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TOPIC: Calories from exercising

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February 3, 2013 6:05 AM
Should you eat the extra calories from exercising or not? Surely that would be cancelling out the exercise?
February 3, 2013 6:09 AM
I'm going to help you out...

This topic has been posted a lot and there are people on the forums who will turn this into a screaming match...maybe saying some rather mean things to you.

My approach is to each their own. Some people insist you should not eat them back, others say you should eat all of them back.

I eat until I'm satisfied. If that means I'm a little over, so be it. If I have an extra deficit at the end of the day oh well.

MFP factors in a deficit for you to help you lose weight, so even if you do eat 100% of the calories back, you still have a deficit there. If you don't eat them all back, you have a bigger deficit.

My advice is don't starve yourself...if you're if that means that you end up not having a big deficit at the end of the day, it's not a big deal.

Best of luck!

February 3, 2013 6:10 AM
Depends on how you have MFP set up. If you have a weight loss per week set up, then yes eat them back. Otherwise, no, unless you exercise over 1000 calories.

Best thing to do: set weight loss goals to 0 lbs and lifestyle to sedentary. Eat the goal amount in food. Dont eat back calories . This maximizes what mfp is good at (calories consumed) and minimizes what its not very good at (calories burned).

Weight loss comes from exercise this way, which is about the healthiest way to do it.
Edited by vorgas On February 3, 2013 6:15 AM
February 3, 2013 6:10 AM
Like starrisonmcle said...only use them to keep yourself from going over your calories...true, they are the actual indicator of what you did that day...but I leave them off and still try to stay under...that makes any exercise a bonus burn!! Keep at're doing great!!
February 3, 2013 6:12 AM
If you made your weekly goal to lose 1 lb. If you stay within your daily calories AND eat your exercise calories back, you will still lose your 1 lb per week theoretically because they build in the deficit. I say, eat if you're hungry and stop if you're full. Some days you may feel like you need to eat those calories burned back and other days you may not want to.
February 3, 2013 6:15 AM
Thanks guys. I don't intend to eat them all the time but I suppose if I'm hungry they're there to help right :)
February 3, 2013 6:20 AM
MFP has already built the deficit in for you. If you're already eating at a 500 calorie deficit for 1lb/week loss and you don't eat back your exercise calories, you're making that deficit larger. If that deficit causes you to repeatedly eat under your BMR, it can start messing with your metabolism. You're not fueling your body enough, so your metabolism slows down to compensate for being underfed. You then lose slower than expected or plateau. You should probably eat them back.

Be aware MFP can overcalculate how many calories you've burned, so unless you're using an HRM or you're just starving, eating half back is a good place to start. Adjust as needed.
February 3, 2013 6:26 AM
personally i like the idea that i can eat back my calories after i exercise. if i'm hungry, and i go to the gym for 2 hours and earn 1500 calories, that's 1500 calories i can eat. if i didn't exercise, but i'm still hungry, and i eat 800 calories, that goes against the calories i have built in to every day without exercise.

exercising for me is like making money i can spend on stuff, and that stuff is food. it also insures that i don't go over my calorie goal for the day.

however, i only eat if i'm hungry. i've gone 4 hours on the cycle and earned 4k calories and ended up 2.5k under for the day because i didn't feel hungry. so obviously i didn't eat back those calories.

eat when you are hungry, but don't eat too much. so no, if you aren't hungry, don't eat back your exercise calories.
February 3, 2013 6:27 AM

My advice is don't starve yourself...if you're if that means that you end up not having a big deficit at the end of the day, it's not a big deal.

True. If you are hungry, please eat. Everyone is going to tell you something different. I used to think, oh I HAVE to be under every single day. There a some days I am over, some I am under. It is based on how hungry I am. Honestly, I have tried to eat just the right amount and went to bed hungry....couldn't sleep and ended up getting up to eat a few more calories so I could go back to bed. It wasn't worth the lack of sleep.
February 3, 2013 7:39 AM
I eat some of them, but I try no to eat them all. I actually really try to stay at my goal for the day that is without exercise. However, I like to allow myself the leeway of a few extra calories that the workout has given me.
February 3, 2013 7:45 AM
Try it and see. There's no one size fits all answer.
February 3, 2013 7:49 AM
If you are following MFP guidelines there is already a deficit built into your daily intake. This is based on what you initially entered into your goals and profile. It is recommended that you eat the calories earned through exercise.
Edited by Hazel2005 On February 3, 2013 7:53 AM

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