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TOPIC: Calorie intake vs calorie burned

 
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March 17, 2012 6:33 AM
I am new to monitoring my calorie intake and have a very basic question. When using the myfitnesspal app and have my calorie goal set to 1500 calories a day, does that mean I should not consume more than 1500 calories of food a day total or will my burned calories through exercise extend out my total calorie intake being my net? For example, I take in 1800 calories for the day, burn 800 for exercise and net 1000. Does that mean I have met my goal for the 1500 calories or have I went over by 300? I have recently started the P90X program and before did not exercise regularly. I want to make sure I am taking in the appropriate amount of calories so I do not crash during a workout or harm my body.
March 17, 2012 6:35 AM
You're supposed to eat the calories you burn during workout.
Basically, make sure you log your workout. If you're calories for the day are in green, eat up!
  9634196
March 17, 2012 6:43 AM
QUOTE:

You're supposed to eat the calories you burn during workout.
Basically, make sure you log your workout. If you're calories for the day are in green, eat up!


I think this statement is a little broad. A lot of people do eat their workout calories, but you don't have to. If you do you're only losing net calories from food, (notwithstanding the amazing benefit of exercise on its own) which for some people would be frustrating few! 500 less calories is a lot less food but equates to only 1lb on a good week with many other factors needing to be in your favour.

best wishes
March 17, 2012 6:48 AM
My calories is set at 1200. I usually eat between 1200-1400 but I generally exercise enough to burn 1500 or more a day. I want to reach my goal so don't dip into my exercise calories very much. Try and eat small meals during the day so you won't feel dragged down during your workout. In general its always good to have some kind of small carbohydrate before exercise, then good protein afterwards.
March 17, 2012 2:06 PM
The goal is to NET 1500 calories a day. Which means if you eat 1800 and burn 800, your net is only 1000 and you should eat 500 back. Some people say don't eat your exercise calories back to to help with the deficit, but your deficit is already figured in the 1500.
  15396602
March 17, 2012 2:06 PM
QUOTE:

I think this statement is a little broad. A lot of people do eat their workout calories, but you don't have to.


For some examples of those who don't, see any given "Help, I stopped losing weight" thread.
March 17, 2012 2:11 PM
If your goal is 1500 you want to net 1500 to stay on track with your goal. There are other ways to do the "accounting", but if you're starting out, it's simplest to just follow the numbers. Eat until "0 calories remaining" (50-100 over or under is ok). 100+ over or under would be a "bad day"; just do better the next day.
March 17, 2012 2:21 PM
QUOTE:

I am new to monitoring my calorie intake and have a very basic question. When using the myfitnesspal app and have my calorie goal set to 1500 calories a day, does that mean I should not consume more than 1500 calories of food a day total or will my burned calories through exercise extend out my total calorie intake being my net? For example, I take in 1800 calories for the day, burn 800 for exercise and net 1000. Does that mean I have met my goal for the 1500 calories or have I went over by 300? I have recently started the P90X program and before did not exercise regularly. I want to make sure I am taking in the appropriate amount of calories so I do not crash during a workout or harm my body.


Yep to make it crystal clear you are aiming for 1500 NET calories. In the example you gave you are actually 500 under your goal for the day (ate 1800, exercised 800 = 1000 net).

Let's assume you've told MFP you want to lose 2 pounds a week (which equates to a calorie deficit of 1000 calories/day). It tells you that you need to aim for 1500 net calories to create this deficit. To be crystal clear again, this means if you ate 2500 calories a day you'd stay the same weight. Now, if you did no exercise on top of what you told MFP your activity level is (sedentary, lightly active etc) then 1500 net is what you should eat daily to lose 2 pounds a week. If you burn 1000 calories in a workout and still only eat 1500 calories, then you have created a 2000 (that's two THOUSAND) calorie deficit for the day! Putting that kind of stress on your body regularly is not a good idea, whether or not you consider 'starvation mode' to be a myth.

And finally, if you think eating 2500 calories in a day is quite a lot, you just need to realise that not all calorie-dense food is bad for you. Nuts especially pack loads of healthy fat and are a great way to add healthy calories without needing a massive portion. People who do vast amounts of exercise (let's take swimmer Michael Phelps as an example) need to eat in excess of 5000 calories a day to maintain their weight! Can you imagine what would happen to him if he didn't eat his 'exercise calories'?
Edited by Stumoo On March 17, 2012 2:21 PM
March 17, 2012 2:27 PM
QUOTE:

My calories is set at 1200. I usually eat between 1200-1400 but I generally exercise enough to burn 1500 or more a day. I want to reach my goal so don't dip into my exercise calories very much. Try and eat small meals during the day so you won't feel dragged down during your workout. In general its always good to have some kind of small carbohydrate before exercise, then good protein afterwards.


Please, please , please don't listen to people like this. You lose weight in the kitchen, you gain fitness through exercise. Don't confuse the two. Put you information correctly into MFP for your weight loss goals, set your lifestyle to sedentary if you have a desk job, log every bit of exercise you do and eat back you calories. You will lose fat and maintain or gain muscle. If weight loss is your entire goal, then by all means follow the advice quoted above. If you want to be healthy, avoid those ideas like the nasty plague they are.
  17679967
March 17, 2012 2:35 PM
QUOTE:

Please, please , please don't listen to people like this. You lose weight in the kitchen, you gain fitness through exercise. Don't confuse the two. Put you information correctly into MFP for your weight loss goals, set your lifestyle to sedentary if you have a desk job, log every bit of exercise you do and eat back you calories. You will lose fat and maintain or gain muscle. If weight loss is your entire goal, then by all means follow the advice quoted above. If you want to be healthy, avoid those ideas like the nasty plague they are.


This - spot on! :)
  4607019
March 17, 2012 2:39 PM
QUOTE:

Please, please , please don't listen to people like this. You lose weight in the kitchen, you gain fitness through exercise. Don't confuse the two. Put you information correctly into MFP for your weight loss goals, set your lifestyle to sedentary if you have a desk job, log every bit of exercise you do and eat back you calories. You will lose fat and maintain or gain muscle. If weight loss is your entire goal, then by all means follow the advice quoted above. If you want to be healthy, avoid those ideas like the nasty plague they are.


I don't think you have to attack her personaly "like this".

And you don't lose weight in the kitchen. You make health decisions, yes. but to make a difference you have to combine them both. If I stopped working out and just at healthy I would lose weight in muscle and fat and bone density and cardiovascular stenghth.

So,unless you want to be skinny fat, avoid those ideas like the nasty plague THEY are.
March 18, 2012 9:16 PM
wink Great info! Thanks to most of you for clearing this up for me
  3517967
March 18, 2012 9:48 PM
I'm on P90X too and I've lost about 20 lbs in 30 days. I've set my caloric goal to 1700/day. What I've always done is just to mind the 1700 calories. If it's under, great! If over then I'll have to improve on that by working extra hard on the exercises and not just "winging it" as Tony Horton would say. The burned calories serve more of "nice to know information" to me right now. But I'm also careful not to go way below 1700, say 1200-1300. That would be counter-productive to the gains in P90X. Do I feel weak doing the exercises? If I compare myself to the people in the DVD then yeah I do. But if I pause and play so I can finish the whole duration of a specific exercise then I find it's really helping in the weight loss and building muscle.

The thing is if you want to lose weight, you can't really be eating back what you just lost. Also, those caloric goals has to be strategically timed around your P90X routines. If you like working out in the evening make sure you've got a good 300-400 calorie meal an hour or two before workout. Then a good protein recovery drink within an hour after finishing the workout. If it's just a kenpo X or Plyometrics day it's better to be 200-300 below your caloric goal for the day. ON A REST DAY, I WOULD SUGGEST EAT NORMALLY. You'll need it for the 3 weeks of pump and grind ahead.

If you're trying to build muscle then eating back the deficits caused by your workout would be the smart thing to do.
March 19, 2012 9:29 PM
I want to thank you all for the replies, it looks like there are a lot of different thought processes on this topic. I value all of the input that I have received from everyone.
June 9, 2013 5:57 AM
i am new to weight loss and learning a lot from you guys. thanks.

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