A jar of peanut butter a day [EXPERIMENT]

From June 25 to July 25, I ate a jar of peanut butter a day. This is the most extreme experiment I’ve published on Marshallogue to date. In this post, I’ll share the motivation behind the experiment, some of the difficulties, and then later link to the results.

But first, a few of the nutrition facts for a jar of peanut butter:

  • 3,125 Calories
  • 125 grams of protein
  • 250 grams of fat
  • 2,625 milligrams of sodium
I was cool with the Calories, the protein, and the fat. The sodium worried me. And in the end, it’s what I think gave me problems.

The question, though, that I think most people are asking is, why? Why eat a jar of peanut butter a day? Well, here’s why I did it:

  • To gain weight: I’ve been underweight for as long as I can remember. Trying to switch that up.
  • To see how much weight I gain: I think I still have a roaring metabolism. But that’s hard to tell without putting it to the test. I feel like I eat a lot, but I don’t know for sure. I don’t measure the Calories. Adding an extra 3,000+ should make it pretty obvious either way.
  • To build muscle: I tried lifting weights when I was a teenager. I used light weights, though, and never had a good diet for bulking. Again, trying to switch that up with the Calorie and protein boost.
  • To change the way I look: something about being away from home seems to make me want to change the way I look. In 2009, while I toured America with my grandparents, I tried growing out my beard for the first time. It’s like I want to return looking different. Body weight’s a big way to do that.
  • To see if it’s possible: I’d heard about the Gallon of Milk a Day (GOMAD) idea for gaining weight. My face will break out like crazy with that much dairy, so peanut butter seemed like the next best option. Still, most people say it’s super tough to do a jar of peanut butter a day. (By the way, when I started, I didn’t really believe them.)
  • To write about it: I almost didn’t include this, but frankly it’s a big part of why I tried the experiment. I want to try things that are extreme so I can share them here. I enjoy sharing this stuff.

The hard part for me, at least in the beginning, was committing to the logistics of actually pulling it off.

First, it meant buying a whole bunch of peanut butter, about $100-worth over the course of the month. When you think about ways to spend $100, the first thing to come to mind usually isn’t peanut butter.

From the first day, I realized I’d pay less if I bought large jars and ate only half of each per day. I say I ate a jar of peanut butter a day, though, because the actual amount of peanut I ate each day is the amount in one normal sized jar, about 18 ounces.

Second, it meant putting in the time and energy to eat the peanut butter. If you’ve ever tried eating a large spoon of this stuff, you know the feeling. Now try a dozen a day for like four weeks.

I easily spent over an hour every day eating peanut butter, over 30 hours for the whole month. And that doesn’t even factor in the hassle of constantly carrying the jars all over the place.

Third, lots of salt isn’t good for acne. I knew that would be a problem for me, but it turned out to impact more than I thought.

Finally, since the point was to build muscle, not just slap on the fat, I had to commit to some intense workout sessions. This wasn’t too big a deal. It’s just before I started this, I hadn’t worked out in months. That meant a lot of stiff muscles, including some trouble walking, especially during the first week.

A couple other quick notes

  • I took one day off each week. I’ve heard this helps if you’re trying to gain weight. Your body doesn’t get used to the caloric overload, so it continues to process and store what you eat instead of letting it pass through your body.
  • I continued to eat pretty much my regular diet on top of all the peanut butter. I slacked a little bit, just because the peanut butter is an appetite suppressant. But for the most part, it stayed the same.
  • I ate the peanut butter by itself. I mean, like I just said, I continued with my regular diet on top of it. But when I was eating peanut butter, I was just eating peanut butter, like on a spoon. I didn’t make sandwiches or anything.

I’ve been thin my whole life. I always thought, You know, if I gain a lot of weight, I’ll know how to burn it off. To test that, I figured I’d put my stomach where my mouth is. I wanted to try the reverse, to do what’s hard for me, gaining weight.

And yeah, it’s hard. I have a new respect for anyone attempting to significantly alter their physique.

This experiment tested me on so many levels. I’ll get into more of that in future posts. For now, wow. For a month, I ate a jar of peanut butter a day.

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