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TOPIC: Burning more than you eat, eating calories back?

 
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June 2, 2013 3:24 PM
I'm so confused! I eat around 950-1200 calories a day. Eat really healthy 90% of the time. Work out 5-7 times a week burning 300-800 calories each time depending on what I do. I've lost around half a stone since Christmas. It's just going so slow! Should I burn more calories than I eat? Eat calories back? (But surely that will just make you maintain your weight and not lose it right?) I'm just so lost! My bmr is around 1400. Some one help me please. Also is the 'omg you have to eat 1200 calories a day' thing exaggerated? Thank you!
June 3, 2013 5:22 AM
Why are you eating so little?

Eat your full daily amount plus your exercise calories. Eating your exercise calories back will not make you gain fat provided you are under your TDEE.

You do not need to burn off everything you eat in a day as your BMR takes care of a lot. You should be eating somewhere between your BMR and your TDEE each day.

According to your ticker you only have about 3kg left to lose. Switch your weekly goal to 0.5lbs a week. When you don't have a lot to lose your deficit needs to be smaller. Too high of a deficit will increase the muscle you lose along the way.

The 1200 thing is the minimum but you should be eating more than that... much more. Again, too high of a deficit (meaning intake too little for your size and exercise routine) will increase muscle loss. Less muscle means a slower metabolism and a higher body fat %. Less muscle also means the easier it will be for you to gain the weight back.

Find something that is sustainable.
Edited by thisismeraw On June 3, 2013 5:24 AM
June 3, 2013 5:31 AM
With a BMR of 1400 your maintenance is around 1700 with no exercise, so eating less than 1700 and not exercising will lead to weight loss. On a day you burn 800 cals you just have to eat less than 2500 to lose weight (1700+800).
June 3, 2013 7:13 AM
I've been curious about that as well...if I add my activities it allows me more cals to eat automatically...so it's OK to eat more if you work out...right?
June 3, 2013 7:28 AM
Not only okay, it's actually necessary for weight loss! ;)
  40550398
June 3, 2013 7:33 AM
QUOTE:

I've been curious about that as well...if I add my activities it allows me more cals to eat automatically...so it's OK to eat more if you work out...right?

It's OK to eat more, but I'd be veeeery cautious about believing the figures MFP gives for calorie burns for various exercises. I've seem it give some really crazy figures like 800kcal for less than an hour of running. It's just not physically possible to burn anything like that number of calories in that amount of time. But if you believe it and you eat an extra 800kcals that day you will surely gain weight and get very angry about why it isn't working.

To the OP - if you're very close to your goal weight, weight loss goes much slower. It's normal sorry. You are eating too few calories and you are probably losing muscle mass, not fat, which is a bad thing (it explains why here: http://www.aworkoutroutine.com/how-to-lose-fat-without-losing-muscle/). If I were you, I'd refocus away from "got to lose weight whatever it takes" and instead focus on "lets build some muscle and get strong". Building muscle will actually help lose fat because it takes more calories to keep a pound of muscle alive all day than a pound of fat, so even while you are sitting still (even while you are sleeping!) a muscular person will be burning more calories than a scrawny person. And if you are lowing weight to look better, then you will look much better when you have some nice toned muscles so you will see results fairly fast, which should be motivating to you.
  42267396
June 3, 2013 8:57 AM
hmm...Ok. well that makes things difficult...how can one TRULY measure how many calories are lost while working out? Does the amount vary according to weight?
June 3, 2013 9:37 AM
The problem is, the only way to actually directly measure how much energy you use in physical activity is a complicated and invasive procedure called "doubly-labelled water" which can only be done in a lab. So the researchers do the measuring on test subjects in a lab and then they come up with a rule of thumb like "the average person burns about 100 calories a mile when running". And then the people who make e.g. treadmills program the treadmill to show 100 calories per mile, and so on. But it's a bit like saying "The average car gets 25 miles per gallon" - it's true, roughly, but it's probably NOT what YOUR car got on YOUR journey, with YOUR driving style.

To make things worse, the exact same problem occurs with the calories you eat. The values they print on food packages are obtained from burning the food completely in a bomb calorimeter, but that doesn't necessarily match the amount of energy your body will extract from digesting the food (as you'll know if you've ever pooped bits of undigested sweetcorn).

So always take calorie values with a pinch of salt. Don't just believe the values printed on foods. At best they can show you that fruit salad is probably a better option than a donut, but treat them as ballpark figures rather than gospel truth. The same with the values shown by your treadmill, heart rate monitor or MFP - they're ballpark figures, nothing more. Stick to a diet and exercise regime for a few weeks and if you're not losing weight, try eating a little less and moving a little more, regardless of what the calories in/out seem to be telling you. If you're losing more than 1-2lbs a week, try eating a little more or moving a little less. Your own actual weight loss will tell you the truth. Calorie calculations are just a guideline.
  42267396
June 3, 2013 9:43 AM
QUOTE:

With a BMR of 1400 your maintenance is around 1700 with no exercise, so eating less than 1700 and not exercising will lead to weight loss. On a day you burn 800 cals you just have to eat less than 2500 to lose weight (1700+800).


Yes
June 3, 2013 12:04 PM
QUOTE:

hmm...Ok. well that makes things difficult...how can one TRULY measure how many calories are lost while working out? Does the amount vary according to weight?


Yes, the heavier a person is, the more calories they will usually burn during exercise and males will burn more than females for the same exercise done for the same amount of time.

HRMs are the best for measuring calories burned during exercise, they are great little devices.
Edited by __Di__ On June 3, 2013 12:04 PM
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June 3, 2013 1:53 PM
QUOTE:

The problem is, the only way to actually directly measure how much energy you use in physical activity is a complicated and invasive procedure called "doubly-labelled water" which can only be done in a lab. So the researchers do the measuring on test subjects in a lab and then they come up with a rule of thumb like "the average person burns about 100 calories a mile when running". And then the people who make e.g. treadmills program the treadmill to show 100 calories per mile, and so on. But it's a bit like saying "The average car gets 25 miles per gallon" - it's true, roughly, but it's probably NOT what YOUR car got on YOUR journey, with YOUR driving style.

To make things worse, the exact same problem occurs with the calories you eat. The values they print on food packages are obtained from burning the food completely in a bomb calorimeter, but that doesn't necessarily match the amount of energy your body will extract from digesting the food (as you'll know if you've ever pooped bits of undigested sweetcorn).

So always take calorie values with a pinch of salt. Don't just believe the values printed on foods. At best they can show you that fruit salad is probably a better option than a donut, but treat them as ballpark figures rather than gospel truth. The same with the values shown by your treadmill, heart rate monitor or MFP - they're ballpark figures, nothing more. Stick to a diet and exercise regime for a few weeks and if you're not losing weight, try eating a little less and moving a little more, regardless of what the calories in/out seem to be telling you. If you're losing more than 1-2lbs a week, try eating a little more or moving a little less. Your own actual weight loss will tell you the truth. Calorie calculations are just a guideline.


right on, thanks!
June 3, 2013 1:54 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

hmm...Ok. well that makes things difficult...how can one TRULY measure how many calories are lost while working out? Does the amount vary according to weight?


Yes, the heavier a person is, the more calories they will usually burn during exercise and males will burn more than females for the same exercise done for the same amount of time.

HRMs are the best for measuring calories burned during exercise, they are great little devices.


Thank you :D
June 3, 2013 4:25 PM
So what's the conclusion burn more calories than I eat?
June 3, 2013 4:40 PM
Yes burning more than you eat is how to lose. But you burn a lot more calories than calories through exercise. You burn calories 24/7.

Here's a post explaining things more.
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/952996-level-obstacles-lose-weight-target-fat-easy
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