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TOPIC: Exercise and my calories

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January 10, 2013 4:15 PM
Hi, my name is Nady and i am fairly new to MFP and have a question for those more experienced.

I am currently on 1200 cals a day. Yesterday, i went on the treadmill for half hour and burned 171 calories. When i added this to MFP, it put back 171 cals on my needed calories for the day.

I was under the impression that the point of exercising was to burn some of the calories you ate so it seemed counter productive to add 171 calories to my day.

Hoping some of those more experienced can explain?
January 10, 2013 4:21 PM
You are going to get a lot of answers to this.

Personally I don't intentionally eat my exercise calories back. I have my calories set at 1530 and I aim for that whether or not i exercise. Sometimes I'm over a bit sometimes under. I view my exercise calories as a buffer on the days I know I am going to go over my normal calories.

If you are doing fine on your 1200 calories a day then keep doing what you're doing and aim for that amount regardless of how much you burn and just view those Cals as extra for the days you know you are going to indulge.

ETA: yes, it does add them back because it's activity above what you normally do.
Edited by JustJennie1 On January 10, 2013 4:22 PM
January 10, 2013 4:23 PM
Your body is burning calories, based on your height/weight/age, all day long. People gain weight because they are eating more calories than their body ALREADY is burning. To safely lose weight, you want to eat at a safe calorie deficit, while doing exercise. You are losing weight/burning fat, and sometimes muscle, when you eat at a calorie deficit. The reason you add your exercise calories into your total goal of the day, is because you want to aim to eat what your already set calorie goal IS. So, if that is 1400 cals a day, and you burn 120 cals, that is another 120 cals that day YOU CAN EAT and you'll body will still burn calories.

People eat their exercise calories for many reasons. One, they are hungry after a long hard work out. Two, after a large calorie burn, they need more fuel for their bodies, so they eat most or all their exercise calories back. Three, they burn so many calories, they put them at a unsafe deficit, one that could cause extreme hunger or other health issues.
January 10, 2013 4:29 PM
There are different ways to set MFP. You can either figure out how much exercise you do during the week and it will average it over the week and add that many calories onto your daily goals. Or, you can set it to sedentary and then add in your exercise manually, which will add those calories onto that day's calorie goal. So yes, if you have it set to sedentary (and you must if it's telling you 1200 calories) you should be eating those exercise calories back.
January 10, 2013 4:32 PM
1200 is super low, unless you are very tiny to start with. Eat the 171.
January 10, 2013 5:17 PM
Ok thanks for the input. I am not tiny at all but i did put sedentary as i dont nearly move enough and am fairly low energy. I am hoping that eating better and losing weight, and starting the treadmill will help me with that.

I often think i don't eat "that much" to be "this fat". MFP has been an eye opener on certain things, like my tim hortons coffees taking up 225 calories for example (i have now given them up). I also drank a lot of real fruit juices which took up a lot of calories too so i think i have been drinking a lot of my calories. I am now pretty much only drinking water but i really do enjoy my Tassimo Chai Tea Lattes. Being on a low amount of calories, i try to eat my calories now instead of drinking them.

I feel that i pick less through the day but seems i eat more because i eat better meals 3 times a day instead of just picking.

Even so, i have had a few days where i was still slightly under 1200 and MFP made a comment that it's not enough calories in a day and that my body may go in starvation mode. Now i'm wondering if that's been part of my problem (putting myself in starvation mode). I know i joined herbal magic before and i ate more than ever on it and had lost 65 lbs. I had a really hard time eating all the food that i had to eat in a day.

I did eat the 171 back or at least most of it because of that starvation mode comment but wasnt sure if that's how it's supposed to work.
Edited by NadyGodbout On January 10, 2013 5:23 PM


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