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TOPIC: Eating back exercise calories

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May 23, 2012 6:15 AM
When you enter your details on this site, it asks how many sessions of exercise and how many minutes of exercise you will do each week. Surely then it uses this information when calculating your daily calorie intake?

So, when it sets my calorie intake at 1200 calories, this is assuming that I will do the 5 x 30 minute exercise sessions that I have entered onto the database?

If this is the case, then should I be entering these exercise session onto my daily diary as this then gives me extra calories to eat which have surely already been accounted for in the figures that they gave me so I would then be overeating if I ate them back? OR, should I just be entering any exercise OVER the pre-stated 30 minute exercise sessions?

Any ideas?!

Many thanks x
  10553083
May 23, 2012 6:21 AM
I would say (from a non-expert view) that 1200 calories is absolutly the lowest you should go and you need to eat back all your exercise calories or you will not have enough energy/food to go about your daily life (or sustain this life style change long term)

Again - this is only my opinion

Diane
  11248859
May 23, 2012 6:23 AM
It does NOT take into account the exercise you input in the settings, that is just to make an exercise goal for you. It only takes into account the activity level you set. Eat back the exercise calories.
May 23, 2012 6:26 AM
QUOTE:

It does NOT take into account the exercise you input in the settings, that is just to make an exercise goal for you. It only takes into account the activity level you set. Eat back the exercise calories.


My thoughts exactly!
May 23, 2012 6:27 AM
The sessions/minutes you entered will show up on the exercise page, so each time you enter what you did for exercise, it'll show up there like 30/30 or 20/30 mins or 2/5 for sessions. Once you enter the exercise, your food diary will tell you how many more calories you can eat. I'm a fan of eating my exercise calories because I become one helluva cranky-pants at 1200 cals haha
May 23, 2012 6:29 AM
I say eat your exercise calories before you workout! this way you burn them off.. i know you are not going to know exactly what you will burn but you can come close
May 23, 2012 6:32 AM
i typically dont have a big appetite, so i find it really hard to eat them back. on the days where i just go for a walk, i dont feel obligated to eat them back. if i do a big work out on the elliptical, or an exercise dvd, i try to eat back most of them. my opinion is, if im not hungry, i shouldnt be shoving food down my throat. to me that seems worse then not eating them back at all.
May 23, 2012 6:41 AM
Asked my doctor today and she said 1200 calories is fine if you are healthy, and I am, and that if I eat back my exercise calories I defeat the whole purpose of exercising, unless I want to mantain and not lose.

*I am eating around 1350 cal a day, but I do not eat all of my exercise calories back. I will not force myself to eat if I'm not hungry!
Edited by thaislcrd On May 23, 2012 7:29 AM
May 23, 2012 6:49 AM
go to settings >>>>>>> Update diet/fitness profile

the section ... How would you describe your normal daily activities? This is the part the site uses to alter your cal intake :)
May 23, 2012 6:51 AM
MFP general tells women to eat 1200 and men around 1800. This is way off what you should be eating. So, yes, eat back every single morsel of your exercise cals, and then some.
May 23, 2012 7:18 AM
QUOTE:

Asked my doctor today and she said 1200 calories is fine if you are healthy, and I am, and that if I eat back my exercise calories I defeat the whole purpose of exercising, unless I want to mantain and not lose.


So you are saying that your doctor is advocating your only netting, say, 800-1000 calories a day and that you won't lose weight unless you eat that few calories? I'd find a new doctor, personally. One who actually understands how to lose weight in a healthy manner.
May 23, 2012 7:21 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Asked my doctor today and she said 1200 calories is fine if you are healthy, and I am, and that if I eat back my exercise calories I defeat the whole purpose of exercising, unless I want to mantain and not lose.


So you are saying that your doctor is advocating your only netting, say, 800-1000 calories a day and that you won't lose weight unless you eat that few calories? I'd find a new doctor, personally. One who actually understands how to lose weight in a healthy manner.


My thought as well.
May 23, 2012 7:23 AM
Either there has been a HUGE misunderstanding between you and your doctor OR you need a new doctor.
  13719342
May 23, 2012 7:23 AM
QUOTE:

It does NOT take into account the exercise you input in the settings, that is just to make an exercise goal for you. It only takes into account the activity level you set. Eat back the exercise calories.


That's what I'm doing.
  21243374
May 23, 2012 7:24 AM
QUOTE:

Asked my doctor today and she said 1200 calories is fine if you are healthy, and I am, and that if I eat back my exercise calories I defeat the whole purpose of exercising, unless I want to mantain and not lose.


Unless you just had bariatric surgery, you need a new doctor. Even 1200 net is too low for the majority of people unless you're about 4'5".
  8999132
May 23, 2012 7:25 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Asked my doctor today and she said 1200 calories is fine if you are healthy, and I am, and that if I eat back my exercise calories I defeat the whole purpose of exercising, unless I want to mantain and not lose.


So you are saying that your doctor is advocating your only netting, say, 800-1000 calories a day and that you won't lose weight unless you eat that few calories? I'd find a new doctor, personally. One who actually understands how to lose weight in a healthy manner.


What she said
May 23, 2012 7:26 AM
If you have 1200 calories for your budget, then that already includes a deficit that will allow you to lose weight. You set that deficit up when you went through the setup process (how many pounds a week you said you wanted to lose).

If you exercise, you are forcing your body into even more of a deficit. This might allow you to lose weight faster, or it might simply deprive your body of the energy it needs to keep your metabolism running efficiently.

MFP recommends eating back the exercise calories and maintaining the weight loss you set up. I've found through personal experience that NOT eating back your exercise calories will cause you to lose weight faster to start, then you will reach a "plateau" where your metabolism has slowed down and you either have to reduce calories even further or start eating more and get your metabolism back up (a "metabolism reset", which usually involves gaining a little weight for a short period).

Slow and steady wins the race. I'd urge you, especially starting out, to follow the guidelines of the site and eat back those exercise calories. I have gone the other way many times and not had good outcomes with it.

Good luck with whichever path you choose.
  20407831
May 23, 2012 7:26 AM
I think that the goal of how many times you exercise and how many minutes per week you exercise are mostly for your record keeping. To see how many minutes a week you're currently working out, do you need to add more, are you regularly exercising more than you originally thought you could. For me, I just changed my goal of burn an extra 500 calories per week over the course of 3 workouts. I then changed that goal to 1200 calories per week burned through exercise over the course of 4 days worth of exercise, as I've gotten adjusted and increased my ability. But my daily calories consumed goal didn't change from the 1200 net. So, really, I think it's just a way to keep tabs on your exercise goals. Just what I've always thought about it. SO, I eat the exercise calories, as I feel I need them. Most the time I eat them all back. Other days, if I am not hungry, I might be under 200-300 calories of my net goal of 1200.
May 23, 2012 7:27 AM
QUOTE:

Asked my doctor today and she said 1200 calories is fine if you are healthy, and I am, and that if I eat back my exercise calories I defeat the whole purpose of exercising, unless I want to mantain and not lose.


That "it defeats the whole purpose of exercising" thought is flawed. First of all, the whole purpose of exercising isn't solely burning calories, but also gaining lean mass, improving your circulatory system, "toning" up, and being able to eat more (why not?). Secondly, at 1200 calories you are already eating on a deficit (a very high one). If you eat 1200 and exercise 500, your net will be only 700 calories which isn't a healthy amount for weight loss. Sure, you'll lose, it might happen fast, but it won't be sustainable. As soon as you go back to eating a healthy amount, you'll start gaining it all back. Deprivation isn't the key. Slow and steady is the key.
May 23, 2012 7:28 AM
Everyone has different opinions on this...but for me...if I am hungry after I work out I am going to eat some of those calories back. I try to at least get 1200 cal in a day when I work out...and usually try to eat at least 1400 or more...I would just listen to your body..and if you are hungry eat!

I always try to remember..energy out..energy in...you eat to fuel your body.
May 23, 2012 7:32 AM
In your settings you indicate whether you are trying to maintain, gain or lose weight. So if your setting is to lose 1lb then you want to eat very close to the 1200kcal goal. Having too large of a calorie deficit can be just as bad as too many calories. Especially after a workout, it would be great to get a protein shake into you (I mean as soon as you can, like as you are walking out the gym) because your body is craving nourishment. Whey protein is great, but I prefer a mix of whey & casein if you have it. That will cover a good chunk of the calories you burned at the gym. Good luck'
May 23, 2012 7:38 AM
Okay so this is what I found. I put in on my settings that I was sedentary because I work a desk job, so in turn it set my calories at 1200. I work out 3 or 4 times for 1 hour each a week and each work out I burn 600-800. I was not eating back my cals because to lose weight you have to burn what you eat. If you eat it back, totally defeats the purpose.

Anyways I asked the same thing on my status and found out that since 1200 cals is the minimum you should eat, if you workout, 1200 cals is not enough. What was happening to me is that what I did eat was getting stored (basically it puts your body in survival mode and resists to burn you fat) and I was not losing much weight at all, maybe .5 a pound here or .4 a pound there. So I changed my settings to very active 1/2 way through last week and it raised my cals to 1510 cals. I tried it last week and lost 2lbs. That seems more accurate because a year ago when I had a free personal trainer assessment he had set my cals at 1600 a day and 5 days of 30min cardio and 3 days strength training.

Also setting your goals on MyFitnessPal of your workouts is not calculated into your daily cals. So if you plan on not working out then set it at sedentary or lightly active, it will probably put you at 1200 cals. If you plan on working out atleast 3 times a week or more set it at very active.

Hope this helps!
May 23, 2012 7:42 AM
It's best to eat back the calories around exercise primarily ... solid up to an hour before, liquid during and anything after for up to 24 hours. This way they are less likely to be deposited as fat and more likely to be used for energy, glycogen storage and muscle repair and building, and much of the latter is not likely while dieting.

It's true that exercising on an empty stomach will burn a tad more fat (1 tad to be exact), however that to me makes sense for only
low intensity cardio. For anything high intensity or long duration (more than 45 mins) the benefit from the extra calories "outweighs"
the risk of not getting enough :)
Edited by Futureiznow On May 23, 2012 7:45 AM
May 23, 2012 7:44 AM
You absolutely need to eat those calories back. You should never eat under 1200 calories. That is how much the average body needs just to be alive. If you are excercising you need to eat those burned calories or your metabolism will slow down and you won't be burning anything and also you will be starving your body which can cause other health problems.
May 23, 2012 7:45 AM
Great, another thead where overweight people advise someone to ignore their doctor's medical advise and eat more food. Doesn't that fall under the "encouraging eating disorders" section of the terms of service here?

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