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"Water Weight"

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Scientists out there, please settle this curious question that I've had forever.....

If a person drinks a pound of water (or eats a pound of food, etc.), do they immediately weigh one pound more? It seems likely, until you begin thinking about the potential energy used in consuming and dealing with what's been ingested.....

Anyone know?

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  1. If you ingest a pound of food or beverage then immediately weigh yourself, you will weigh one pound more than you did before ingesting. Over time, your body will absorb nutrients, convert the calories into energy, fat, muscle, etc... then you excrete/secrete what ever your body didn't absorb. Whether or not you keep the weight gained immediately from ingestion, and how much you keep, depends on what was ingested and how your body uses it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mpjmph

      Hence the concept of strategic "water loading" on The Biggest Loser. Not that I watch it or anything.

    2. With newborn babies who are breastfeeding and suspected of not getting enough milk, they sometimes weigh the baby before and after feeding to estimate intake. However I just googled it and it seems some studies show this method isn't all that accurate.

      1 Reply
      1. re: julesrules

        I wonder what the result would be if they weighed the mom before and after, too. Interesting. And, if a mom and baby were on a scale and the baby were nursing, would the scale stay the same?

      2. I would say that, immediately after drinking, you will. There is some energy used in consuming the food, but it's not all that much. For pure water, you'll lose most of that weight in a short time period through sweat and urine, as there is no caloric content. For food, your body will absorb some of it to either burn or store as fat, and get rid of the rest, either in the bathroom or through sweat. So there might be a small gain of weight, but not the full pound.

        You could test this pretty easily, though, with an accurate enough digital scale. Weigh yourself. Drink a pound of water. Weigh yourself again. Repeat the exercise on different days to get a good statistical sample (as you're probably pushing the accuracy of a bathroom scale).

        Calculate the different between the weights for each measurement. Then calculate the mean and standard deviation of the differences. If you measure a difference, and the standard deviation is significantly lower than that difference then you've experimentally verified it. If the difference you measure is smaller or comparable to the standard deviation, though, your scale isn't accurate enough, or you need more measurements.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

          Unfortunately, my scale is not that accurate, for sure! I was hoping someone else would do my work/thinking for me! :-)

        2. I had a friend who went to one of those whiz-bang medical weight-loss clinics -- and they would urge her to go to the bathroom before she weighed in, as it was possible to *lose* a pound or more with a strategic elimination.

          8 Replies
          1. re: sunshine842

            That's something else I've sometimes thought about - privately.....! Looks like a lot of weight could....go away.....during.....that process.....HA

            1. re: sandylc

              Thankfully, she finally quit marching to the beat of that particularly crazy and malevolent drummer -- but not until after she'd dropped a lot of cash, and ended up so malnourished that she stopped menstruating and took a pretty solid chewing-out from her GP.

              Thin, but not worth it.

              1. re: sunshine842

                Another great reminder that thin, unto itself, does not equate to healthy!

            2. re: sunshine842

              It also explains how people can go on a diet and 'gain' weight. (The mystery is why people need this explained to them!) I've noticed I frequently lose 2 lbs overnight in water weight.

              Here's something I've never understood though. There was a time, years in fact, when I weighed 107 lbs. Every time I stepped on the scale, before eating, after eating, for years. Magic scale? Magic body? Even at the time I was mystified.

              1. re: foiegras

                Yeah, I was stuck on 92 until about 26-27 years old. Now, I'm...........NOT 92.

                1. re: sandylc

                  Yeah ... now I have a digital scale, and for some reason 107 hasn't popped up lately.

                  1. re: foiegras

                    107 pops up on my metric scale.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      Gotta get me one of those.

            3. Yes, when you eat a pound, you will weigh a pound more.

              If you stand on a scale with a pound of water in a cup, you will weigh 1 pound more (plus the weight of the cup). When you drink that water, your belly is now holding that pound.

              It doesn't matter if it's on the cup or in your body, it's still one pound more.

              BTW... 2 cups of water (8 fluid ounces per cup) is roughly 1 pound (weight).

              4 Replies
              1. re: dave_c

                BTW... 2 cups of water (8 fluid ounces per cup) is roughly 1 pound (weight).
                The little rhyme I learned from Alton Brown's show helps me remember that conversion:

                "A pint's a pound the world around."

                1. re: kmcarr

                  The problem I had with that ep was he said it was British and their pints are different than ours

                  1. re: jgg13

                    Did he? I always took him to be referring to an American pint of 16 fl. oz.

                    1. re: kmcarr

                      Looks like I was wrong. I must have assumed it was british as it sounds very Old Imperial kinda sounding but the british phrase is apparently "a pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter"

              2. Where exactly do you think that pound is going to go in the 0.2 seconds after you eat/drink? It takes roughly 3500 kcal of energy to burn a pound of body mass, which means roughly 220 kcal to burn off an ounce of mass. that's a lot of eating in order to burn that amount of energy.

                12 Replies
                1. re: jgg13

                  Of course, that makes perfect sense - it just seems odd that we can affect our weight so immediately and directly, doesn't it? And even with only water?

                  1. re: sandylc

                    Well as others have said, the gain of mass from eating/drinking in the way you mean is temporary - it'll eventually be transformed. Depending on the caloric density of the food/drink that you're consuming and taking into account your metabolic rate you may or may not encounter long term mass gain.

                    But no, I don't think it's that odd that if I drink a pound of water and weighed myself immediately after that I'd be a pound heavier. As much as I'd like this to be true, our bodies aren't some magical black hole that stuff disappears into :)

                    1. re: jgg13

                      Similarly, if you donate a pint of blood, you magically lose a pound... Not that I would ever schedule blood donations immediately before a weight watchers weigh in...

                      1. re: mpjmph

                        the problem is that next week, when your body has had a chance to replace that pint....you have to lose an extra pound just to register as "maintain" at the next weigh-in.

                        That's one where you're going to have to pay the piper...and there's no getting around it.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          There's a reason I don't do WW meetings anymore. At least in my community, I saw all kinds of unhealthy things at weigh-in. I only had to see a woman strip down to boxer shorts and a sports bra once to realize the meeting leaders were not fostering a healthy attitude.

                          1. re: mpjmph

                            I dropped out when I went home and cried because I'd gained 1/4 pound....life is too short.

                        2. re: mpjmph

                          Why stop at one? :)

                          1. re: jgg13

                            'cause it just leaves you so dehydrated after about 5 pounds....

                            1. re: sunshine842


                        3. re: jgg13

                          "As much as I'd like this to be true, our bodies aren't some magical black hole that stuff disappears into :)"


                          1. re: sandylc

                            A lesson for unwed fathers paying child support....

                            1. re: Veggo

                              hayoooo #2

                    2. Not to sound like a jerk, but pretty much everyone who commented is wrong. Dehydration actually causes weight to go up. When properly hydrated, water is absorbed fairly quickly and will then be excreted. Not to mention, if you drink ice water you burn the water faster, because the body needs to bring the water to the bodies temperature and does this very quickly. Burning away some of the water immediately. As water gets to the colon it is also absorbed even more.

                      I used to play basketball for an hour and half every Wednesday in a 100 degree gym. During the course of that time, I'd probably drink about 16 oz of water. I'd weigh myself before and after and I'd lose between 8-12 lbs per night (I was about 240lbs at the time). After the game, I'd drink anywhere between 5-6 8oz glasses of water and usually have a light snack. I'd weight myself before bed and I was still about 6-10lbs down. During the nights sleep a little dehydration would set in and I would invariably wake up weighing more than when I left the house. Within a day I would return to normal (usually keeping 1--2 lbs off).

                      I could be wrong, but from my experiences, my schooling (Phys Ed with health and nutrition classes) and things I've read, you do not gain a lb when you drink a lb of water.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: jhopp217

                        I don't think anybody's talking about your weight after a few hours of processing -- if you get on the scale, drink two cups of water (a pound), and get back on the scale immediately, you will have gained a pound.

                        Since matter is neither created nor destroyed, until you head for the toilet, sweat a little, or breathe for quite a while (exhalation of water vapor), you're going to carry the weight of that water.

                        1. re: jhopp217

                          "I could be wrong"

                          You are. As sunshine said, we're not talking hours after the fact, we're talking the second you consume something. It has been mentioned in multiple posts that everything changes over time due to processing.

                          Conservation of mass and conservation of energy still apply to the human body, as hard as that might be to believe.

                          And FWIW your whole premise is kind of nutty. First off, the whole "drink ice water" thing is a bit of a canard - even aggregated over the course of a year you're talking maybe a pound or two of mass in terms of difference in calories. And no, dehydration by definition would cause one's weight to go down - you're talking about downstream effects which is something entirely different.

                          1. re: jgg13

                            Well your last paragraph could be disputed by about 3 seconds of google searching, but not really important. Dehyrdration causes the body to hang onto the water it has. No absorption at all, thus weight gain. Look up the ice water thing too. When you drink ice water does it stay cold as it passes through your body? No, it heats up very quickly.

                            1. re: jhopp217

                              Not in the five-minute time span we're talking about!

                              1. re: jhopp217

                                Again, you're talking about downstream effects. By definition the moment you lose water via dehydration you've lost body weight. What processes that sets into place in your body and what effects that has hours later is irrelevant for this discussion.

                                And yes, I'm well aware of the ice water thing. Look into how many Kcal are actually expended for that, it isn't some pancea of weight loss.

                            2. re: jhopp217

                              "I'd weight myself before bed and I was still about 6-10lbs down. During the nights sleep a little dehydration would set in and I would invariably wake up weighing more than when I left the house."
                              On its face, this is physically impossible. By which I mean it violates basic and universally accepted laws of physics. You might be a sleepwalker/eater. Or, like most at-home scales (and even many in doctor's offices and hospitals), your scale simply isn't all that accurate.

                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                Exactly. I'd question the scale.

                            3. Scientific facts being reputed made me realize how silly this thread has become. So what did I do. I stepped on the scale. 3x to make sure it's accuracy (it's a brand new scale btw). 261.4 all three times. I then drank a 16oz bottle of water. I waited one minute. I stepped on the scale....261.4. Waited another minute and it was 261. 4. I'm going to do it one more time before stepping on the scale before posting........261.4. So either I'm a freak or the theory is flawed

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: jhopp217

                                Congratulations, you've defeated the laws of physics. If you add a pound of mass into your system, the only ways those will not be reflected to your personal body weight are via excretion or energy burn/thermodynamics. In the 0.2 seconds after you drank a pint of water, neither of those will have happened to any measurable degree.


                                Perhaps this is a better way to visualize the situation.

                                If I strap 5 pounds of mass to your back, you'd agree that you'd weigh 5 pounds heavier on the scale, correct?

                                If I surgically implanted 5 pounds of mass in your stomach and weighed you immediately after you'd agree that you'd also weigh 5 pounds more, correct?

                                If you hermetically sealed 5 pounds of water and shoved it down your throat, this would be the same as the 2nd scenario, agreed?

                                Ok, so now we're into normal drinking. It is no longer sealed. Yes - you're correct, things happen in the body to the things that we consume. We're warm blooded and fuel that we consume (mass) is turned into energy. We excrete body mass - going to the bathroom, sweating, exhalation, etc. Depending on one's state, the body may try to store more of one thing or another - or it might try to get rid of more of one thing or another. The problem herei s that we're talking immediate - nothing could possibly happen in the 0.2 seconds after you consume that weight that'd make a measurable impact. It is, in fact, the same as if you strapped 5 pounds of weights on you.

                                BTW, since you're talking about "scientific fact", your method was faulty. There was no true control. Try weighing yourself with the empty glass, then the empty glass full of water, and then the empty glass after you've consumed it. #2 & #3 should be the same, and the difference between those and #1 should be the weight of the water.

                                1. re: jgg13

                                  "Try weighing yourself with the empty glass, then the empty glass full of water, and then the empty glass after you've consumed it. #2 & #3 should be the same, and the difference between those and #1 should be the weight of the water."
                                  Good suggestion. I think a lot of people will be surprised to find that their scales aren't accurate to within a pound, despite the misleading fact that said scales give 'results' to 1/10th of a pound.

                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                    I was going to say that, but it felt like throwing ice water onto the fire.

                                    Consumer grade scales shouldn't be trusted at that resolution.

                                  2. re: jgg13

                                    You have no idea how hard and long I laughed at 'If you hermetically sealed 5 lbs of water and shoved it down your throat' ...

                                    1. re: foiegras

                                      It's the little things ...

                                  3. re: jhopp217

                                    "So either I'm a freak or the theory is flawed"
                                    Neither. Your scale is inexact. Most are. Or you're the sweatiest human being alive.

                                    1. re: jhopp217

                                      I find that my scale, too, clings to the first reading, even as I take off clothing that certainly weighs more than 1/10, 2/10, 3/10 of a pound. I think the scale shows tenths of a pound because it looks fancier, but it's not always taking such a precise reading.

                                      1. re: MiriamWoodstock

                                        Agreed. Even thought your scale may be digital and read to the tenth of a pound, it is still not accurate to the tenth of a pound. To test this, try stepping on the scale, then hold weight or something else that you know weighs a certain amount. Also the smaller the weight you hold onto, the less likely your scale will measure any difference. Most bathroom scales are not accurate to the pound, let alone fraction of a pound.

                                        Ask any athlete whose sport you must weigh in for (Wrestling, MMA, etc.) You definitely dehydrate yourself prior to weighing in so that you weigh less. Then you try to rehydrate yourself when you compete so you are heavier than the weight class.

                                        1. re: tysonmcneely

                                          Yes, that's an important distinction in measurement. The scale give you a measurement to one decimal place. That doesn't actually mean that it is accurate to one decimal place - they could easily give you a scale that gives you 20 decimal places with no increase in accuracy.

                                          That reminds me of a thesis proposal a friend of mine was at. The student gave all the numbers produced by their model to an insane number of decimal points. When queried, they proudly said "It demonstrates the POWER of the software".

                                          I don't know if they passed or not. IN any event, their supervisor needed to hold an intervention over the concept of significant figures.

                                          1. re: tysonmcneely

                                            Exactly. In HS I wrestled - we'd dehydrate the heck out of ourselves, I'd routinely cut upwards of 10 pounds in the 24 hours before a match. Within an hour or two after weigh in I'd have gained 4-5 of that back via hydration.

                                        2. re: jhopp217

                                          It would be interesting if your if you just weighed yourself with no water and weighed yourself holding the 16 ounce glass of water. Also, weigh yourself holding a gallon jug of water.

                                          Basically, I believe the theory is not flawed.
                                          From Physics we learned about conservation of mass where mass is neither created or destroyed.

                                          You drank 3 lbs of water. The weight doesn't instantaneously disappear.
                                          Are you sure your new scale doesn't have a memory hold function?

                                        3. I'm a little surprised that gaining/losing a single pound (however this is accomplished) matters so much to so many. Surely if you are overweight, you think in terms of 5 or 10 pound increments? Does anyone really know if they're one pound over/underweight? (I'm talking about the average person, not athletes/dancers.)

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Isolda

                                            I think it has more to do with the desperate hope that despite having two pieces of cheesecake the night before, maybe we won't register any new weight in the morning, or the similar hope that after depriving ourselves in an effort to slim down, can't the scale at least register a 0.5 pound loss to make us feel like there was some payoff? :) (not that I have any personal experience with this or anything.......)

                                            1. re: Isolda

                                              Weight loss does not occur (for normal people) in 5-10 lb increments. That might be a goal, but it's generally never an amount lost from one day to the next. A single pound (or 2) is a difference you can actually hope to see.

                                              1. re: Isolda

                                                I think this is more a matter of intellectual curiosity, I didn't get the sense that the OP really cared beyond the simple "what happens right away" question.

                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                  and the "one pound" was easier to discuss than 1.385 pounds (which is a totally random number, by the way, with no significance whatsoever)

                                                  It could just as easily been 2 pounds, or 5 -- but that much water is difficult to ingest all at once.

                                              2. I've had a kind-of-related curious question also forever - can anyone give me an opinion please?

                                                If I am given a box of chocolates, and it's highly likely that I'll end up eating them all myself (however much I pretend otherwise), does it make any difference to my ultimate weight gain whether I eat the whole box at once (= one instance of overeating) and then go back to my reasonably restrained usual diet, or whether I eat one choc each day for the next 20 days (blowing my restraint out of the window on many occasions but only by a tiny bit each time)? I'd love to know the answer to that......

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: flashria

                                                  I think it probably has to do with how it affects the rest of your eating... in the end, did it cause you to eat a collectively higher amount of calories one way or the other?

                                                  1. re: flashria

                                                    That's a question with which you could ask 5 different experts and get 6 different answers.

                                                    Thermodynamically, if *all other things are equal* then no, it will not make an iota of difference. energy in, energy out, etc.

                                                    The devil is in the details and nothing is ever equal. Even if you controlled every variable that you had the ability to, experts will disagree as to what changes are brought about by say eating one chocolate in a sitting vs 32.

                                                    Over the last decade I've come to feel that for Normal Folks it doesn't matter that much. A lot of the heavy science about maximizing muscle gain, weight loss, etc are oriented towards the fringes (obese patients, elite athletes) where such differences can be more easily seen and/or crucial (respectively). Outside of feeling sick after eating 20 chocolates at once, it is unlikely to have any truly noticeable effect at the end of the month. (Worth noting that throughout the rest of the thread I've been talking about very discrete effects in a very short time period and here I'm being fuzzier ... there might be a *difference* but not one that's really going to matter is what I'm saying).

                                                    1. re: flashria

                                                      The box of chocolates contains the same calories whether you eat it all at once or one bit at a time.

                                                      However, when you look at the total intake of calories for the whole day, that's where it makes a difference.

                                                      If you're eating 2000 calories a day and you top that off with a 1500 calorie box of chocolate, that's 3500 calories for the whole day. That's a lot of exercise to work off the extra calories.

                                                      Instead if you eat one piece at 100 calories, that's 2100 calories for the day. Working off the extra 100 calories is a lot easier than 1500 calores.

                                                      1. re: flashria

                                                        This is a tricky question to answer. Bear in mind that if we are merely talking about a single box of chocolates, the difference will be minuscule in any case. Repeated over many times, the difference can add up.

                                                        Generally speaking, you are better off eating the chocolates one at a time than all at once. There are a series of reasons for this, and most of them depend on how eating a box of chocolates all at once affects what you otherwise eat.

                                                        - Eating a lot of sugary calories all at once won't keep you satiated for long. Nor will it provide you with a long lasting feeling of energy that is conducive to burning extra calories over the course of your day. While it's not very hard to eat one piece of chocolate per day without changing your caloric intake, it is likely that on the day you eat a whole box of chocolates, you will take in a lot more calories than usual on that day without making any reduction in what you eat over the course of the coming days. All that is basically a long way of saying that you are more likely to overeat when bingeing than when allowing yourself a single treat per day.

                                                        - Say, on the other hand, that you eat a whole box of chocolates and then immediately try to compensate: you skip a meal or two, bringing your caloric intake for the day back to its normal level. Unfortunately, this is also problematic. When you don't eat anything over a long enough period, your body compensates by temporarily slowing your metabolism.
                                                        This is why Dr Oz (for example) and athletic trainers the world over recommend eating small but very frequent meals. Bingeing and then trying to compensate by eating nothing or very little for a time is generally worse for you than eating the same number of calories over the course of smaller, more frequent meals.

                                                        - Now, if by sheer force of will you are able to keep the rest of your diet completely stable (the ONLY difference being whether you eat the box of chocolates all at once or one at a time)... then there will be no difference at all in the end effect, or almost none anyway. I've heard before that hitting your body with a big load of sugar all at once causes greater insulin resistance over time than taking the same amounts in over many smaller doses. Frankly, I'm not sure whether this is always true, and in any case the difference would be very small, cumulative, and more affecting of your propensity toward type 2 diabetes than your weight, per se.

                                                        So basically, if NO other factors change in your diet, the difference is minimal if any. But keeping other factors in your diet from changing is the hard part.

                                                      2. Since I assumed everyone would say I was wrong or my scale is broken. I weighed myself before I left the house. 261.4 (same as before and after the glass of water). I went out eat lunch with a friend. Walked probably a half mile in that time also. I had 6 quarters out of eight chicken quesadillas (no clue what the weight was, but I'd approximate a half pound. I also had five pints of beer. So that is 80oz or five lbs. I went to the bathroom one time while I was out and when I came home, I was 261.8. I weighed myself two more times about 10 and twenty minutes later and I was 261.8. After going to the bathroom about a half hour later, I weighed myself again and was 261.4

                                                        I think some people are not realizing just how fast the body starts to break down food. Take the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest. One year Joey Chestnut ate 54 hot dogs and buns and soaked the buns in water, making them heavier. According to reports, he only gained 5 lbs during the contest. A Nathan's hot dog and bun, without soaking it in water is 136g. 54 of them is 7344g. That is 16lbs of food. So explain to me why Chestnut only gained 5 lbs?

                                                        12 Replies
                                                        1. re: jhopp217

                                                          Reading comprehension wasn't your best subject in school, was it?

                                                          1. re: jgg13

                                                            Not exactly sure what the insult was for, but I assume you're one of those people who needs to be told they are right by strangers online to boost your self esteem.

                                                            Well I asked someone in the medical field about this and they said they didn't know how much one would gain from drinking 16oz of water, but they did know that the body at normal times will absorb about 8oz of water in about 15 when not active. I asked when absorption starts and they said within 30 seconds to a minute.

                                                            Then I decided I would correct my faulty testing and do what you said. I got on the scale. Twice actually to confirm the weight. I was 261.2 (hooray, I lost 2/10ths of a lb from my initial post). I then grabbed a 16 oz bottle which was empty and weighed myself. 261.2. I then filled it to the top with water and weighed myself again (twice) and the weight was 262.2 (assuming this is OK with you, I will say my scale is accurate). I then stepped off the scale and drank the entire contents and stepped back on the scale immediately after. I weighed 261.4. I then weighed myself about 10 minutes later and I was 261.3 and then again after 20 minutes. I did not urinate during any of this time and the final weight was 261.2 Feel free to try it yourself, but I'm sure you will find the opposite to be true, because if not, it would mean you are wrong.

                                                            1. re: jhopp217

                                                              "I then filled it to the top with water and weighed myself again (twice) and the weight was 262.2 (assuming this is OK with you, I will say my scale is accurate). I then stepped off the scale and drank the entire contents and stepped back on the scale immediately after. I weighed 261.4."
                                                              Where do you propose the extra 0.8 lb of mass (from the water) goes in the course of a few seconds? I understand that you are convinced that you are correct, but if your scale is accurate, the results you posit are physically impossible. I deduce that your scale is still less accurate than you think it is because the alternative would be to believe that you've inadvertently discovered a revolution in basic physics. This would be on par with telling me that there is a spot in your basement where gravity doesn't work. I don't mean to offend, but there's only one plausible explanation: your scale is messing with your head.

                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                OK, I did another test. I stepped on the scale and it said 261.2 (I haven't had anything to eat or drink since the last time). I then urinated. I stepped back on the scale and it said 260.8. I then ate 2/3 cup of Cheerios (which is about 1oz) and about 4oz of milk. I then stepped on the scale and it read 262.2, which is about the amount I ate/drank. I waited ten minutes and stepped back on the scale and it still read 262.2. I then drank 16oz of water. Stepped back on the scale after one mi.nute and it read 262.4.

                                                                Maybe it is my scale, but I find it weird that it registers food intake properly and registers me holding a certain weight properly, but doesn't register water intake properly. Seems odd. I'm not disputing the idea and theory behind what people are saying, but has anyone else tried a practical method such as I and found a differing conclusion?

                                                                1. re: jhopp217

                                                                  "has anyone else tried a practical method such as I and found a differing conclusion?"
                                                                  Not quite as you've done, but I've definitely weighed myself, emptied my fairly full bladder, then reweighed myself to find that my bathroom scale (which, like yours, gives readings in 1/10th pound increments) tells me my weight has not changed a bit.

                                                                2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                  And yes, I have way too much time on my hands, haha

                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                    You are making me wish I had a basement, so I could make amazing claims about it.

                                                                  2. re: jhopp217

                                                                    The problem is that once again everyone else is talking about immediate effects and you're talking about non-immediate effects. Even your anecdote about Chestnut has multiple problems with it - for one thing who knows how much water weight he lost via sweat between his weigh in and out (not to mention the multiple approximations, guesses and ex
                                                                    I applaud your experimentation but not a single one has been remotely scientific, and that's not even getting to the issue of consumer grade scales.

                                                                    At the end of the day what you're arguing for breaks fundamental laws of physics, fueled by several misunderstandings on your end. Unless there is some sort of singularity in our gut, all mass that comes in to our body must either exit our body, be converted into energy, or increase our body mass

                                                                    1. re: jgg13

                                                                      Not sure how it's not remotely scientific...especially since I did exactly what you suggested. How is the scale the problem when it showed the weight gain while holding the water, but didn't when ingesting it. Plus, it showed the weight loss after excretion.

                                                                      As for Chestnut, that was done by a group of scientists who were exploring the effects on competitive eating on the body. Plus, you're talking immediate, as was I. You believe Chestnut sweated out 11 lbs of water weight in ten minutes? That is physically impossible.

                                                                      One question I wanted to ask you and whoever else who wants to answer is food weight. If I eat a 16oz steak (no bone) you would assume I'd gain a lb, but don't you believe that the act of chewing the food, breaks the weight of the steak down? I may be completely wrong about this, but I would be surprised if chewing food doesn't lessen its weight. No clue, just assuming. And NO, I'm not going to eat a lb of food and spit it out to check, ahha

                                                                      1. re: jhopp217

                                                                        but the average home bathroom scale simply isn't sensitive enough to be useful in this situation.

                                                                        You'd need something even more sensitive than a doctor's scale.

                                                                        1. re: jhopp217

                                                                          If the act of chewing a steak burned enough calories to show a difference in the scale, the country wouldn't be so obese.

                                                                          1. re: jhopp217

                                                                            Paragraph the first: But you keep bringing up other "experiments" and not using proper controls, not to mention issues of repeatability, statistical power, etc. You're not using instruments of measurement that are remotely accurate - outside of your scale you say things like "about 4oz", etc. This all needs to be exacting and repeatable on quality instruments. Nothing you've done is anything of the sort. Don't get me wrong, I applaud you standing on the scale with a box of cheerios to try to make your point, but you're just not correct.

                                                                            Paragraph the 2nd: There's a huge difference between a normal person chugging a glass of water and being a fat guy, on a hot stage, mowing down hot dogs. I honestly don't know the full story, but the one you told was full of inexact statements as well - perhaps the story you read wasn't, but what you said was. For instance, "According to reports, he only gained 5 lbs during the contest" ... 5 pounds is an awfully round number for starters. "According to reports" isn't awe inspiring and there's no info on exactly when he did a weigh in and out.

                                                                            Paragraph the 3d: If you can eat exactly that which is being weighed, the same effect that we're arguing will apply. Clearly there are cases where what one ingests isn't the same weight on a plate though (e.g. steam evap, juices leaking out, the dog stealing a bite off your plate). As Chowser says - you're just not going to burn enough calories to matter in that short of a time (ok, some ridiculous competitive eater? Perhaps, but they're also ingesting a ridiculous amount of food too).

                                                                            As we've been saying - mass is mass. If you put mass into your body you'll gain an equivalent mass unless you excrete it somehow (#1, #2, sweat, etc) or it turns to converts to energy/heat. A lot of your earlier posts were dealing with the situation after one or both of those had already occurred which is why you weren't strictly wrong, just not talking about the same thing.