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Ask Marilyn: How Much Weight Would You Gain?

Ann B. of Escondido, California, writes:

Marilyn: You wrote that you can’t gain more than the weight of the food you eat. But a pound has 3,500 calories, and a gram of pure fat has 9 calories. With 454 grams in a pound, this means that if you ate a pound of fat, you would consume 4,086 calories. So you would gain more than a pound, correct?

Marilyn responds:

A pound of human body fat has only about 3,500 calories because it also contains water, which adds to its weight but not its calories. Technically speaking, if you found a way to consume a pound of pure fat, you would gain more than a pound, counting the water. However, virtually no food on the market is 100 percent fat—even butter also has water. At roughly 80 percent fat, a pound of butter contains about 3,200 calories.



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