I've recounted on my blog how I gained 20 pounds in 10 weeks. My husband had a job transfer and we were living in a motel during the work week, then driving home on the weekend. My routine totally changed and I was getting no exercise. My calorie needs at that weight and acitivity level were, I'd say, 1500 calories a day.
Because we were in a motel and had no way to cook we were eating all of our food out. To save money I was eating fast food during the day while my husband worked. Lets do the math.
Right next to the motel was a gas station with great cappucino---the gas station kind, not the real deal. I'd get a medium---it was only 10 cents more than a large! No nutritional info was available but I'd guess it was about 200 calories.
Next, breakfast at Mickey D's which was right across the street. It inculded a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscut (430), a small orange juice (140--I need my vitamin C!), a small milk (100---calcium!!) for a grand total of 670 for breakfast--870 for the day...and it's only 9:00 a.m.!!
Lunch would again find me at McD's...you can't beat the $.99 cent menu when you are watching your spending (and we were dealing with double living expenses, plus fuel both ways---500 miles round trip).
Lunch was a Quarter Pounder (410--I needed my protein! and didn't want to spend $4.00+ on a salad), a small order of fries (230), a yogurt parfait snack (160---again, calcium and some fruit!) and a diet Coke. Calorie tally: 800/1670 for the day!
Since I was spending my day exploring the area, and hubby didn't get off work until 7pm, I'd have a late afternoon snack...maybe ice cream from the Marble Slab Creamery---hey...I know I was counting my pennies and a $4.00+ treat didn't fit---but I needed it to give me a mental boost...we hadn't wanted to move this time, so anything that would "cheer" me was embraced. That "little" indulgence was approximately 400-600 calories. Now the calorie tally is 2070/2270 for the day.
And finally--supper time. We'd both be wiped out, so didn't give a lot of thought to our meal..just got what sounded good, was quick and convenient. I don't recall what our evening meals were, but you can bet they cost me at least 500 calories. Tally for the day calorie wise: at least 2570 or higher.
Time to do more math. I stated my calorie need was 1500, but I was eating 2500+...that's 1000 calories a day above my need. Times that by 7 days and you come up with an excess 7000 calories a week. Since it takes an excess of 3500 calories to increase fat by one pound, and I was twice that, I was eating to the tune of a 2 pound increase every week!
This was my situation for 10 weeks.....hence ( more math here) 10 weeks x 2 pounds weight gained per week= 20 pounds gained in 10 weeks!!!
At the time I just couldn't figure out why I was gaining weight. I was sure I had a thyroid problem. But since I've started monitoring my food intake by counting calories it's been pretty easy to see I was overeating. Mystery solved. Case closed.
If you have gained weight, or are gaining...do some math. It may shed some light on the situation.
Silly me: all that money I "saved" at McD's and the like....I ended up spending, plus more, to buy new clothes because the 20 pounds made me so fat I couldn't fit into anything. The "penny wise, pound foolish" principle applies here, eh?