Project Zomboid – How to Lose and Gain Weight

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In Project Zomboid, maintaining a fit physique with an ideal body weight is vital for survival, as it affects fitness experience, strength, endurance, and speed.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to lose and gain weight in Project Zomboid.

Recommended Read: How to Find Your Friends in Project Zomboid

The three main ways to lose weight in Project Zomboid are by choosing the Underweight or Very Underweight trait, doing many physical activities, and carrying more than your capacity.

The three main ways to gain weight in Project Zomboid are by eating high-calorie dishes, trying to limit calorie burn, and picking the Overweight or Obese trait.

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How to Lose Weight in Project Zomboid

Over time, your weight will undoubtedly fluctuate due to several factors. In those cases, learning how to lose and gain weight is necessary.

To check your weight, press “H” or click the heart icon on the left side of the screen, then choose the “Info” tab.

When your weight increases or decreases, an arrow appears next to it, indicating your weight tendency (gaining or losing).

There are several ways to lose weight in Project Zomboid, as the following:

1. Choosing Specific Traits

In the early game, you can choose Underweight or Very Underweight to immediately reduce your weight.

However, those traits have a massive negative effect on your skills, melee damage, the chance to trip, and the chance of falling. For more information, check out this table:

UnderweightBetween 65 and 75
(starting at 70)
-1 Fitness skill
Deal 80% melee damage.
10% higher chance of tripping while running or vaulting over a low fence, or encountering lunging zombies.
85% chance of failing to climb a tall fence.
Very UnderweightBetween 50 and 65
(starting at 60)
-2 Fitness skill
Deal 60% melee damage.
20% higher chance of tripping while running or vaulting over a low fence, or encountering lunging zombies.
75% chance of failing to climb a tall fence.
10% more fall damage.
EmaciatedBetween 35 and 50
(starting at 50)
Deal only 40% melee damage.
75% chance of failing to climb a tall fence.
Endurance regenerates 30% slower.
20% more fall damage.

Besides picking, you’ll get the corresponding trait when your character’s weight is in that trait range. For example, if your character weighs 52, you’ll automatically have the Very Underweight trait.

In addition, the Emaciated trait only occurs when you reach the corresponding weight, and you can’t choose it in the early game. So, it’s advisable to avoid it.

2. Doing Physical Activities

There’s an inextricable relationship between weight and calories. The maximum number of calories needed to gain weight is 3700, while the maximum number needed to lose weight is -2200.

In Project Zomboid, your calories decrease even when you’re idling. When it reaches a negative number (between -1 and -2200), you’ll start losing weight.

Moreover, doing other movements also boosts the process. Each action burns calories differently, and check out the following table for more details:

ActionHourly Burn Rates

(*): This is a rough estimate, as you don’t need 1 hour to climb fences.

Exercise effectively affects weight by reducing 172.8 calories per hour (3x times compared to idling).

When you get a little bit cold, there’s a 1.1x multiplier on your calorie burn. And finally, attacking with weapons burns 2-8x times the calories compared to idling (depending on the type of weapon).

Fighting when idling

Some experiments prove that fighting while idling (standstill) burns more calories than fighting while walking. So you can apply this strategy to your weight management.

3. Over Carrying

Carrying too much (heavier than your carrying capacity) also affects calorie burn. Particularly, you’ll burn 10% more calories if you carry more than your capacity.

However, this is not a good choice to reduce your weight. Carrying too much causes bleeding, and Heavy Load moodle, which might ruin your overall health.

In general, to apply the calorie burn strategy to lose weight, you should fight when idling with two-handed weapons, be cold, and keep doing as many physical activities as possible.

Furthermore, low-calorie foods such as fruit, vegetables, or any food low in carbs and fat are the best to avoid gaining too much weight.

How to Gain Weight in Project Zomboid

To gain weight in Project Zomboid, you can choose some specific traits in the early game and do the opposite of losing weight, as mentioned above.

1. Choosing Specific Traits

When creating the character, consider choosing these specific traits to acquire a higher weight:

OverweightBetween 85 to 100
(starting at 90)
Max Fitness of 9.
1% slower running speed.
200% endurance loss.
110% chance to trip while running/sprint vaulting a low fence.
95% chance of tripping from lunging zombies.
85% chance of climbing a tall fence successfully.
70% endurance regeneration.
ObeseHeavier than 100
(starting at 105)
Reduce 2 Fitness.
Max Fitness of 6.
Reduced run speed and endurance.
120% chance of tripping while running/sprinting over a low fence.
90% chance of tripping from lunging zombies.
 75% chance of climbing a tall fence successfully.
40% endurance regeneration.
20% more fall damage.

Keep in mind that these traits have negative effects, so consider whether they’re worth choosing, although you can lose weight after that.

2. Eating

Food is the primary factor that significantly affects your weight. Whether raw or cooked, each food contains different macros (protein, carb, fat).

To better manage your weight, consider the Fitness Instructor as your occupation. This profession does grant 2 sprinting and 3 fitness skill levels while providing a unique Nutritionist trait. This trait allows you to see the nutritional values of any food, which play a vital role in tracking weight.

As mentioned previously, the amount of calories required depends on your current weight. For example, you need to consume more than 1600 calories to gain weight if your current weight is 80. But it requires 3700 calories to gain 1 weight when your current weight exceeds 100.

That said, eating foods with high calories is recommended to quickly gain weight (pizza, ham, butter, etc.).

3. Lower Calorie Burn

It’s clear that you need to limit your calorie burn to gain weight quickly.

To do this, you must fight while walking, use one-handed weapons, stay warm, and avoid doing too many physical activities.

In general, the ideal weight in Project Zomboid you should maintain is around 75-85. If you decide not to choose any traits involved in weight, your starting weight is 80.

Remember that your weight in Project Zomboid only affects your gameplay and mood. It doesn’t change how you look.

That’s how to lose and gain weight in Project Zomboid.

Have any suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Binh Tran

As a game writer, my goal is to craft engaging, informative, and concise articles. Whether it's diving into the latest gaming trends or writing game guides, I'm always excited to share my insights with others.

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