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Should I eat back my exercise calories?

jmath0303jmath0303 Posts: 41Member Member Posts: 41Member Member
Okay, so I have lost about 150 lbs and want to start maintaining. I am 5'9-5'10, 24 yrs old, and weigh 150 lbs. I have mfp set to sedentary and average about 20-25k steps a day. At the end of the day mfp gives me an exercise adjustment of about 1000 calories. Should I be eating these back?
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Replies

  • stanmann571stanmann571 Posts: 5,738Member Member Posts: 5,738Member Member
    Yes.

    Although, for planning purposes, if you're doing this consistently, set your MFP to active and adjust from there.
    edited May 14
  • angelsjaangelsja Posts: 468Member Member Posts: 468Member Member
    If you are ready for maintenance change mfp settings to maintain current weight and eat the calories it gives you and track your progress
  • jmath0303jmath0303 Posts: 41Member Member Posts: 41Member Member
    Yes.

    Although, for planning purposes, if you're doing this consistently, set your MFP to active and adjust from there.

    When I was dieting I was doing around 1200 calories and then for they past 2 weeks I have been doing about 2000. I was up 6 lbs the first week but stuck with it and lost three of those in the second week. I am nervous about eating all of those calories.
  • angelsjaangelsja Posts: 468Member Member Posts: 468Member Member
    It's normal for your Weight to fluctuate up when going into maintenance you could start by adding calories back in abit at a time 100-200 a day until you see your weight even out
  • jmath0303jmath0303 Posts: 41Member Member Posts: 41Member Member
    angelsja wrote: »
    It's normal for your Weight to fluctuate up when going into maintenance you could start by adding calories back in abit at a time 100-200 a day until you see your weight even out

    I'm just worried that I did a lot of damage to my metabolism with doing that few of calories with so much exercise over a long period of time
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 7,167Member Member Posts: 7,167Member Member
    jmath0303 wrote: »
    angelsja wrote: »
    It's normal for your Weight to fluctuate up when going into maintenance you could start by adding calories back in abit at a time 100-200 a day until you see your weight even out

    I'm just worried that I did a lot of damage to my metabolism with doing that few of calories with so much exercise over a long period of time

    That's an additional reason to increase the calories gradually. For some people, it seems to help restore some of the subtle energy loss that can happen with too-big calorie restrictions over time, and increase calorie needs a bit. Not universal, though.
  • AnvilHeadAnvilHead Posts: 16,769Member Member Posts: 16,769Member Member
  • 1BlueAurora1BlueAurora Posts: 180Member Member Posts: 180Member Member
    I usually ended up eating around 75% of my exercise calories and still lost weight.
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 12,607Member Member Posts: 12,607Member Member
    Okay, so I have lost about 150 lbs
    Wow - well done.

    and want to start maintaining. I am 5'9-5'10, 24 yrs old, and weigh 150 lbs.
    That seems quite light to me for a male your height (I'm 5'9 and more than double your age and maintain around 170lbs). Do you think that's going to be your ultimate "best weight"?
    You are a good age to add muscle if that's your wish.

    I have mfp set to sedentary and average about 20-25k steps a day.
    That's one hell of a contradiction! Sedentary would be a small fraction of those steps.

    At the end of the day mfp gives me an exercise adjustment of about 1000 calories.
    Are you using a linked tracker? If you set your activity setting to reflect your actual activity level then you would get a far smaller adjustment.

    Should I be eating these back?

    Exercise is part of your calorie needs so yes you do need to account for them one way or another when you are maintaining (TDEE, this site's eat back method, tracker adjustments...)

    edited May 15
  • jmath0303jmath0303 Posts: 41Member Member Posts: 41Member Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    Okay, so I have lost about 150 lbs
    Wow - well done.

    and want to start maintaining. I am 5'9-5'10, 24 yrs old, and weigh 150 lbs.
    That seems quite light to me for a male your height (I'm 5'9 and more than double your age and maintain around 170lbs). Do you think that's going to be your ultimate "best weight"?
    You are a good age to add muscle if that's your wish.

    I have mfp set to sedentary and average about 20-25k steps a day.
    That's one hell of a contradiction! Sedentary would be a small fraction of those steps.

    At the end of the day mfp gives me an exercise adjustment of about 1000 calories.
    Are you using a linked tracker? If you set your activity setting to reflect your actual activity level then you would get a far smaller adjustment.

    Should I be eating these back?

    Exercise is part of your calorie needs so yes you do need to account for them one way or another when you are maintaining (TDEE, this site's eat back method, tracker adjustments...)

    Thank you! I have eased off of the cardio and just walk now. About a 60 minute walk in the morning and then some sort of lifting at night to help add on some muscle with another 60 minute walk. I have a desk job but still try to get up hourly and get steps in. I have a Fitbit charge 2 linked to mfp. But I'm not sure what to set my activity level at. So I just set to sedentary and then eat about 2000 calories a day. What do you think I should set my activity level at?
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 12,607Member Member Posts: 12,607Member Member
    If you continue to get a huge adjustment then you could simply bump it up in stages.
    That's one of the good things about maintenance - you have all the time in the world to experiment.
  • sgt1372sgt1372 Posts: 2,820Member Member Posts: 2,820Member Member
    How are you able to walk 20-25k steps/day?

    That would be a 9-10 mile and 4 hr hike for me, which I only do on rare occasions and would result in about a 1000 cal burn, all of which I would eat back to remain in maintenance.

    If you actually do this that's fine but it's not sedentary but very active and probably will require a significant adjustment in your TDEE or NEAT estimate.
    edited May 15
  • jmath0303jmath0303 Posts: 41Member Member Posts: 41Member Member
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    How are you able to walk 20-25k steps/day?

    That would be a 9-10 mile and 4 hr hike for me, which I only do on rare occasions and would result in about a 1000 cal burn, all of which I would eat back to remain in maintenance.

    If you actually do this that's fine but it's not sedentary but very active and probably will require a significant adjustment in your TDEE or NEAT estimate.

    I usually wake up and do a 60 minute walk before work (office job, but still get a few thousand at work as well) and then another 60 minute walk after work. I also do some moderate lifting to start to build muscle
  • sgt1372sgt1372 Posts: 2,820Member Member Posts: 2,820Member Member
    jmath0303 wrote: »
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    How are you able to walk 20-25k steps/day?

    That would be a 9-10 mile and 4 hr hike for me, which I only do on rare occasions and would result in about a 1000 cal burn, all of which I would eat back to remain in maintenance.

    If you actually do this that's fine but it's not sedentary but very active and probably will require a significant adjustment in your TDEE or NEAT estimate.

    I usually wake up and do a 60 minute walk before work (office job, but still get a few thousand at work as well) and then another 60 minute walk after work.

    I don't think that adds up to 20k steps - 10k at best. I wouldn't count the steps at work.

    Accuracy in terms of steps is only important in terms of measuring the cals burned so that you know w/reasonable certainty how much food you should eat to remain in maintenance.

    If you are basing your cal burn on 20k steps but are only actually taking 10k steps, you will probably overeat, gain wt and not remain in maintenance.
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Posts: 2,734Member Member Posts: 2,734Member Member
    You should definitely be eating some of those exercise calories back, but my suggestion since you are getting so many steps would be to ease off the cardio - maybe one walk a day instead of two - and replace it with strength training, which will change your needs around. As suggested above, you may even decide you want to gain muscle weight.

    The main thing about maintenance is that every one is different and the numbers on paper don't mean much, compared to observing your body and what works for you. It takes a while to figure out what your true maintenance calories are. I've been "eating at maintenance" according to MFPs calculator for six months now, while gradually increasing calories and continuing to lose weight - which is okay for me, since I want a buffer zone.
  • jmath0303jmath0303 Posts: 41Member Member Posts: 41Member Member
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    jmath0303 wrote: »
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    How are you able to walk 20-25k steps/day?

    That would be a 9-10 mile and 4 hr hike for me, which I only do on rare occasions and would result in about a 1000 cal burn, all of which I would eat back to remain in maintenance.

    If you actually do this that's fine but it's not sedentary but very active and probably will require a significant adjustment in your TDEE or NEAT estimate.

    I usually wake up and do a 60 minute walk before work (office job, but still get a few thousand at work as well) and then another 60 minute walk after work.

    I don't think that adds up to 20k steps - 10k at best. I wouldn't count the steps at work.

    Accuracy in terms of steps is only important in terms of measuring the cals burned so that you know w/reasonable certainty how much food you should eat to remain in maintenance.

    If you are basing your cal burn on 20k steps but are only actually taking 10k steps, you will probably overeat, gain wt and not remain in maintenance.

    I have a Fitbit charge 2 so it's a pretty accurate measure of daily activity
  • jmath0303jmath0303 Posts: 41Member Member Posts: 41Member Member
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    jmath0303 wrote: »
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    How are you able to walk 20-25k steps/day?

    That would be a 9-10 mile and 4 hr hike for me, which I only do on rare occasions and would result in about a 1000 cal burn, all of which I would eat back to remain in maintenance.

    If you actually do this that's fine but it's not sedentary but very active and probably will require a significant adjustment in your TDEE or NEAT estimate.

    I usually wake up and do a 60 minute walk before work (office job, but still get a few thousand at work as well) and then another 60 minute walk after work.

    I don't think that adds up to 20k steps - 10k at best. I wouldn't count the steps at work.

    Accuracy in terms of steps is only important in terms of measuring the cals burned so that you know w/reasonable certainty how much food you should eat to remain in maintenance.

    If you are basing your cal burn on 20k steps but are only actually taking 10k steps, you will probably overeat, gain wt and not remain in maintenance.

    60 minutes at a brisk pace is 4-5 miles. at 2K steps per mile that's 8-10K, times 2 is 16-20k steps, plus incidental lifestyle easily gets to 20K.

    Yep that's about what l get!
  • CarvedTonesCarvedTones Posts: 1,342Member Member Posts: 1,342Member Member
    I rarely go over 20k steps walking, but I do go over sometimes and it takes me around 2 hours + incidental walking. I leave mfp set to sedentary as I have an office job and I log steps most days. I don't always walk and when I do the amount varies. The mfp setting should not include exercise and I walk for exercise.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 7,167Member Member Posts: 7,167Member Member
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    jmath0303 wrote: »
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    How are you able to walk 20-25k steps/day?

    That would be a 9-10 mile and 4 hr hike for me, which I only do on rare occasions and would result in about a 1000 cal burn, all of which I would eat back to remain in maintenance.

    If you actually do this that's fine but it's not sedentary but very active and probably will require a significant adjustment in your TDEE or NEAT estimate.

    I usually wake up and do a 60 minute walk before work (office job, but still get a few thousand at work as well) and then another 60 minute walk after work.

    I don't think that adds up to 20k steps - 10k at best. I wouldn't count the steps at work.

    Accuracy in terms of steps is only important in terms of measuring the cals burned so that you know w/reasonable certainty how much food you should eat to remain in maintenance.

    If you are basing your cal burn on 20k steps but are only actually taking 10k steps, you will probably overeat, gain wt and not remain in maintenance.

    60 minutes at a brisk pace is 4-5 miles. at 2K steps per mile that's 8-10K, times 2 is 16-20k steps, plus incidental lifestyle easily gets to 20K.

    Just what I was thinking. Even though I'm 4-5" shorter than OP, and more than twice his age, an hour of exercised-focused walking over flat to lightly-rolling terrain with hard surfaces is good for around 4 miles.
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