Most people will be alarmed and shocked to see the scales gain 10lbs over a weekend binge. Yet a minority of skinny people may want to put on weight fast. This article explains why and how it’s possible to gain 10 pounds in 2 to 3 days.
Generally speaking, a person can gain 10 pounds over a 2 to 3 day weekend by overconsuming junk foods that are high in carbohydrates and salt. Around 80% of this will be temporary water weight. To gain 10lbs of pure body fat usually takes around a month of consistent overeating.
I’ve been the health fanatic who’s paranoid about gaining too much weight after an overindulgent weekend. I’ve also been the skinny guy who wanted to quickly gain my first 10lbs asap.
Below, I share my research and experience into why and how it can happen.
Let’s jump right in.
Why It’s Possible To Put On 10 Pounds In 2 To 3 Days
In theory, it is possible to gain 10 pounds (5kg) of fat in a 2-3 day weekend. It requires the individual to consume 35,000 excess calories within that period. However, practically speaking, it is extremely difficult and near impossible to eat so many calories in such a short period.
There are around 35,000 calories in 10lbs of body weight.
So to gain 10lbs in a weekend, you would need to either consume 17,500 excess calories per day for 2 days, or just under 12,000 excess calories per day for 3 days.
These are EXCESS calories by the way.
You still need to account for your maintenance calories.
“Maintenace calories are those that your body burns throuhout the day to fuel your daily activities like working, exercise, and your resting metabolic rate.”Kalam Tang, B.S, M.S
Most people burn maintenance calories in the range of 1800-2500 (depending on gender and activity level).
You can find your exact maintenance calories on the TDEE calculator here.
Combining surplus and maintenance calories, the average person would need to consume around 14,000 to 19,500 total calories per day to gain 10lbs of fat in 2 to 3 days (respectively).
Now, this may look achievable on paper.
But trust me, it’s practically impossible for the average man or woman to eat this amount of food without falling very ill.
How Water Weight Contributes To 10 Pounds Weight Gain Over A Weekend
Water weight is the primary reason why someone can gain 10 pounds (5kg) over a 2 to 3 day weekend. Excess water is stored in the body after consuming a lot of carbohydrates and salts. Since a milliliter of water weighs 1 gram, water retention can cause rapid weight gain.
The only realistic way someone can put on 10lbs over a weekend is through retained water weight.
Yep, your body can store water in its muscle and fat tissue. And this can cause you to gain weight fast.
Water weight is retained through 3 main mechanisms:
- Bowel and bladder contents. People generally consume around 5 to 7lbs of food and fluids each day and even more if you’re binging. This is obviously temporary weight and will skew your measurements if you weigh yourself before going to the toilet.
- Glycogen stored in the liver and muscles. Your body digests carbohydrates and stores it as glycogen. And 1g of glycogen also has approximately 3g of water attached to it. So eating a meal rich in carbs can cause you to rapidly gain a lot of temporary weight.
- Excess sodium in your blood. Salt contains sodium. And when sodium is absorbed into the body, water is taken along with it to keep your ion concentrations in balance (a process called osmosis). Therefore eating a lot of salt can also cause you to put on temporary weight fast.
Most people will only ever be able to put on around 3-5lbs of fat (max) over a weekend. And that’s if you binge like a pig.
The rest of the weight is usually from retained water and bowel/bladder contents (which is why you often feel bloated and puffy after eating processed junk).
But these factors combined can explain why some people could gain 10 pounds (5kg) over 2 to 3 days.
How To Put On 10 Pounds Over 2 To 3 Days
A person can in theory gain 10 pounds (5kg) of fat in 2 to 3 days by overeating on calorie-dense foods. These are usually high in fats, sugars, carbs, or all three. Around 20% of the weight gained will be from body fat, and the remaining 75% from water weight.
So you’re a skinny dude who wants to gain weight fast.
Here’s how you COULD theoretically do it (I’m not saying it will be easy or realistic).
Let’s take some pointers from the Worlds Strongest men competitors like Brian Shaw, Eddie Hall, and Thor Bjornsson.
These guys eat up to 15,000 calories a day. So clearly, eating the amount of food required to gain 10 pounds in 2 to 3 days is not impossible.
You should focus on eating calorie-dense ingredients like; fatty meats, peanut butter, honey, confectionery, milk, juices, etc, to cram in as many calories as possible in the smallest volume of food possible.
Just bear in mind:
These giants are elite athletes who burn huge amounts of energy daily through their workouts and resting metabolism.
Their lives revolve around eating, training, and sleeping.
Could you- a normal-sized human being- handle that much food in a day?
If you’re a skinny person trying to gain weight fast, you may be interested in my other post to find out how it’s possible to gain 10 pounds (5kg) in a week.
How Many Calories Are In A Weekend Binge?
To put things into perspective, here’s how many calories a typical weekend binge could contain for the Average Joe:
|15 x 330ml bottles of beer with the lads||2200 cal|
|Large greasy fried breakfast or plate of pancakes for the hangover||1000 cal|
|Supersized cheeseburger meal with fries and shake||2000 cal|
|Huge Chinese takeout filled with carbs and fat||2000 cal|
|Sugary snacks, confectionery, and soda between meals||2000 cal|
This 9200 calories binge equates to around 7000 excess calories for the average person who burns around 2200 maintenance calories (daily).
This is enough to gain around 4lbs of fat in 2 days or 6lbs of fat in 3 days (based on the fact that 3500 calories are required to gain 1lb of fat).
So to gain 10lbs of fat in 2 days, you’d need to eat around 10,300 additional calories per day. And to gain 10lbs of fat in 3 days, you’d need to eat around 4800 additional calories per day (compared to the table above)
Try fitting in 3-5 more meals per day and you might just make it…
Now you can see why it’s so difficult to gain 10lbs of fat in a weekend!
You may instead be interested in my other post to find out how to put on 10lbs (5kg) in a month!
What Is Considered Rapid Weight Gain?
A rate of more than 5 pounds per month is considered to be a rapid rate of weight gain. This is generally considered to be unhealthy because the majority of the weight gained will be from excess body fat rather than healthy lean muscle.
Why is 5lbs per month considered to be the cut off point between rapid and moderate weight gain?
Well, the average untrained person can gain muscle at a rate of around 2 to 4 pounds per month.
Since muscle gain is a measure of healthy weight gain, let’s also use this standard as a moderate rate of weight gain.
|Weight Gain Rate||Pounds Gained Per Week||Pounds Gained Per Month|
|Rapid||Over 1lbs||Over 5lbs|
|Moderate||0.5 to 1lbs||2 to 4lbs|
|Slow||0.25 to 0.5lbs||1 to 2lbs|
Therefore, anything more than 2-4lbs per month is considered to be a rapid rate of weight gain (unhealthy).
And anything less is considered to be a slow rate of weight gain (healthy).
You may also be interested in my other article for tips on how to gain 10 pounds with a fast metabolism!
The Shortest Time It Takes To Gain 10 Pounds
1 to 3 days is the shortest time it takes to gain 10 pounds (5kg) from water weight, bowel contents, and bladder fluids. To gain 10 pounds of fat can take up to a month. And to gain 10 pounds of lean muscle mass can take up to a year.
Therefore it IS possible to gain around 10 pounds overnight. And it’s even easier to gain 10lbs over a weekend.
Just don’t expect this to be from fat or muscle.
It will instead mostly be from temporary water weight which will be lost in a few days when you resume back to a normal healthy diet. Only around 2lbs of the weight gained will be from actual stored fat.
To gain 10 pounds of fat will take around 1 month if you’re consistently overeating for 30 days.
This is supported by a study that found men who ate 1000 surplus calories per day for 3 weeks gained 6 pounds. This is the equivalent of gaining 10lbs in a month.
Gaining 10lbs of muscle is the most difficult. It will take you around 1 year to put on 10 pounds of pure lean muscle. And that’s only if you know what you’re doing.
If you’re interested in putting on your first 10lbs of healthy muscle mass, you may be interested in my 17-step guide here.
I’ve explained how and why it’s possible to gain 10 pounds (5kg) in 2 to 3 days.
This is considered to be an extremely rapid rate of weight gain and usually comes about from binging on junk food high in carbohydrates, sugars, and salt.
As a result, it’s not uncommon for 10lbs of temporary water weight to be put on in this manner.
It’s also theoretically possible to put on 10lbs of fat over 2-3 days if you’re able to consume around 35,000 calories over that period. But this is extremely difficult and unlikely.
Instead, a realistic timeframe to gain 10 pounds of pure fat is around a month (assuming consistent overeating).
And to build 10 pounds of lean muscle will take the longest- around a year.
Have you ever gained 10lbs over a weekend?
Let me know in the comments!
You may also be interested in the downloadable Kalibre Blueprint PDF which details exactly how I gained 40lbs of lean muscle (it’s 100% free!). It details the exact exercises and nutrition I used to go from skinny to ripped!
Thanks for reading guys!
(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)