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TOPIC: Understanding Net Calories

 
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January 21, 2013 7:08 PM
Please correct me if my understaing of Net Calories is incorrect.

We allocate ourselves a certain amount of calories per day to burn in our normal everyday activities?

Any extra exercise is counted as extra calories that we can consume?

So Net Calories equals the total of the allocated daily calories plus the extra exercise calories burnt in a day minus the actual calories burnt in day?

Eg: Daily total 1200 + Exercise 500 = 1700 - Total daily consumed 1400 = Net Calories 300

Am I understanding that part correctly??

If this is correct then does the remaining Net Calories if not consumed in your daily intake a good thing or a bad thing if your aim is to lose weitght ( I am not wanting to send the body into starvation mode)

Any information would be greatly appreciated

Thanks :)
  35444154
January 21, 2013 7:14 PM
I'll tell you about my day.

I set MFP to "lightly active" because nobody is truly sedentary. If you were, you'd have to log things like cleaning, shopping, and taking your kids to the park. That's a pain in the butt and kind of silly.

So.

I get 1870 calories per day.

Today, I ate 1883 calories. Then, I exercised and burned 403 calories. MFP added those 403 calories into my allowance, giving me another 390 calories I can eat if I get hungry (I'm not).

When I subtract 403 (my exercise) from 1883 (what I ate), I get 1480. My BMR is 1510-ish, so I could eat 30 calories if I want to be really picky, or I could just leave it alone since I might have a day later this week where I go over my calories a bit. We're going out to dinner Friday night, so I'll just bank them. I go by weekly calories, not daily. Daily is just for tracking.

If I were way under my BMR (let's say I ended up with 1200 instead of 1480), then I'd eat a banana with a bit of peanut butter or something like that to bring it up a little.

To summarize:

I can eat 1870. I ate 1883. I exercised for 403. My NET calories are 1480 because I didn't eat my exercise calories back. I COULD eat around 300 calories, but I don't have to since I'm close to my BMR. Plus, I can use those 300 calories later in the week if I want to eat a bit more.

Does that help? :)
Edited by cubbies77 On January 21, 2013 7:14 PM
January 21, 2013 7:16 PM
Your net calories is your total calories consumed subtract your calories burned through exercise.

Eg. You eat 1700 calories but burn 500 from exercise. You net is 1700 - 500 = 1200

Your net should be equal to your daily goal.
  30294997
January 21, 2013 7:21 PM
QUOTE:

Please correct me if my understaing of Net Calories is incorrect.

We allocate ourselves a certain amount of calories per day to burn in our normal everyday activities?

Any extra exercise is counted as extra calories that we can consume?

So Net Calories equals the total of the allocated daily calories plus the extra exercise calories burnt in a day minus the actual calories burnt in day?

Eg: Daily total 1200 + Exercise 500 = 1700 - Total daily consumed 1400 = Net Calories 300

Am I understanding that part correctly??

If this is correct then does the remaining Net Calories if not consumed in your daily intake a good thing or a bad thing if your aim is to lose weitght ( I am not wanting to send the body into starvation mode)

Any information would be greatly appreciated

Thanks :)


You consumed 1400 and exercised 500. Net is 1400-500, or 900 calories. This is too low. You should eat back your exercise calories, but also need to make sure you are not over estimating your calories burned.

For most, 1200 is too low. Look up BMR and TDEE to determine a reasonable calorie intake. Search the forum for these. I can't post links because I am not on my computer.
January 21, 2013 7:33 PM
Yikes! 300 net calories would be very bad! Starvation is not a good thing. Net should be AT LEAST 1200.
  5637461
January 21, 2013 7:48 PM
MFP gives you say 1200 calories to eat in a day, then you exercise and burn 300 calories.

1200 calories eaten - 300 calories burned = 900 net calories

You actually want your net calories to equal 1200 in this scenario, so to do that you could

Eat 1500 calories - 300 exercise calories burned = 1200 net calories

Hope this helps
  27320983
January 21, 2013 8:14 PM
What then does "Calories remaining" mean?

Do I have to consume all those calories?

Is not consuming this "Calories remaining" total putting my body into starvation mode?

And thanks everyone for your information it has been very helpful :)
  35444154
January 21, 2013 8:21 PM
Yes you can eat those calories remaining. If you gain more calories by exercising there is much debate about eating them back, I personally try to eat back at least 50 % of my exercise calories( sometimes I eat them all depending on how I feel) . Some people eat back all of them some people choose not to eat any. The reason I don't always eat all of mine is because I do not have a heart rate monitor so what I burn is a guestiment, a heart rate monitor can give you a more accurate number. My diary is open if you want you can look and get an idea of what has worked for me. You can try eating back some and see how it feels and how your body reacts, then readjust as you see fit. Good luck!
  27320983
January 21, 2013 8:25 PM
Thank for all of these explanations.. I get confused!!
  534265
January 21, 2013 8:28 PM
Think of net as the remaining energy left over after exercise is deducted from the energy you eat from calories to provide for the other three components of your Total Daily Energy Expenditure. If I eat 2650 calories and burn 100 calories from exercise, I have 2500 calories remaining to fuel my physiological energy needs (Resting Metabolic Rate, non-exercise activity, and Thermic Effect of Food). Thus net is also called energy availability.
  17993426
January 21, 2013 8:32 PM
I too am so confused about eating or not eating my calories from exercise?
I mean, i have 50 lbs to lose, so is it THAT vital that I eat those burned calories? it's not like I am in starvation mode (eating 1800 cals a day). Wouldn't it make more sense to not eat those calories (unless I was super hungry of course). I have LOTS of reserve...not a skinny minny., and i would rather my body take from the already stored fat that I have....? Not to sure who to believe...i see both sides, but my goal is to lose fat....
  5878570
January 21, 2013 10:51 PM
Thanks everyone today has been very enlightining for me. :)
  35444154
January 22, 2013 12:32 AM
hi all, I have read with the full post with interest and I am very puzzled.
I set my lifestyle as 'sedentary' as I am office based and only occasionally walk around the office, though I do go out at lunchtime and do the usual everyday stuff in the evening such as cooking and similar.
My BMR is 1331 and my allocated calories allowance to try and loose some weight is 1200 per day (I am only trying to loos about 4 to 5 kgs).
I have not included any walking I have been doing at lunchtime, such as going to the shops or simply strolling thru' town as to me they are part of normal life ... should I change my lifestyle to light active?
Also, I am now a bit concerned that the amount of calories allocated and my BMR sound a bit on the low side and my body might be going into starvation mode?
I should probably add that in the 5 days (I know it is not long) that I have started to track my food diary I have not yet managed to stay within the 1200 allocated calories!
Also, I am planning to start exercising again (I used to do quite a bit of exercise and I would like to get back into the swing of it), and if I understood the thread correctly, then I will need to eat more to ensure I do not eat less than my 1200 allocated calories, even though I am struggling to stay within that limit now??

Sorry, lots of questions!
January 22, 2013 12:43 AM
QUOTE:

MFP gives you say 1200 calories to eat in a day, then you exercise and burn 300 calories.

1200 calories eaten - 300 calories burned = 900 net calories

You actually want your net calories to equal 1200 in this scenario, so to do that you could

Eat 1500 calories - 300 exercise calories burned = 1200 net calories

Hope this helps


Bump !
  33380346
January 22, 2013 12:58 AM
Hey,
I hope this helps
I started with MFP estimate of 1200 and ate my exercise calories. i lost 3 kgs (6.6lb) with that and some exercise. but i was almost always irritated and a bit hungry so i upped my calories to 1620 my BMR is 1430. Yes i eat above BMR and am not planning to go below it. i usually eat my exercise calories as long as i am hungry enough to eat them wink
i am well aware that this doesnot go with anything we usually read. I plan to give my body the basic it requires to keep my heart pumping and then some for my offcie work cleaning occasionaly and other stuff which i am not going to count. I have a TDEE of around 2313 (moderate exercise 4-5 times a week) and i rarely eat above that including my exercise calories.
This has let me loose 6 kgs (13.2lb) and i am constantly loosing maybe not a drastic loss of 2 kgs a week but steady loss no doubt.
I believe that with a huge deficit it is really difficult to build muscle and thats what i am after a healthy body.

I suggest u read eat more weigh less on this site :) it should help
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Amt7QBR9-c6MdGVTbGswLUUzUHNVVUlNSW9wZWloeUE#gid=14
this is the spreadsheet link from them drinker
January 22, 2013 4:45 AM
its easier than understanding E=MC2............wink

cal consumed - cal burned by body = if -ve means weigtht loss/ if +ve means weight gain ............tongue
  26773698
January 22, 2013 5:09 AM
QUOTE:

hi all, I have read with the full post with interest and I am very puzzled.
I set my lifestyle as 'sedentary' as I am office based and only occasionally walk around the office, though I do go out at lunchtime and do the usual everyday stuff in the evening such as cooking and similar.
My BMR is 1331 and my allocated calories allowance to try and loose some weight is 1200 per day (I am only trying to loos about 4 to 5 kgs).
I have not included any walking I have been doing at lunchtime, such as going to the shops or simply strolling thru' town as to me they are part of normal life ... should I change my lifestyle to light active?
Also, I am now a bit concerned that the amount of calories allocated and my BMR sound a bit on the low side and my body might be going into starvation mode?
I should probably add that in the 5 days (I know it is not long) that I have started to track my food diary I have not yet managed to stay within the 1200 allocated calories!
Also, I am planning to start exercising again (I used to do quite a bit of exercise and I would like to get back into the swing of it), and if I understood the thread correctly, then I will need to eat more to ensure I do not eat less than my 1200 allocated calories, even though I am struggling to stay within that limit now??

Sorry, lots of questions!


You can change your setting to light active for a few weeks and see if that calorie amount works better for you. Or you can adjust how many kg you wish to lose a week, if you set it to one kg per week change it to 1/2 kg a week. This will give you more calories to eat also. When you start exercising again you can log your exercise and eat back some or all of your exercise calories so you would have more than 1200 to eat. Good luck
  27320983
January 22, 2013 5:20 AM
I have never see a person on here who eats their exercise calories and not lose. I always eat them back, I earned them. My friend did not and we lost at the same rate and she gained it back soon.

I see bunches of people daily who do not eat them and hit a plateau.
  3573707
January 22, 2013 5:37 AM
I didn't read every response so forgive me if I'm repeating someone else.

In Layman's terms, net calories are the calories you ate in a day minus your exercise calories.
For example if you ate 1200 calories and burned 500 calories in exercise, your net calories for the day would be 700.
  9526059
January 22, 2013 5:46 AM
Bump
  11359259
January 22, 2013 9:06 AM
QUOTE:

hi all, I have read with the full post with interest and I am very puzzled.
I set my lifestyle as 'sedentary' as I am office based and only occasionally walk around the office, though I do go out at lunchtime and do the usual everyday stuff in the evening such as cooking and similar.
My BMR is 1331 and my allocated calories allowance to try and loose some weight is 1200 per day (I am only trying to loos about 4 to 5 kgs).
I have not included any walking I have been doing at lunchtime, such as going to the shops or simply strolling thru' town as to me they are part of normal life ... should I change my lifestyle to light active?
Also, I am now a bit concerned that the amount of calories allocated and my BMR sound a bit on the low side and my body might be going into starvation mode?
I should probably add that in the 5 days (I know it is not long) that I have started to track my food diary I have not yet managed to stay within the 1200 allocated calories!
Also, I am planning to start exercising again (I used to do quite a bit of exercise and I would like to get back into the swing of it), and if I understood the thread correctly, then I will need to eat more to ensure I do not eat less than my 1200 allocated calories, even though I am struggling to stay within that limit now??

Sorry, lots of questions!


Yes, set it to lightly active. Otherwise, you have to log everything that isn't sitting on the couch. If you don't want to log shopping, walking around, playing with kids, cleaning the house, cooking, and all of that other "normal" stuff, set it to lightly active.

I have several friends who've used that method, and they're all losing weight at a steady pace. I'm losing around 1 - 1.5 pounds per week, on average.
January 22, 2013 9:09 AM
Yes you have it. 300 calories X seven days is 2100 net (you need 3500 net to lose 1 pound) I rarely eat my exercise calories but on occassion I do have a snack to compensate on the days I am way under....always protein with a little carb.
  26327282
January 23, 2013 2:15 PM
QUOTE:


Yes, set it to lightly active. Otherwise, you have to log everything that isn't sitting on the couch. If you don't want to log shopping, walking around, playing with kids, cleaning the house, cooking, and all of that other "normal" stuff, set it to lightly active.

I have several friends who've used that method, and they're all losing weight at a steady pace. I'm losing around 1 - 1.5 pounds per week, on average.


Cubbies77 thanks for the advice, I have amended my goal and reset the daily activities to 'light active'.

My allocated allowance is now 1300 calories a day and even though I am still over on most of my days, it looks better. Sunday is weighting day, the moment of truth after over a week of logging everything I have been eating!
January 26, 2013 5:08 PM
Are our Net calories supposed to be close to our Goal for the day or should it be close to 0? I'm having a hard time eating enough food throughout the day to reach my goal. Today I consumed 923 and burned 921 with a net of 2 calories. MFP says my goal should be 1810 so I have 1808 remaining. Am I really supposed to consume close to 1800 more calories?! Or am I okay?!

I'm new here. I've been recording my food intake for 3 days now and today I started my workout routine.

I understand how to figure out net calories but I'm having trouble applying it to how much more I should consume. I'm a broke college kid too so I eat between 900-1600 calories depending on food available. I just don't want to be in starvation mode.
Edited by LivingByDay On January 26, 2013 5:09 PM
January 26, 2013 5:13 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Please correct me if my understaing of Net Calories is incorrect.

We allocate ourselves a certain amount of calories per day to burn in our normal everyday activities?

Any extra exercise is counted as extra calories that we can consume?

So Net Calories equals the total of the allocated daily calories plus the extra exercise calories burnt in a day minus the actual calories burnt in day?

Eg: Daily total 1200 + Exercise 500 = 1700 - Total daily consumed 1400 = Net Calories 300

Am I understanding that part correctly??

If this is correct then does the remaining Net Calories if not consumed in your daily intake a good thing or a bad thing if your aim is to lose weitght ( I am not wanting to send the body into starvation mode)

Any information would be greatly appreciated

Thanks :)


You consumed 1400 and exercised 500. Net is 1400-500, or 900 calories. This is too low. You should eat back your exercise calories, but also need to make sure you are not over estimating your calories burned.

For most, 1200 is too low. Look up BMR and TDEE to determine a reasonable calorie intake. Search the forum for these. I can't post links because I am not on my computer.


Okay so I think this answers me question. I should be eating closer to 1800 more calories! Holy crap! Im going to start a new discussion to see if anyone has advice on how to eat calorie rich foods (low carb) on a tight budget!

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