If someone eats more calories than they burn, then they will put on weight, as I understand.

Question 1:

But what if a person eats a lot of calories but zero fat? Or zero saturated fats and trans fats?

Would the person then put on weight or not?

That question is based on the idea - and I don't know if this is true or not - that people put on fat by eating too many calories because the body burns other stuff that it extracts from food before burning the fat from food.

So question 2:

Is it true that that is the reason the body accumulates fat - because the body uses other things as energy before using fat?

That first question is also based on the idea - and again, I don't know if this is true or not - that the body cannot convert something that is not fat, into fat. Something that is not fat cannot be changed into fat in the body.

Question 3:

Is it true that the body cannot convert something that is not fat into fat? Rather, the body simply accumulates fat while burning other things?

And question 4:

Would a diet consisting only of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, honey, eggs, and fish be effective for a person to lose weight even if the person eats a lot of food - so long as they only eat those things?

  • 5
    You'd do best to separate your questions into separate Questions. Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 21:39
  • 1
    @John, I suggest editing your question to focus on one question only. You are free to ask other questions separately so long as they fit within the scope of our faq.
    – user241
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 14:23
  • Off topic per new FAQ
    – Baarn
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 15:15

2 Answers 2


The body takes in energy from carbohydrates, proteins, fats and alcohol. Any energy it does not use will then be turned into fat.

Thus for your question 4 the answer is no. If there were such a diet with 0 fat it would be very dangerous - the body needs a certain amount of fat to function. (Eating too much protein without fat is know as "rabbit starvation". The Inuit (who ate a diet very high in protein and fat) experienced this during Spring when the only thing they could find (often) were very lean rabbits. Vilhjalmur Stefansson experienced this when demonstrating the diet, under controlled conditions, at Bellevue Hospital

Question 3: false

Question 2: false

Question 1: false

  • Rabbit starvation refers to a diet that is missing fat AND carbohydrates.
    – J. Win.
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 7:23

Question 1,2,3

Putting on weight is a matter of calories needed by the body and if you are having calorie deficit or eating more calories than needed by the body. Your body at rest has a number of calories needed, say X. if you eat per day X - 500 calories, this means a deficit of 500 calories per day and deficit of 3500 calories per week ie you should loose 1 pound of fat per week.

Fat IS GOOD for your body, but it is not the trans-fat but the mono unsaturated, poly unsaturated and even a bit of saturated. Eating a lot of calories (more than X) with zero fat will make you gain weight (except if you have crazy genetics and never gain weight whatsoever) since when you overpass the limit X whatever you are eating will be turned to sugar then to fat and stored in your body as a reserve. You should eat a healthy balanced diet which contains enough proteins, carbs (complex carbs more than simple carbs), fat (the good fat and a bit of saturated) and mineral and vitamins.

Question 4

As mentioned before , losing weight is based on calorie deficit. Calorie deficit can be done by eating less, and/or by exercising. For example if you eat 200 less calories per day and burn 400 calories by exercising --> you have a deficit of X - 200 - 400 . It is recommended to have max of 700 calories deficit per day.

Do not go by food types "a diet consisting only of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, honey, eggs, and fish" only. Even though these are very healthy options, and are quality foods still if you overeat from these and pass your accepted limit you will gain weight (unless as stated before your genetics allow you to eat as much as you want without gaining fat.. But still that doesn't mean you are healthy, coz fat is dangerous when it accumulates in blood vessels).

  • +1 but I disagree with the calorie algebra. Our body is very flexible and if there is a calorie deficit the body will make you hungry, sluggish and cold. The only reason a deficit of 500kcal works is because it's more than the body can easily compensate for. If you would be in a deficit of let's say 200kcal you'd just be miserable with nothing to show for it. Better to let the body go towards a natural composition by eating Paleo and then tweaking with fasts and high-intensity exercise.
    – w00t
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 0:08
  • @w00t yeah, in general each body is different to a point, but i was stating a general rule to follow, and from there to tune it so it adapts with the person's specific body requirements
    – ccot
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 3:13

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