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Burned Calories - do you eat them?

deniseamerson05deniseamerson05 Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
This is, sadly, my first time to incorporate any exercise in my life, especially during a time when I'm choosing to eat better.
Is it best to not eat your burned calories? Or does your body need more calories if you're working out and I should be eating then (or some)?
Just curious on what works best for healthy weight loss. Thanks!
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Replies

  • malibu927malibu927 Posts: 13,520Member Member Posts: 13,520Member Member
  • deniseamerson05deniseamerson05 Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
    Thank you for replying, that was exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate your help.
  • JustRobby1JustRobby1 Posts: 422Member Member Posts: 422Member Member
    Some people here do, some people don't. It really depends a great deal on who you ask as we all have different rationale. As for me personally? I normally only do this on the weekends and even then only half to account for the inherent inaccuracies in fitness trackers.
  • jacobsl221jacobsl221 Posts: 72Member Member Posts: 72Member Member
    You can use the exercise to erase indulgences. Yesterday I ate 1/2 a donut 155 calories. I walked 31 minutes 158 calories. I'm not sure it was worth the effort!
  • tinkerbellang83tinkerbellang83 Posts: 2,093Member Member Posts: 2,093Member Member
    I eat every single last one, unless I have been on some mad crazy uphill hiking and it would be a struggle to eat them back, then I just bank them for weekend wine, I monitored my tracker for a while and found it was actually underestimating my output. Depending on your method of tracking your calories, you may want to be a little conservative with how many you eat back but whatever you choose to do stick at it for a month or so and you will be able to tell from your weight loss results how accurate they are.
    edited July 17
  • x_stephisaur_xx_stephisaur_x Posts: 68Member Member Posts: 68Member Member
    I try not to eat them all, just because that figure might be wrong. That said, yesterday I burnt more than my entire daily allowance. I was so hungry and, yeah, I ate those calories back :lol:
  • SilentpadnaSilentpadna Posts: 525Member Member Posts: 525Member Member
    This is, sadly, my first time to incorporate any exercise in my life, especially during a time when I'm choosing to eat better.
    Is it best to not eat your burned calories? Or does your body need more calories if you're working out and I should be eating then (or some)?
    Just curious on what works best for healthy weight loss. Thanks!

    Yes, assuming you mean exercise calories added to your total when you say "burned calories" (we burn calories constantly).

    It's how MFP is setup. Incidentally, if you were using the TDEE less deficit method while estimating activity up front, you would be already doing that. If you get your activity estimate right in either case, both should give you roughly the same calories to eat.

    Ultimately, you'll end doing what's best for you, but you'll need significant time to monitor progress and tell whether you are eating too much or not enough back. The reason you'll need significant time is because fluid loss or retention will make the scale fluctuate at a greater magnitude than fat loss.

    If you are losing more than 2 pounds per week (over 4-6 weeks, not individual weeks), you should probably eat a little more, especially if you experience other factors such as lethargy, light-headedness, etc. If you are not losing, then you should eat a smaller percentage of exercise calories "earned". Everyone is different.
  • scarlett_kscarlett_k Posts: 339Member Member Posts: 339Member Member
    I eat all of mine.
  • Wotan48Wotan48 Posts: 23Member, Premium Member Posts: 23Member, Premium Member
    It depends on my exercise. When I lift weights I usually end up eating the calories, the protein is needed for a good recovery.
  • idhitit430idhitit430 Posts: 11Member Member Posts: 11Member Member
    It depends on how well I'm doing mentally. If I'm in a "eat everything mood" I'll go for it, but most of the time, I try not to.
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 10,204Member Member Posts: 10,204Member Member
    Or does your body need more calories if you're working out and I should be eating then (or some)?

    Does your car need more fuel putting in it when you drive further than expected?
    Your exercise calories aren't accounted for in your calorie goal.

    There's issues around accuracy but in reality the accuracy of your food intake is far more significant in achieving the right balance.
  • TeaBeaTeaBea Posts: 12,576Member Member Posts: 12,576Member Member
    LinserSE wrote: »
    I never do and I do not track them on here because the higher deficit I can achieve for a day the more weight I'll ultimately lose. However, I do keep it in mind and give myself permission to have a treat every now and again when I know I've done this for a while.

    If you feel weak, tired, or hungry, you can always have an extra snack or whatever you may need to feel whole, but for the most 'effective weight loss', you would try not eat the/all calories back.

    "Weight loss" is fat+existing lean muscle mass. My preference is a larger % of fat loss, so I eat exercise calories back. When people have quite a bit of weight to lose, this is not as much of an issue.
    edited July 17
  • scarlett_kscarlett_k Posts: 339Member Member Posts: 339Member Member
    LinserSE wrote: »
    I never do and I do not track them on here because the higher deficit I can achieve for a day the more weight I'll ultimately lose. However, I do keep it in mind and give myself permission to have a treat every now and again when I know I've done this for a while.

    If you feel weak, tired, or hungry, you can always have an extra snack or whatever you may need to feel whole, but for the most 'effective weight loss', you would try not eat the/all calories back.

    This is bad advice. You can absolutely lose weight effectively by eating back your exercise calories. Not doing so may lead you to burn out and give in. I've been losing a steady 1 kg (2 lb) a week eating back mine.
  • tinkerbellang83tinkerbellang83 Posts: 2,093Member Member Posts: 2,093Member Member
    LinserSE wrote: »
    I never do and I do not track them on here because the higher deficit I can achieve for a day the more weight I'll ultimately lose. However, I do keep it in mind and give myself permission to have a treat every now and again when I know I've done this for a while.

    If you feel weak, tired, or hungry, you can always have an extra snack or whatever you may need to feel whole, but for the most 'effective weight loss', you would try not eat the/all calories back.

    But the deficit you're aiming for, for your weight loss is already accounted for in your calorie allowance. So a higher deficit is not necessarily a good thing. Effective weight loss is achieved by being sustainable long term not faster.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 5,793Member Member Posts: 5,793Member Member
    Everybody eats their burned calories. Except dead people. You don't only burn calories through exercise, and the interest you do burn this way aren't any different from the ones you burn posting here.
  • PsychgrrlPsychgrrl Posts: 2,118Member Member Posts: 2,118Member Member
    I eat every single last one, unless I have been on some mad crazy uphill hiking and it would be a struggle to eat them back, then I just bank them for weekend wine, I monitored my tracker for a while and found it was actually underestimating my output. Depending on your method of tracking your calories, you may want to be a little conservative with how many you eat back but whatever you choose to do stick at it for a month or so and you will be able to tell from your weight loss results how accurate they are.

    This. I sync my Garmin Vivoactive with MFP and find the burn for my actual exercise is spot on, while my calories for steps are high. So, I try to eat the exercise calories back, but only a part of the steps. Working fine for me.

    It can take some trial and error to figure out what works best for you. Be sure your logging is spot on: weigh all solid foods on a food scale including eggs, bread and pre-packages foods like frozen dinners and use measuring cups and spoons for all liquids. It'll be easier to figure out your activity/exercise calorie piece if you truly know what your calorie intake is.
  • MiViVeMiViVe Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
    I do not. But then again, I'm not tired, I don't feel weak, and I use them as 'cheat insurance'. For example, I work out four times a week, and probably burn close to 2500 calories total. I just use those as a cushion for if I go over 200 calories one day, or on the weekend I go out with friends and go 800 over my goal.
  • dalem14dalem14 Posts: 18Member Member Posts: 18Member Member
    I eat back half. It works well for me.
  • richard0028richard0028 Posts: 4Member Member Posts: 4Member Member
    I never eat back, particularly if your data is coming from some other source that habitually overestimate calories from exercise eg Strava.
  • spiriteagle99spiriteagle99 Posts: 1,052Member Member Posts: 1,052Member Member
    I eat back intentional exercise calories. If I don't, I get extremely hungry. I can't sleep when I'm hungry and lack the energy to do my runs the next day. Most people who are perennially starving will go off their diets sooner or later. You don't have to be miserable while losing weight.
  • JerSchmareJerSchmare Posts: 476Member, Premium Member Posts: 476Member, Premium Member
    Since I do TDEE, this question is irrelevant.

    ...or, is it?
  • crummywatertowrcrummywatertowr Posts: 45Member Member Posts: 45Member Member
    This is a good article about exercise and weight loss, that more importantly links to the actual studies instead of just saying "a recent study". I don't eat mine back unless I'm really weak and hungry because it is way too hard to accurately determine how many calories I burned.

    https://www.vox.com/2016/4/28/11518804/weight-loss-exercise-myth-burn-calories

    edited July 17
  • cmriversidecmriverside Posts: 22,967Member Member Posts: 22,967Member Member
    I always have eaten all of my exercise calories. I used MFP's numbers all through most of my weight loss ten years ago and I still eat more on exercise days. So far I've been maintaining for ten years.

    This site is designed in a way that it is intended for you to eat more on exercise days than you do on non-exercise days. There are many ways to calculate a deficit and just as many ways to accomplish it. Your own personal numbers are your guide.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 30,167Member Member Posts: 30,167Member Member
    This is, sadly, my first time to incorporate any exercise in my life, especially during a time when I'm choosing to eat better.
    Is it best to not eat your burned calories? Or does your body need more calories if you're working out and I should be eating then (or some)?
    Just curious on what works best for healthy weight loss. Thanks!

    Of course your body needs more calories when you're working out...the more active you are, the more calories you need.

    All you're doing here is accounting for that activity which is not otherwise accounted for in your activity level. I switched from MFP's method a long time ago and went with TDEE because I was pretty consistent in my exercise...basically MFP gave me around 1800 calories to lose about 1 Lb per week...with exercise I was eating around 2300-2400 gross calories per day.

    Without exercise my maintenance is around 2,300 calories per day which is why I get the 1800 number from MFP...with regular exercise, my maintenance is more like 2800-3000...so I cut 500 calories from that and I get 2,300 - 2,500 calories per day...about the same as MFP after I logged the exercise.

    In essence, I'm "eating back" calories one way or the other...with MFP, it's more deliberate because I had to log it, etc...with TDEE my exercise activity is just built into the overall target.
  • deannalfisherdeannalfisher Posts: 2,600Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,600Member, Premium Member
    JerSchmare wrote: »
    Since I do TDEE, this question is irrelevant.

    ...or, is it?

    TDEE does take into account regular working out - but if you were to do something beyond the norm, I would probably look to eat back a portion of them
  • bikecherylbikecheryl Posts: 337Member, Premium Member Posts: 337Member, Premium Member
    I don't..... yet.
    I started needing to lose 120lbs, I've lost almost 40lbs so far.'
    Because of bad knees I haven't been able to exercise as much as I'd like - 30 to 40
    minute bike rides.
    I'm hoping to become more active as I continue to loose weight.
    When that happens, I will start eating back some of my exercise calories to fuel my increased activity.
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