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TOPIC: To eat back exercise calories or not.

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August 14, 2012 6:21 PM
Ok I have been on this sight for almost 300 days...of those nearly 300 days I have gained and lost the same damn 4lbs! I ate at the low and high end of my BMR and all the time in between. I figured well now it cant hurt to let MFP set it up for me so I set it sedentary since I am a stay at home mom. I have it set to workout 5 days a week for 60 min. I try my best to do it but some weeks only get in 3 days. I do zumba, elliptical, Insanity, and will start to incorporate walking four mornings a week while my older two children are in school. It has me set at 1240 my question is.... does anyone eat back and actually net what MFP recommends or only eat and total what MFP has set along with exercise?? Should I just concentrate on eating right now and not worry about exercise? I'm just wanting to lose 10lbs and have been struggling to lose 10lbs for over 18 months now.(which is now 14 since I have "gained" back the 4lbs i lost again). I started out weighing 182 and I'm currently 144 ;(. I have an athletic build and I'm 5'4" but I know i would benefit from losing another 10 especially since its mainly my stomach thats my issue.
August 14, 2012 6:26 PM
different strokes for different folks. It works for some, it doesn't work for others. There is a lot of debate on why you should or why you shouldn't. I'm not going there. If what you were doing before didn't work, then it can't hurt to try something new.
August 14, 2012 6:26 PM
i dont eat back the exercise calories unless im low in protein and such... however try drinking A LOT of water.... my sister and law was at a stand still for weeks, and started drinking 3X the amount of water she usually drank and ended up losing more than just that 10 she wanted to, its incredible how water can be the best diet pill.
August 14, 2012 6:37 PM
I just took a quick glance at the last 5 days of your diary and in general the statement I'd make is "it's not just about the amount of calories but also the source of those calories".

You tend to eat a lot of "fast food" type meals. You have some good things sprinkled in here and there but generally speaking you aren't eating a lot of whole foods, i.e. things with minimal ingredients, not breaded, fried, candy bars, etc.

My suggestion would be to look at this link and craft a meal plan for you that has 3-4 options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks (take out your Insanity Nutrition guide and you'll get the drift). Try to eat 4-5 300 Calorie meals per day (where snacks would be two of them). For example, the Apple with Natural PB is a wonderful snack! M&M's not so much.

I would make Breakfast your most important meal of the day. It'll start you off on the right foot. Perhaps you make this Step 1 of the process and "do your best" on the other 4 meals. Next week replace another of those "do your best" meals, so on and so forth.

Eat foods, that you make or that you can ensure have the same ingredients from a store, from the top 3 layers of Michi's ladder. Each meal should have 2-3 of the following ingredients: Fruit/Vegs, Whole Grain Carb, good Fats and Protein. Shoot for a Macro Level of 40% Carbs/40% Protein/20% Fats.

Continue with your exercise, there's no reason to stop that. Since you've lost a good amount it's always good to take a fresh look at things and change them up.

EDIT: Oops forgot the link.
Edited by BeantownSooner On August 14, 2012 6:38 PM
August 14, 2012 6:42 PM
MFP should post the answer to this question in some sort of sticky thread on the first page.

MFP's formula for daily intake is based on your BMR minus the number of calories which at the end of the week will equal 1 or 2 pounds lost (3500 or 7000 calorie deficit). So, the number you see is the number you need to reach each day after MFP subtracts what you need to not eat to lose weight. If you exercise you need to try your best to still reach your daily goal. Now, I will admit when I burn 1000 or more calories I seldom eat those back because I have a LapBand and simply cannot eat that much. Otherwise, I try to meet my goal each day and use any excess to make up for days I go over. What matter is totals at week's end.
August 14, 2012 6:42 PM
I have found that if I watch my sugar intake and eat less of it, I lose. The more sugar I eat the less I lose. My mother has high blood sugar and the doctor told her to cut back on her sugar intake and she lost 3 dress sizes, she changed nothing else just reduced her sugar intake.
August 14, 2012 6:50 PM
I'm sort of in the same boat. I USED to have only about 10-15 lbs left to lose. I seem to not want to just go by how MFP works. I'm trying to eat anywhere from 1600-2000 cal/day...whether or not I exercise. I have no problem getting in activity...but I always just seem to eat more than I should or NEED to. What I am going to do over the next month or two is just eat whatever MFP gives me to lose .5 lb/wk at a sedentary level...which is about 1700 cal not including exercise. If I exercise I'll eat those calories back. I tend to try and not eat them, and then a few days later I inHALE them anyway all in one or two days, so I figure I might as well try to eat them the day I earn them and get some sort of balance in place. I'm really hoping that this will be MY key to losing these last 15 lbs or so. Good luck to the both of us! :D
August 14, 2012 6:56 PM
Thanks everyone for the fast responses. Susan you are so right about that sugar thing. That is the hardest for me to get a handle on. I really need to work more on eliminating a ton of the crap but it seems the more I try to the more stuff comes up and its hard not too. Like the last 5 days or so have been spent away from the house which means whatever was available upon those days was the only choices I had. :/.

Beantown...I will take everything you just said into effect. I seriously have days during the week where I do amazing and then days mainly weekends with the husband is off work where I do terrible so I'm not balancing out anything ya know. I'm gonna manually set my macros like that and see how that works for me! Thanks again for the help.

Sarah- good luck to you. Here's hoping it works for the both of us. I tend to over indulge as well.


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