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TOPIC: Eating back your exercise calories

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May 17, 2012 10:34 AM
Just wondering if everyone eats back their exercise calories. Do you eat back all of them or just some of them? Do you eat back only cardio or just strength training or both? What is your mentality on what types of foods you will eat for your exercise calories. Do you have them calculated in your daily routine? I currently do not eat mine back. I am creating a deficit and by eating them back I do not feel like I will have that deficit any more. I am just wondering how everyone goes about this and what their mentality is in what types of foods you eat for your exercise calories.
May 17, 2012 10:42 AM
I usually always eat back my exercise calories. MFP has set a deficit for me and my calorie goal for the day is 1200 so I wouldn't dare go below. And I'm successfully losing 1.5 to 2 pounds a week doing this. If I workout late at night and I'm going to bed shortly after I sometimes don't eat them all back or I eat something light. I only track my cardio exercise calories because honestly not sure how much I burn during strength training (I need to get a HRM). The more you exercise the more you can eat! Your body needs fuel.

My personal trainer told me to eat a small meal/snack 30-60 minutes before working out for energy to workout and eat protein to help rebuild after. Before workout it varies what I eat because it's usually dinner time so protein like chicken breast or on my way to boot camp it's a protein energy bar. After workout, yogurt or cottage cheese or graham cracker with peanut butter, or a smoothie with lots of fruit/protein powder. It varies. But protein is important!
May 17, 2012 10:44 AM
I eat mine back. I find I'm really hungry otherwise and can't function properly.
May 17, 2012 10:47 AM
I don't eat them all back. I try to eat back half, but I'm usually short at the end of the day. I suspect that my food calories are higher, and my exercise calories are lower than what I'm recording, so I think half is about right. I still have trouble squeezing them in during the day.
May 17, 2012 10:49 AM
MFP gives you a deficit to start with. They also grossly overstate calorie burns, so I eat back about half. I always eat back strength(it's never much, and I know I need it) but only some of cardio. However, I'm currently set at 1750 so I eat and make sure I'm at a minimum net of 1300. Works for me, I know I'll have to start eating more of them soonish.
May 17, 2012 10:50 AM
Your daily goal incorporates a deficit even if you eat all of them. It's really important to net a minimum of 1200 after exercise, and most people would argue that's even too low. Eating your exercise calories fuels your workouts, not negates them.
May 20, 2012 4:20 AM
May 20, 2012 5:32 AM
I don't eat back my exercise calories all the time, so this thread is helping me understand a little bit more of the reasoning behind it. I do have one piece of advice. MFP was estimating my calorie burn for my regular workout in the 600-700 calorie range. I just got a heart rate monitor yesterday and the calorie burn was actually only about 500. I suggest getting a HRM if you are eating back your exercise calories. 200 calories is definitely off enough to make a big difference! Good luck!:)


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