s not 100 percent precise, the basic principle stands true: In order to gain weight, you’d have to eat 3,500 more calories than you typically eat and burn off," Cassetty explained to Women's Health.

This is based off of the rough (but not entirely accurate) estimate that 3,500 calories is equal to one pound of fat. According to that calculation, as Cassetty explained above, you'd have to first eat the normal amount of calories that you typically consume in a day and then eat another 3,500 calories on top of that.

In simple terms, to gain even just one pound over the course of a single day, you'd have to eat an absurd amount of food; an amount that for most people is virtually impossible.

So no, it's not likely that you could ever gain weight from one day of overeating. In terms of your diet, weight gain is more commonly a result of poor eating habits that are habitual over a longer period of time.

"As long as you course correct the next day—i.e., you eat responsibly and get back to your fitness routine—you’ll keep the real pounds from piling on," Cassetty told Women's Health.