When will that extra piece of pizza show up on my scale?

The Short Answer:

Probably never.

And even if it does, it’s most likely temporary fluid retention caused by excess salt or sugar intake. in the extremely unlikely event that you binged so massively over the weekend that you actually gained body fat, there’s nothing you can do about it now, so quit being neurotic and Googling articles like this one — instead, get on with the business of reversing the damage.

The Long Answer:

For the most part, the scale is a lousy indicator of any damage caused by a binge.There are about 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. But before you bust out your abacus, keep in mind that the notion that eating 3,500 calories beyond your normal daily caloric burn (2,000–2,500 calories on average) will automatically cause you to gain a pound of fat doesn’t work. Other factors — including hormone shifts and gut bacteria levels — mean that exact math doesn’t apply. However, unless you have access to thousands of dollars worth of lab equipment, it still serves as a vaguely decent rough estimate for our purposes. In other words, to gain five pounds of fat over a weekend, you’d need to eat about 33 slices of Marie Callender’s pumpkin pie (with whipped cream) on top of your normal food intake. I’m sorry, but you just didn’t eat that much last weekend — and if you did, you should consider joining a few Major League Eating competitions because you have some serious cash to earn.

Regarding the guilt and frustration you may experience after a binge, the most important thing to remember is that wallowing in remorse is useless unless you have access to a time machine.

Every road has the occasional pothole. You’ll still get to where you want to if you shake it off and keep driving. SLOWLY

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