Over the years I’ve seen plenty of people complain about how their Sims get fat over time. Because of this I thought it’d be fun to do some playtesting and see if some guidelines you read about preventing fat gain are really true, mainly the idea to only eat when hungry. At the same time we’ll discover several little known things about how The Sims handles fitness and fatness. We know The Sims 4 uses a calorie system for foods, meaning some foods contribute to weight more than others.
Calories in this case are completely irrelevant to how filling a certain food is. Many high calorie items like cake are not very filling compared to even a garden salad which is one of the best foods, both in terms of value and in reducing insurance claims from fire. However it’s not as filling as spaghetti. What people will notice is their Sims get fat, despite the players only eating when their Sims are hungry. This is due to the game’s calorie system. Every pound is 3500 calories, just like in real life.
Foods also have their own numbers that determine how filling they are. I tested whether eating only when hungry prevents weight gain, and as you can see it does nothing of the sort. The problem is that calories on Sims don’t really decay unless you do some activities that reduce them, so a lot of elder Sims can end up chubby if they don’t focus on fitness especially on longer life spans. If they’re high calorie enough every few meals the Sim puts on a pound or two. Ultimately the lesson here is Sims lack a basic metabolism and must burn calories manually or else they’ll gain fat. Because of this, eating anything but low calorie food will gradually add on pounds, though some foods are far far worse than others. Sims who get rich and live like they are will be more likely to eat the expensive meals from the high level homestyle and gourmet cooking list, and they’re almost all over 300 calories if not double that.
Lobster Thermidor has the highest calories, at 800. But it’s not as bad as a black and white cake, which has 500 but only fills hunger by a small amount. At least you can lean on the thermidor to top off hunger if it’s really low – a garden salad can’t do that. So, yeah. Certain foods are not as filling as others, but when made of high quality get a boost to how filling they are, about 30% more. For losing weight you’ve got to counter the high calorie foods and either hop on a treadmill, swim, or jog while eating lower calorie foods to speed it up. These cardio activities directly lower body fat while not making Sim muscles bulk up. Work on the bodybuilder aspiration while you do so, and you can get the long-lived reward trait eventually, adding to your Sim’s life span. Each minute on the treadmill reduces fat by a small amount.
You only need to do a few hours a week to keep your Sim in good shape. This is something that a lot of people miss and there’s no need for equipment – treadmills are only slightly better than jogging. So we’ve talked about fatness, let’s look at the hidden fitness stat, or how muscular a Sim is. Building muscle on a Sim is a different animal because muscle decays over time. When you make a Sim, it locks in the muscle amount you selected. This is the floor for that Sim, and their muscles aren’t supposed to decay below it. So if you start at a 5 and work your way to full muscle, it’ll not go back below 5. Still, every day about 4% of your muscle will be lost unless you lift weights. You’ve got to work to keep the muscular look you want for your Sim and one long session each week is about all it takes. Players who take the bodybuilder aspiration at the time of Sim creation get High Metabolism, which not only cuts fat gains in half while helping with muscle gain, but also lets you click them to get an energy drink on the spot that will help them get in the mood for exercise.
At level 5 fitness Sims get the protein shake recipe at the bar. This gives a 50% boost to fitness gains while active. You can use it to keep your Sim’s muscles intact without working out as often. Something I realized working on this is that when Sims get to higher fitness levels, the hygiene decay they suffer begins to get smaller. I suppose they’re sweating less and this makes perfect sense! Knowledge of the fatness and calories systems are also useful if you have a Sim who is very active. If you do not want them to be skinny, you need to eat high calorie foods in order to offset some of the exercise. Just keep in mind weight lifting alone won’t cause your Sim to lose body fat. But, Sims who jog a lot can get far too thin and should eat a few high calorie meals each week. There are a couple of hybrid activities, like punching bags and the training dummy from StrangerVille that increase fitness while reducing fat. Strangely, basketball increases fit but doesn’t reduce fat.
It’s like whoever made that thought the fit stat is for keeping Sims slim. Speaking of bugs, I went on a quest to document the calories and satisfaction a Sim gets from eating different foods and found some strange things. I haven’t put this up on the guide yet, but I will. To keep the list within reason I only did those that are attainable from leveling cooking and gourmet cooking. Let’s be real, this game has a lot of foods and 2 hours of this left me starving anyway. Just the names of foods was triggering me to go eat some leftover hamburger helper and I haven’t even heard of some of these recipes! To create an Efficiency stat at the top right I did a little math, dividing the amount of hunger stat you get for eating a food by its calories in order to find the most efficient diet foods. Players may also be interested in knowing which are high calorie.
There are some obvious winners like garden salad, which blows the fair competition away. Even mac and cheese is OK and not nearly as bad as something like fish tacos, BLTs or Monte Cristo sandwiches. I’ve bolded the best recipes along with the worst, ranked by the efficiency. Something I noticed while doing this is a pretty annoying bug. A bunch of recipes from expansions are broken under the hood.
They have 0 calories and are mostly set at the maximum fullness. So if someone out there said, “My Sim doesn’t get fat I eat tilapia” they were correct in noticing it. This is definitely a ‘someone forgot’ thing as you only have to make up 2 numbers to make these foods work. All the outdoor retreat foods have 0 calories, and that pack is not the only exception. It’s as if devs at different times forgot that the calorie mechanic existed and copied placeholder code for a basic recipe over to them. I’m probably going to file a bug report for it as I have a number of broken recipes to share. So, that’s a lot to take in about a very specific topic but people are supporting me on Patreon and I wanted to make a new video this week. I’m grateful for you all signing up, and visiting the guide. Things look a lot better than they did a year ago and I have the entire Sims community to thank for that.
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