The Sims 4: Weight Gain
Calorie System, Fat and Muscles Explained
Cake has a lot of calories. Prepare to work out or your Sim is going to pack on a couple pounds from the indulgence.
Players frequently report their Sims gaining weight over time, so I looked into why this happens. It's known the game uses a calorie system to pile on weight whenever Sims overeat, but it isn't very well explained. Additionally Sims who bulk up with lots of muscle may find their size decreasing over time. Let's look into how these two systems work.
Calories Lead to Body Fat
Muscle-building activities rarely burn calories, and when they do are not as effective as direct cardio.
Most dishes in The Sims 4 have calories, ranging from 50 for dishes like a salad to 500-800 for dishes like gourmet treats such as lobster thermidor. There is a problem with this system, however. People gain pounds based on calorie consumption but burn calories throughout the day whether they exercise or not. Sims do not burn calories without exercising. This means you can gradually gain weight and need to keep it down by doing cardio exercise specifically. Sims also gain 1 pound for every 150 calories consumed, meaning a dish like spaghetti will make your Sim 2 pounds heavier.
The bar within Create-a-Sim moves from 0 to +100 pounds, so do this about 5x eating spaghetti leftovers and you're 10% of the way up the bar and on the way to a bigger figure.
Most muscle-building workouts don't burn calories but rather add muscle, which can add to the bulky look. Keep this in mind if you want your Sims to be slender. You won't keep their size down without getting on a treadmill or going for a jog.
For every minute spent doing cardio activity, Sims' body fat decreases a tiny amount. Working out just a few hours each week - using a similar strategy for prevening muscle deterioration - can let you avoid the weight gain associated with high quality foods like lobster thermidor.
Want to keep your Sim's muscles? You'll have to work out once in a while or they may decay.
Muscles are built gradually for every few minutes you're on a workout machine. You don't need to complete the workout to get benefits. If you do gain muscle and want to keep it, you should know that muscle decays over time down to a minimum. Muscle has a floor. If you make a Sim with 50% muscle, it won't decay beneath that point. If you make a Sim with next to no muscle, they could go all the way to full bulk with a good deal of work. If that Sim then stops doing muscle-building activities, it could decay back to the floor of 0 set when they were created. I suppose this is so that player and pre-made Sims do not gradually all get skinny!
Calories List - Calorie Amounts and Hunger Regeneration
Here's a list of most dishes cooked with level 1-10 cooking/gourmet cooking. Dishes learned in other ways may not be listed here. Also, a bug is present with dishes from Outdoor Retreat and a couple of other packs that causes them to have 0 calories. You can abuse this, at least for now as it has an open bug report. I recommended that Maxis consider giving Sims a basal metabolic rate to compensate for making all dishes have calories, as fixing this bug will only make the weight gain worse.
Foods have an efficiency score - that is how well they replenish hunger vs the calories they pack on. It's not a big deal nor was it hard to create. It's simply dividing the hunger regen by the calories and adding a couple decimal places to make it look better. The table is incomplete below a point because I could not find the calories for those dishes, mostly vegetarian. It's likely they share the same calories as the normal variant of the dish but not guaranteed. The purpose here is not to show you the unlock levels etc. For that see the Cooking Guide.
|Recipe Name||Calories||Hunger Regeneration||Efficiency|
|Salt and Pepper Shrimp Cocktail||75||100||133.3|
|Fruit and Yogurt Parfait||79||75||94.9|
|Mac and Cheese||200||175||87.5|
|Franks and Beans||200||175||87.5|
|Silly Gummy Bear Pancakes||200||175||87.5|
|High Energy Protein Plate||250||175||70.0|
|Chicken Stir Fry||250||175||70.0|
|Angry Flaming Spaghetti||300||175||58.3|
|Rack of Lamb||306||175||57.2|
|Eggs and Toast||333||175||52.6|
|Chips and Salsa||200||75||37.5|
|Chocolate Chip Cookies||250||75||30.0|
|Monte Cristo Sandwich||600||175||29.2|
|Meatless Monte Cristo||600||175||29.2|
|Black and White Cookies||200||50||25.0|
|Flirty Heart Cookie||250||50||20.0|
|Black and White Cake||500||75||15.0|
|White and Black Cake||500||75||15.0|
|Pan De Muerto||0||50|
|Ceviche and Chips||0||125|
|Butternut Squash Soup||0||125|
|Pan Fried Tilapia||0||175|
|Fish and Chips||0||175|
|Blue Confetti Cake|
|Faux Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus|
|Faux Lobster Tortellini|
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Something to note, though: I have a very thin, "Lazy" trait Sim who never gains weight, no matter what he eats, but his partner's thighs are going to turn into balloons if they get any bigger! I'm wondering if the "Lazy" trait does anything here.
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