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Excercise to eat more???

kanerz14 Posts: 85 Member
Hi all hoping you can maybe settle and internal debate I've been having of late.

Is there anything wrong or of concern to get into the mindset that it's okay to excercise to enable you to eat more? Something does not sit well in my mind and I worry that as I continue in weight maintenance, my exercising has shifted more from the health aspect to the "I wanna have a beer and pizza so I'd better run 10 miles"

Unfortunately my desire to eat more has increased in maintenance so I'm therefore running much more. (Have got quite good at it infact) and I enjoy the increased flexibility that running affords me.

Views, opinions and sciencey things welcome.


  • feisty_bucket
    feisty_bucket Posts: 1,044 Member
    I think it's a lousy idea (but very typical) to exercise with the intention of "burning calories". It's not optimal for fitness, it's just grinding yourself up. For what? To stuff your face a bit more?

    Eat your beer and pizza or whatever... and just less of other stuff, or less later, or however you want to do the math. If you use the calorie banking method, it's easy to "shift" it all around.

    Also, this:
    my desire to eat more has increased in maintenance

    Maybe you're undereating anyways? Or maybe your macros aren't very satiating. It can be hard to dial in.

    Anyways, there's my cheap, and possibly worthless opinion.
  • kanerz14
    kanerz14 Posts: 85 Member
    Thanks for replies so far. It seems that it's probs quite an unhealthy attitude but one I believe a number of folks ascribe to. I wonder if anyone would openly admit to excercise solely to eat more and if so, how they frame in their minds. I spose it can be argued that it's much healthier to excercise to eat than not excercise at all and eat as much/whatever they like.
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,182 Member
    If you exercise more, eat more, and maintain weight, that's what is working for you.
  • CorneliusPhoton
    CorneliusPhoton Posts: 965 Member
    I don't "exercise to eat more," but I definitely exercise because I have eaten too much. It's all part of the equation to me. Exercise helps my calorie out, and I'm OK with that.
  • gramarye
    gramarye Posts: 586 Member
    edited May 2016
    I admit, the main reason I exercise is so I can eat more.
    Plus it creates a larger deficit without having to eat less. Win, win.

    Yep. It also, 9 times out of 10, helps me keep my mental health more manageable. So, to eat more food and feel more mentally balanced. That's enough to make me like it. Like @yesimpson, I see it as a mutually beneficial arrangement rather than a punitive one. The net effect is the same, but the mental gymnastics are different.
  • kanerz14
    kanerz14 Posts: 85 Member
    All great replies. I kinda thought there would be more of a debate about it; but the majority of folks that have replied feel it's okay as long as not going overboard.
    Many thanks to all that have taken the time to reply.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,522 Member
    I don't train specifically to eat more, I train for my fitness but also understand that because I'm putting that work in, I need to eat more which is a nice bi-product of regular training. I know that I need around 2800 - 3000 calories per day to maintain my weight with all of my activity, and that's a nice thing.
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,426 Member
    I think exercising a bit more to eat a bit more is fine- a couple hundred calories. You recognize that the food you like to eat requires that effort so you accomadate it.
    I think spending hours exercising just so you can binge eat thousands of calories more than your maintenance level of calories daily is a problem. Your whole world revolves around exercise and food. You'd be better off adjusting to your maintenance calories, moderately exercising and living a more full life.
    I think being active and exercising because you like it and simply eating enough calories to fuel your body properly for that lifestyle is smart and healthy.
  • mommarnurse
    mommarnurse Posts: 515 Member
    Its about balance. I see nothing wrong with balancing out running (high calorie burn) with eating more. You need fuel for it, after all. So long as its not a daily food splurge . Maintenance is simple finding balance in energy intake and expenditure.

    After losing 98 lbs and taking up running, I joke about how I run so I can eat more cause I love food. I really run because it's good for me / my heart, etc. But also because it enables me to be able to splurge on the occasion - have something sweet on the daily - etc. It's both.
  • Traveler120
    Traveler120 Posts: 712 Member
    In the past, when I ate less, I exercised less and needed lots of willpower to motivate myself to exercise. For my body to naturally WANT to exercise more, I need to eat more. Fortunately, more calories also means I have plenty of room to fit in my ice cream and chocolates without any guilt or without sacrificing healthier options. Win-Win.
  • zyxst
    zyxst Posts: 9,134 Member
    I walk a lot because I like walking and it's better for me than sitting on my butt all day. I did teeter on the edge of "I ate this so I have to exercise now", but when I got it through my head how much exercise I had to do to burn off the 2 Ho-Hos/Swiss cake rolls I just ate, I stopped exercising to eat more. I'm always surprised at reading people tell others "exercise so you can eat more" because I have half the mentality to eat a bag of potato chips and go try to burn all those calories off. That's on me though. I understand the people giving that advice aren't suggesting to go scarf down a block of smoked cheddar cheese, then go work it off.

    I prefer to work foods into my day than push myself to exercise in order to accommodate those foods.