View Full Version : Why do MRE's make you gain so much weight?

05-28-2005, 05:59 AM
MRE's are pretty solid meals but they're not all that high in Calories, maybe 1200 or so per package, so why is it that they make you gain so much weight and **** cinder blocks?
I gained about 15 lbs in 1 month eating MRE's about a year and a half ago, which seemed to be solid mass even though I didn't work out once that month (NTC Rotation). So those who know about MRE's help me understand why they are such weight gainers?
I'm trying to eat MRE's out here (Iraq) with hopes to break the 200 lb marker. It's hard gaining weight here when you sweat all the time but I'm trying.

05-28-2005, 06:05 AM
1200 calories is pretty high for a single meal. Although I do not have any data to back it up, the nutritionist that I work with told me that most people cannot absorb more than about 600 calories per meal. The rest gets stored.

I am sure that most of the MRE's are loaded with carbs to give you energy in battle or just everyday life in Iraq. These meals are designed more to sustain you in harsh conditions than they are designed to be a healthy meal.

On a side note.... Thanks for doing what you do. You guys make all of us over here very proud to be Americans. Keep up the great work.

05-28-2005, 10:41 AM
The general answer is that they aren't exactly clean food (less than ideal fat sources, highly processed carbs, preservaties/additives), so your gains aren't going to be as lean as if you were making your own food. Obviously, MREs are designed to replace the nutrition you'd be getting at a base, which in turn is a reflection of the less-than-optimal American diet. Given the demands of being on active duty (and weight training and mandatory exercise), just ensuring that you get enough calories is the primary objective, which is probably one reason they have a high (30-40%) proportion of calories from fat. Also, the very high sodium content (you're getting at least 2-3x the RDA if MREs are your primary calorie source) likely leads to some additional water retention even if you're sweating a lot. As for the "****ting bricks" issue, if you're not drinking a ton of water with them or adding it to the MRE, the lack of moisture in the food itself is the cause.