The Sims 4: Weight Gain

Calorie System, Fat and Muscles Explained

Calories in recipes in The Sims 4 lead to body fat
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.

Video Guide to the Fit/Fat System and Calories

The Sims 4 Video

Calories Lead to Body Fat

Working out in  The Sims 4 helps to burn calories
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.

Losing Weight

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.

Muscle Building

Muscle in The Sims 4
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 NameCaloriesHunger RegenerationEfficiency
Garden Salad50125250.0
Fruit Salad70125178.6
Salt and Pepper Shrimp Cocktail75100133.3
Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus100125125.0
Scrambled Eggs155175112.9
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait797594.9
Mac and Cheese20017587.5
Franks and Beans20017587.5
Taco Casserole20017587.5
Silly Gummy Bear Pancakes20017587.5
French Toast20017587.5
Tuna Casserole20017587.5
High Energy Protein Plate25017570.0
Chicken Stir Fry25017570.0
Pasta Primavera25117569.7
Herb-Crusted Salmon26017567.3
Angry Flaming Spaghetti30017558.3
Chicken Saltimbocca30017558.3
Rack of Lamb30617557.2
Mud Carp31117556.3
Garlic Noodles33017553.0
Caprese Salad33017553.0
Eggs and Toast33317552.6
Grilled Cheese30015050.0
Fish Tacos30015050.0
Vegetable Dumplings31115048.2
Chips and Salsa2007537.5
Spinach Frittata48017536.5
Spinach Frittata48017536.5
Trout Meuniere56517531.0
Chocolate Chip Cookies2507530.0
Monte Cristo Sandwich60017529.2
Meatless Monte Cristo60017529.2
Black and White Cookies2005025.0
Cheese Eyeballs2005025.0
Lobster Thermidor80017521.9
Flirty Heart Cookie2505020.0
Apple Pie4507516.7
Chocolate Cake5007515.0
Hamburger Cake5007515.0
Strawberry Cake5007515.0
Signature Cake5007515.0
Black and White Cake5007515.0
White and Black Cake5007515.0
Tiered Cake5007515.0
Baked Alaska5007515.0
White Cake500255.0
Pan De Muerto050
Almond Macarons050
Spooky Cookies2005025.0
Fruit Cobbler075
Italian Meatballs0125
Clam Chowder0125
Ceviche and Chips0125
Caesar Salad0125
Butternut Squash Soup0125
Eggs Benedict0125
Pan Fried Tilapia0175
Fried Fish0175
Fish and Chips0175
Breakfast Scramble0175
Camper's Stew0175
Blackened Bass0175
Walleye Surprise0175
Roast Chicken0175
Camper' Stew0175
Vegetable Tempura0175
Blue Confetti Cake
Tofu Tacos
Faux BLT
Zombie cake
Vegetable Chili
Butternut Gnocci
SimCity Cheesecake
Lobster Tortellini
Gourmet Fruitcake
Faux Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus
Faux Lobster Tortellini

How You Can Support The Site and Channel

If you like my sites and Youtube Channel, consider supporting me on Patreon to help me to continue.

Back to The Top

Check Out My Youtube Channel!

We now have a Youtube Channel with over 50 guides in video format to go along with the huge site I've already created. Check it out and consider subscribing if you like my style.

Add Comment

* Required information

Comments (22)

Mai Gaiasays...
Ohmaigawwwd I was wondering about this! My character has been getting pretty chunky recently and I've tried hitting the gym like...once...lmao.
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.
Yes, so to make your sim slimmer you have to be using the treadmill, jogging or even the punching bag will help, but less so. Often thin sims don't gain weight or when they do their body size is reset, not 100% sure why this happens but some presets (set in CAS) do seem to be reverted back to over time in normal game play situations. Maybe linked to certain other traits, it's an interesting thought as the reward trait sims gain when choosing the Body Builder aspiration (High Metabolism) definitely works this way.
how do you get this information?
Carl looks at the game code and then writes up the info into guides for those of us who can't (look at code!).
That's a very interesting guide and I wish I could mod those values. (But I am a noob to modding)
I think the Zombie cake is called Corpse Cake in the gamefiles Huh
My sim was getting quite big and I started with the workouts (treadmill, etc) with little result.

I have a rocketship and tried the zero-g workout, came out of the spaceship very skinny!!!

Kept working out and she's all muscles now :P

Do sims lose weight by dancing?
No not just by using the dancing skill that came with Get Together. They will lose weight if they do a Dance Workout (T.V.) though.

It would be awesome if there was a way to "check" a sims weight, just to gauge how much workout would be needed to maintain a healthy weight. I tend to forget about wieght gain during gameplay, until its too late.

Brian Zsays...

There sort of is. Enter the cheat cas.fulleditmode and then view your sim in CAS, if you click somewhere on them the fit/fat sliders will pop up. Even if you don't want to cheat and move them, you can see where they are. You might be surprised how high the fat slider is, especially if your sim has low muscle. Your sim will be VERY skinny if you bottom out both sliders.


I guess this is good for realistic game play and all, but in real life I am always counting calories or points, weighing portions, and avoiding anything like Black and White Cake, so in my escape from reality world of the Sims, I always got a lot of happiness ( my personal happiness) by having my Sims make and eat all sorts of foods, actually choosing for them things I would like, such as spaghetti. I guess that’s over now, unless I don’t mind Sims all big around the middle, which I do. Salads it is then. But thank you Carl for another awesome guide.


All vegetarian options have zero calories, probably because the devs forgot to add them. But if you make your Sim do one work out on the treadmill a couple times a week their body shape will stay the same. Or if you give your Sim the Body Builder Aspiration in CAS to get the bonus trait High Metabolism then they will almost never change body weight from eating normally. You can immediately change the aspiration in Live Mode so your Sim does not have to complete or even start the Body Builder aspiration to get the benefits from this bonus trait your Sim gets from choosing this aspiration in CAS.

Myst Leissasays...

Technically: You need the body builder aspiration at the outset of Sim Creation for it to show up in the traits window. Changing Aspiration mid-game doesn't update your traits afaik.


i have an ed & i relate so much </3 i also wanted this game to be an escape from calorie-counting hell but i guess i cant escape :( hopefully one day we'll be free from feeling like we have to restrict all the time <3

Brian Zsays...

I guess I had the wrong idea of what's in a frittata! Here I thought it would be one of the better choices, and instead it's one of the heaviest foods on the list. Ok, breakfast scramble or eggs benedict for breakfast for a while...


Do quick meals have calories?


It is not correct that muscle has a floor where it won't decay beneath what you set during CAS. I created my male Sim at maximum Muscle and if I don't do any muscle-building workout like strength machine, my Sim loses muscle rapidly until there is almost none left.

Myst Leissasays...

By "Floor" he means it's a floored equation, as in there's a float (aka decimal) and it's rounded DOWN instead of UP. Hope this helps!


how to install this modification


It's not a mod, it is in the base game. All Sims gain/lose fat and muscle with BG foods.


I started a challenge today in the Sims: to see if Sims can live on drinks alone (and I'm not including quick meal drinks like milk and orange juice), only drinks made from a bar. I started my Sim out as skinny, emaciated looking drunk. I soon found a good pattern to keep my Sims Hunger bar up (once I got them the Steel bladder trait): I would make my Sim two of their favorite drinks, Wutaheftabir, and have them double fist them. For money I would make the more expensive drinks and sell them. About two Sim weeks in, while my Sim made their trip to the bathroom, I noticed they leaned back more and had a bit of a wobble...I zoomed in... my Sim had gotten FAT! you've made a list of calories for food in the Sims, but do you have one for the drinks? I guess it's yoga and jogging for my Sim, to get them back into their emaciated state that they started at.


Does anyone have an up-to-date calorie chart? The only ones I can find leave out a lot. Or I'd be happy knowing how to find out myself, if someone can tell me the method.


still sim can no get as fat as your mom


Hi Carl, I love your guides and refer to them and your videos every time I play! Could you update this guide to represent some of the newer foods? I’m tired of feeding my Sims the same 4 zero calorie items when they’ve as too much cake!


Hello! Does anyone know if riding a bike count as cardio in Sims 4? Can the sims get thinner doing that?


It does count as increasing the fitness skill, not sure if it is cardio or weights tho

Myst Leissasays...

Geez, no Natural Calorie Burn? How is it anyone keeps fit in this game...seriously even Kenshi had a better weightloss system (which is saying a lot since Kenshi is one of those games most people either love or hate). I do have a question though: What counts as "Cardio" Excercises, in essence, what's the most effective excercises to lose as much Weight as possible? (I'm currently working on a weightloss resolution and I doubt I'll see the reply by the time I've failed it but it would still like some clarification on these things (i've never worked out a day in my real life))

Myst Leissasays...

Ok This is a bit advanced, does this apply to children? I have an overweight boy, which is incapable of fitness because he is a child. Does his Motor-activities take the place of fitness in this case, or does he simply have to live with being overweight? Would be nice to know, not that his age is changing any time soon, I play with auto-aging disabled...


If you make a child Sim exercise a lot, lots of jungle gym bars etc then they will lose weight, so yes, Motor skill = Fitness skill


I find the easiest way to get child sims fit is the football from the university pack.


what about pizza?


how does the 'gains weight for every 150 calories' function work? Is it cumulative? Say a sim eats three garden salads over three days, do they then gain a pound if they don't exercise? Or do they have to eat a meal that's 150+ calories to gain the pound?


Any chance you might update this with the new cottage living pack so we can see how the fresh foods rank?

Make Seasons Better!

Sims 4 Seasons CheatsThe Sims 4 Seasons expansion now has options! Want to disable weather or make plants in season year-round? You can do so with my new Seasons Tuner Mod

  • Disable Seasons individually
  • Always Sunny! Set to Base Game Weather
  • Grow Year Round - Make Plants Always in Season!
  • Healthy Year Round - No more Winter twigs
  • Disable Color Changes - on ALL Plants & Trees
  • Disable Fall Leaves
  • Disable Ground Snow
  • Keep the Stuff You Paid For!

A Deeper Game

The past month, I've spent every day tinkering The Sims 4, making quality of life improvements, gameplay changes, and new difficulty settings for the game. If you'd like to learn more about my project, visit the post on Patreon where you can download it now.

Cottage living

The Sims 4 Cottage LivingCottage Living Guide! Here is my guide to new features in the Sims 4 Cottage Living Expansion

You can also find handy Cottage Living Cheats

I have much more to come, since you can actually write a few guides about this pack!

Calling all Blender Users

Blender has been incredibly useful in video production, so I made my own Physics and Simulation Improvement Addon that lumps a ton of unique tools into one compact interface.

Sims 4 Snowy Escape

The Sims 4 Snowy Escape launches November 13, 2020 and my coverage has started. Until I get my review ready, you can learn about the following:

Snowy Escape Cheats
Lifestyles in Snowy Escape
Climb Mt. Komorebi
Sentiments in Snowy Escape
Rock Climbing
Skiing Skill
Snowboarding Skill

Sentiments & Platforms (Free Patch!)

I've released a guide to Sentiments in The Sims 4 & Snowy Escape.

There is a new platform tool in The Sims 4. There's also a new Sentiments system, but it'll take some time to create a guide to that. Players can also use rental lots in any world now by changing lot types of builds in manage worlds.

Best Mods in Sims 4

I've created a massive List of The Best Mods in The Sims 4 that should be very helpful to new players and those who have not yet explored modding and how much it can do for your gameplay.

Search my Sims 4 Site

Support Us

Readers who use adblock or those who'd like to thank me for my efforts can now pledge $1/$5 monthly via Patreon. This helps a lot with server costs and provides some stability for my business.

Super Sim Checklist + Other News

Super Sim Text + Checklist and Video Guide! Here is my Super Sim Challenge Guide and Checklist to accompany my video guide to making Super Sims in The Sims 4 that you can view on Youtube.

This is inspired by a new series in which I start at toddler and gradually take on the major bonuses. Here's a link to the full playlist!

I now have a guide page to Tiny Living Stuff where you can learn about Murphy Beds, the new death, as well as the lot bonuses you'll receive if you manage to keep the size of your lot down with this new pack's Tiny Home Lot Type.

Let's Play Playlist

Super Sim Gameplay in The Sims 4

New I now have a guide to Making Super Sims in The Sims 4. Look for a text version within the next 72h. It won't have THAT much more info but it will help out as a checklist.

This was inspired by a series, "Let's Play a Super Sim" in which I start at toddler and gradually take on the major bonuses. Here's a link to each part for people who are interested. You can also see the Let's Play as a Playlist on Youtube.