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Exercise calories - do I eat these? A video explanation.

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  • sharonwhitehall607sharonwhitehall607 Posts: 2Member Member Posts: 2Member Member
    Thanks for the video. This has been a struggle for me to know what to do with the earned calories. Mine are being fed through my FitBit.
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 16,980Member Member Posts: 16,980Member Member
    Thanks for the video. This has been a struggle for me to know what to do with the earned calories. Mine are being fed through my FitBit.

    At that's different actually then this discussion.

    While that adjustment may indeed appear on the Exercise diary - it is not only or may not be any exercise at all.

    It is merely the difference between Fitbit's report of daily calories burned, and what MFP estimated based on your guess of 4 activity levels and no exercise.

    You could have a big workout and be really lazy rest the day and get a negative adjustment.
    You could be very daily active and no workout and get a big adjustment.

    So it's not the same as trying to estimate of a database entry for exercise is right or not.
  • EifionCockramEifionCockram Posts: 122Member, Premium Member Posts: 122Member, Premium Member
    Thanks for the explaination
  • diannethegeekdiannethegeek Posts: 14,827Member Member Posts: 14,827Member Member
  • IowaGal84IowaGal84 Posts: 8Member, Premium Member Posts: 8Member, Premium Member
    Thank you for this!! It makes sense to me now.
  • s1im62s1im62 Posts: 2,268Member Member Posts: 2,268Member Member
    Thanks for the video and clarification in the comments. I've been eating the exercise calories most days, but some days I found myself eating just because MFP said to eat the calories, not because I felt hungry or needing any extra energy, and that didn't seem quite right to me.

    I feel better about letting my body tell me what it needs and not getting too wrapped up in the numbers game, that is as long as I don't find myself going off 'into the weeds'*.

    *Not a cannabis reference ;)
  • jessyrocks81jessyrocks81 Posts: 1Member Member Posts: 1Member Member
    Thank you! I was feeling guilty thinking I was cheating if I ate them :) And yes I eat just a little bit more but not all of my exercise calories.
  • What_you_eat_in_privateWhat_you_eat_in_private Posts: 8Member, Premium Member Posts: 8Member, Premium Member
    Thanks so much for that. I had just posted the question then stumbled across this.
  • LivingtheLeanDreamLivingtheLeanDream Posts: 12,178Member Member Posts: 12,178Member Member
  • MattpeatyMattpeaty Posts: 1Member, Premium Member Posts: 1Member, Premium Member
    Alright, so lets say I wasn't very active, but got a treadmill desk and have been doing between 15-17 miles a day 5x a week for the last three weeks.

    Would I set my activity level to very active and then still eat the extra calories for the exercise of walking 15 miles a day that the app adds back in? Or would that be double counting my lifestyle as being active (walking) and the exercise (same walking).

    What would be the recommended settings for that scenario because I've been racking my brain on this for 3 weeks now!

    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!!

    EDIT: I'm using my fitbit to add back in my steps for the walking exercise so I understand there could be some level of fluff on the numbers, but I typically do 25-35k in steps while at work just for context.
    edited October 2018
  • amusedmonkeyamusedmonkey Posts: 9,593Member Member Posts: 9,593Member Member
    Mattpeaty wrote: »
    Alright, so lets say I wasn't very active, but got a treadmill desk and have been doing between 15-17 miles a day 5x a week for the last three weeks.

    Would I set my activity level to very active and then still eat the extra calories for the exercise of walking 15 miles a day that the app adds back in? Or would that be double counting my lifestyle as being active (walking) and the exercise (same walking).

    What would be the recommended settings for that scenario because I've been racking my brain on this for 3 weeks now!

    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!!

    EDIT: I'm using my fitbit to add back in my steps for the walking exercise so I understand there could be some level of fluff on the numbers, but I typically do 25-35k in steps while at work just for context.

    That would be double counting. You either set yourself to inactive and count your treadmill desk as extra calories from exercise, or you set yourself to very active and count your treadmill desk as daily activity and don't add it as exercise.

    If you have an activity tracker, it will generally try not to double count (at least the fitbit works that way), so whatever you decide to do would be fine.

    Personally, I would just add it as exercise because I wouldn't be using the treadmill desk on weekends and/or the very active could possibly still be too low. Alternatively, I could average the calories over the week and manually edit my calories to accommodate.
    edited October 2018
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 16,980Member Member Posts: 16,980Member Member
    I'll ditto on recommendation to set to whatever level you want and sync the fitbit so MFP can correct itself.

    Just no need to manually create a workout - the Fitbit is either doing that if the walking is high enough level, or it's counted in the daily stats anyway.

    That way if you have a day or days of lots of meetings, or off work - the adjustments for those days are still correct.

    The one caveat to getting a decent daily count of calories - is Fitbit seeing the distance correctly?

    When you do that kind of distance - accuracy matters a whole lot more.

    Have you ever walked a known distance, at least 1/2 mile minimum, at average daily pace and confirmed the Fitbit had the distance right on?

    Not grocery store shuffle pace, not exercise level pace, right in the middle, maybe 2mph or slower - so it will seem like a slow walk test.

    Not sure I'd trust treadmill to be accurately calibrated, high school track using the correct markings would be better.
  • mikeindiamiamimikeindiamiami Posts: 2Member Member Posts: 2Member Member
    I'm very new here. I found this place starting at my new Apple Watch and iPhone "Activity" software. I think I have them now connected to MyFitnessPal.

    First question - how can I verify that Apple Activity and MyFitnessPal are working together as expected?

    Second question - if they're not, how do I add those "active calories" into the spreadsheet here?

    Third question - if anyone responds to this discussion, will I be notified only here, or will I also get an email?
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 16,980Member Member Posts: 16,980Member Member
    I'm very new here. I found this place starting at my new Apple Watch and iPhone "Activity" software. I think I have them now connected to MyFitnessPal.

    First question - how can I verify that Apple Activity and MyFitnessPal are working together as expected?

    Second question - if they're not, how do I add those "active calories" into the spreadsheet here?

    Third question - if anyone responds to this discussion, will I be notified only here, or will I also get an email?

    1 - I wouldn't bother - because of a bug that Apple's not going to fix, you won't ever get correct math on MFP based on what Apple is reporting. Some do use another app on Apple side that sends the expected figures to MFP to do correct math with.

    2 - That's the kicker - all other devices report a Total Daily Burn, which as the name implies, means everything, a total. Apple reports a base level of sedentary to MFP that does not contain Active or Workout calories. It will sync across workouts though - which actually makes the math worse on MFP side.

    3 - depends on your settings - you'll likely find email alerts to all updates to a topic you replied to gets out of hand.

    As to the basic is it synced - if you have in your Food settings the option for Negative calories enabled, then you should show some adjustment in your Exercise diary.
  • rainbowsunicornswinerainbowsunicornswine Posts: 8Member Member Posts: 8Member Member
    Thanks! Great advice
  • jlbtncjlbtnc Posts: 725Member Member Posts: 725Member Member
    @SideSteel great video and answers so many question about should I eat or not eat the extra calories. I do try to eat some of the calories back.
  • kami3006kami3006 Posts: 4,993Member, Greeter, Premium Member Posts: 4,993Member, Greeter, Premium Member
  • jls1leather9497jls1leather9497 Posts: 90Member Member Posts: 90Member Member
    Makes little sense. If mfp isn't taking k to consideration my activity, then WHY ask if I'm sedentary, or walk, or work out, ....
    That's already figured in , unless I input 'lard butt' for activity, then go work out contrary to usual.
    If I already said I'm active, why would I 'eat back'? Why would it "give" me more calories for being active in general, then ADD AGAIN when I work out?
    edited March 11
  • mummy_hmummy_h Posts: 99Member Member Posts: 99Member Member
    malibu927 wrote: »
    bad_dog_ny wrote: »
    I am afraid I might be slowing up my metabolism. MSP says I can eat 1840 calories per day to lose my target of 2 pounds a week. I have been going to the gym everyday, resistance and treadmill every other day, and then another form of cardio on the alternate days. Each day I do 45 minutes of cardio, including treadmill days, getting my heart rate up to Target of 138 BPM for at least half an hour. I didn't lose any weight this week, but I'm wondering if I could have gained muscle. I rarely even make my 1840 calories. Usually I clock in somewhere around 1500 to 1600 calories and I'm not hungry. I have lost 50 pounds and still need to lose about another 100. I feel better than I have in a very long time. I used to be in great shape. Several years ago I developed diabetes and a few months ago it became difficult to control my blood sugar even with high amounts of insulin. I eventually went on a carb-free diet and it took almost a month of that to get my blood glucose under control, and that was taking 120 units of basal insulin a day. Now in just a few weeks back at the gym I am down to 35 units a day, with great sugar control. I do not eat my exercise calories, and I was wondering if at 1500 calories a day I am sabotaging my metabolism. I could probably make it to the 1800 a day, but with the types of Foods I am now choosing I seem to get plenty of volume with a lot fewer calories. This week could just be an odd thing, too much salt and retained a little bit of water, or whatever. I would really like to stay at 2 pounds loss a week, because even then this is going to take me another year. I had read somewhere not to eat fewer than 900-1200 calories or your metabolism would go into starvation mode. But everybody is different. 1500 sounds like a decent diet plan. Even 1800 at my size. Should I be trying to force myself to consume all my calories even if I'm not hungry? Should I really be eating the exercise calories, or should I let them be extra weight loss? My progress at the gym has also been surprisingly fast. At first I couldn't even maintain 3 miles an hour on a 2 incline, and I'm already doing 3.5 at an 8 incline to keep my heart rate in the right Zone. I don't want to go any faster because then I begin to jog and I don't think that would be good for my knees. My wife is amazed that I can do 45 minutes on the elliptical, also maintaining my target heart rate. Could all this extra exercise and extra earned calories actually be sabotaging my metabolism instead of making it higher?

    First, starvation mode doesn't exist. Second, weight loss is not linear. It could be from excess sodium, but it's definitely not muscle. Third, 1500 is the lowest a male should eat. Ideally you should be eating to your goal after exercise. You want to fuel your body, and the video in the first post explains why. If you're having problems meeting your goal, add in some calorie dense items (nuts, nut butters, dairy, cooking oils, even a little treat if you have to).

    Why do you say its not muscle?
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