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TOPIC: Eating back exercise calories

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September 25, 2012 11:27 AM
I do eat back some of my exercise calories but on days that i burn 500-700 caloriess in Gym, I really do not want to eat so much more...was wondering..what is the 'safe' amount so that body still gets nutrition it needs and not go in starvation mode?
  26779495
September 25, 2012 11:28 AM
Do not worry about starvation mode.

Try to eat back 50% to 75% of your exercise calories.
  26097696
September 25, 2012 11:31 AM
QUOTE:

Do not worry about starvation mode.

Try to eat back 50% to 75% of your exercise calories.


This would work, or you could just up your cals everyday which would have you eat more than you do now on non-workout days, but less than you do on workout days. (eat the same amount of calories everyday, but this amount should be a fair bit higher than the initial MFP recommendation)
September 25, 2012 11:31 AM
i dont eat mine ..... i stay at 1200
Edited by ElizaRoche On September 25, 2012 11:32 AM
  20600607
September 25, 2012 11:33 AM
I don't eat back my exercise cals personally.
Found the equation to figure out your basic calorie needs, subtracted 500 and have my set goal.
Lot of ppl do this actually.

MFP over complicates things in a lot of ways I think
September 25, 2012 11:34 AM
QUOTE:

i dont eat mine ..... i stay at 1200


Yikes. 1200 is not enough for anyone that works out. I would suggest if you don't want to eat them back that you eat 1500-1700/day instead.

Having too large of a deficit can lead to a large % of your weight loss coming from lean muscle instead of the fat you are looking at losing.

As an example say MFP gives you 1450 calories to lose 1 lb/week, and you plan on exercising 5x/week for an average of 400 cals per workout. well MFP will tell you to eat 1450 on the days you don't workout and 1850 on the days you do whereas a "professional" may tell you to eat 1700 everyday regardless if you workout.

So for the week MFP will have you eat 12,150 (1450*2+1850*5) whereas doing it the other way will have you eat 11,900 (1700*7) almost the same number of cals for the week (250 dif). The issue in not following MFP is if you don't workout the full 5 days or burn more or less than planned. If that is the case you may lose more or less than your goal, whereas MFP will have you lose your goal amount regardless how much you actually workout.

What many MFPers do is take the low 1450 and not eat back exercise calories which is wrong, if you are not eating them back then your daily activity level should reflect the higher burn with would be covered in the 1700/day above.
September 25, 2012 11:35 AM
QUOTE:

I don't eat back my exercise cals personally.
Found the equation to figure out your basic calorie needs, subtracted 500 and have my set goal.
Lot of ppl do this actually.

MFP over complicates things in a lot of ways I think


This is a great way, as long as you account for exercise in your basic calories needs. You can also take that number and -20%, that is what a lot of people do as well.
September 25, 2012 11:38 AM
I usually eat something after my workout, but just enough to satisfy my hunger. I'm not trying to eat it all back, I just don't want to go to bed hungry.
  27118883
September 25, 2012 11:39 AM
oh yay! thanks for asking this question!! i've been trying to find the balance also b/c i am trying to lose and have been by watching my food but i also play derby. on the days i have practice, i burn upwards of 1,000 calories... obviously i would need to eat some of those back to keep my body from freaking out. these pieces of advice have been super helpful!
September 25, 2012 11:41 AM
I don't eat my exercise calories back. When I do I find my weight loss stalls however when I want to maintain my weight I will begin to do so. One thing to add is that I also don't stress or fixate on a 1200 calorie number. Instead I try to eat til I'm satisfied and stop. That tends to do it for me. Some days I'm slightly over and some days slightly under but physically satisfied. Best advice is for you to see what works best for you flowerforyou
  10935631
September 25, 2012 11:41 AM
Around a 20% deficit from TDEE
  28503205
September 25, 2012 11:42 AM
Thank you everyone. This sure is helpful ...
  26779495
September 25, 2012 11:43 AM
QUOTE:

Do not worry about starvation mode.

Try to eat back 50% to 75% of your exercise calories.


That's pretty much what I do. It's worked great for me so far. I originally tried to NOT eat them back at all. It sucked, I was hungry all the time. When I started to eat back 50-75% of them...I started to lose weight more quickly and steadily. It's great :)
  17431946
September 25, 2012 11:49 AM
QUOTE:

I do eat back some of my exercise calories but on days that i burn 500-700 caloriess in Gym, I really do not want to eat so much more...was wondering..what is the 'safe' amount so that body still gets nutrition it needs and not go in starvation mode?

I eat mine back and on the weekends when I burn over 800 calories I have pizza!! I love it!
  9979217
September 25, 2012 12:00 PM
This might be a silly question but..
why exercise if you're going to eat the calories back? Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't but I don't understand it really :/
  22455793
September 25, 2012 12:01 PM
QUOTE:

This might be a silly question but..
why exercise if you're going to eat the calories back? Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't but I don't understand it really :/


You eat the extra amount to fuel your workouts, and you workout to ensure that you are losing fat and not muscle, to strengthen the heart, increase endurance, become a better athlete, get stronger etc.
September 25, 2012 12:05 PM
QUOTE:

This might be a silly question but..
why exercise if you're going to eat the calories back? Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't but I don't understand it really :/


MFP sets your calories low so that you will lose weight without exercise. Then when you DO exercise, you need to eat more to fuel the workout. If you don't then you may be creating too large of a calorie deficit which is not healthy, and may stall your weight loss, or cause you to lose muscle mass.
September 25, 2012 12:06 PM
Ah right okay!
Thanks for the replies, will definitely try and eat my exercise calories back :)
  22455793
September 25, 2012 12:07 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

This might be a silly question but..
why exercise if you're going to eat the calories back? Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't but I don't understand it really :/


You eat the extra amount to fuel your workouts, and you workout to ensure that you are losing fat and not muscle, to strengthen the heart, increase endurance, become a better athlete, get stronger etc.


And because adding some exercise/building some lean muscle means you'll look better naked in the end! smile Hehe.
September 25, 2012 12:08 PM
I get better results if I don't so I try not to, but sometimes I do if I really want something (last 2 days = homemade apple crisp!!)
  19336930
September 25, 2012 12:12 PM
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/729141-exercise-calories-to-eat-or-not-to-eat-results?hl=exercise+calories+psulemon&page=1#posts-10742097

Pretty much states, those who do NOT eat back exercise calories, increases the chance of muscle loss.
September 25, 2012 12:18 PM
QUOTE:

This might be a silly question but..
why exercise if you're going to eat the calories back? Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't but I don't understand it really :/


BECAUSE this is how MFP is designed. MFP does not assume that anyone will exercise. So the calorie deficit is built in up front. When you exercise you actually INCREASE the deficit. When the deficit is too large ...you actually lose muscle (along with fat).

Debate on eat back/don't eat back is complicated - how much you have to lose makes a difference. There is wiggle room on activity level (it's a range really), calories burned calculations (MFP exaggerates many exercises) .... lots to consider
September 25, 2012 12:38 PM
also, something to think about is what you're eating to replace your calories. Yes, because i burned 800 calories between cardio & weight lifting it doesn't mean i am justified in eating pizza. sure, every once in a while is okay... but 800 calories of pizza is NOT the same as 800 calories of grilled chicken breast, leafy greens, etc.
September 25, 2012 12:45 PM
QUOTE:

Around a 20% deficit from TDEE


That puts me at 1056 calories a day. If I go over that, I start gaining weight.
  13449261
September 25, 2012 12:46 PM
QUOTE:

also, something to think about is what you're eating to replace your calories. Yes, because i burned 800 calories between cardio & weight lifting it doesn't mean i am justified in eating pizza. sure, every once in a while is okay... but 800 calories of pizza is NOT the same as 800 calories of grilled chicken breast, leafy greens, etc.


Actually 800 calories is 800 calories because you choose to eat clean doesn't they are not exactly the same caloriewise.
  20909613

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