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Should I eat more or less?

adelinacastellonadelinacastellon Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member
I'm a little confused on what I should do regarding calories in/out. Let's say my target is 1500/day to lose weight, but I work out and burn 600 calories. Should I now eat 2100 calories or stick to the initial 1500? I've already hit a plateau 2 weeks into this and I think it's because I don't know which approach is correct. I've read a few articles but I fear I am none the wiser.

I need help.

Replies

  • audreys03audreys03 Member, Premium Posts: 39 Member Member, Premium Posts: 39 Member
    Well that depends a little. How are you calculating your exercise calories? It's hard to calculate super accurately so a lot of people start by eating back half their exercise calories.
    The best thing I have found for me is to pick a method and stick with it for a couple weeks. If I don't lose weight, I eat a bit less for a couple weeks. If I lose a lot and feel hungry or I'm not recovering from my exercise like I should, I eat a little more for a couple weeks.
  • adelinacastellonadelinacastellon Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member
    My exercise calories generate from my Fitbit. I will try the eat half of the suggested calories approach first and if that doesn't work I'll try your approach. Thank you!
  • VeggieMeg71VeggieMeg71 Member Posts: 214 Member Member Posts: 214 Member
    I think @audreys03 's suggestion is a good place to start. I would modify that depending on your hunger. And it may not be the same every day. Also, keep in mind that sometimes brief plateaus are caused by fluid retention, and next week you may suddenly see a large change on the scale! The main thing is not to give up. Results may not be immediate, but if you keep moving and eating healthy, you will see awesome results in the long run! Best of luck to you!!!
  • Dogmom1978Dogmom1978 Member Posts: 255 Member Member Posts: 255 Member
    I would question whether or not you burn 600 calories also. What is the exercise you are doing? Intensity level? Length of time? I find fitness trackers can overestimate.

    Also, it depends. Are you hungry? Then eat some of the calories back. If the tracker is accurate, you want to net a minimum of 1200 a day after exercise. If you dip below that, you should eat at least enough calories back to get to 1200.
  • XiaolongbaoXiaolongbao Member Posts: 795 Member Member Posts: 795 Member
    If the 1500 calories was estimated on MFP then you should definitely eat less than 600 calories back. If you synced the Fitbit MFP would only give you some of them - that’s because some of them would already have been included in your 1500 allocation (how many depends on your weight and what activity level you have set yourself to on MFP).

    Say MFP allocated me 1200 cal. That means it’s roughly giving me 50 cal per hour. So I go walking for an hour and burn 200 calories... but I was going to burn 50 of them anyway so I only burned an extra 150 calories. (Numbers chosen to make the maths easy - not because they’re sensible).

    Add into that the fact that the accuracy of trackers is variable (and a lot less accurate for some activity than others) and you can see why many people choose not to eat all their exercise calories. Other do eat them but maybe calculating their daily calorie level in a different way.
  • Dogmom1978Dogmom1978 Member Posts: 255 Member Member Posts: 255 Member
    Also, I checked what Fitbit claimed I burned yesterday and it said over 2400. Even assuming that includes 1500 BMR there is NO WAY my exercise burned 900 calories. I suggest you use an alternative method to calculate exercise calories.
    edited July 20
  • Clive_1963Clive_1963 Member Posts: 53 Member Member Posts: 53 Member
    slunburg wrote: »
    Also, I checked what Fitbit claimed I burned yesterday and it said over 2400. Even assuming that includes 1500 BMR there is NO WAY my exercise burned 900 calories. I suggest you use an alternative method to calculate exercise calories.

    I burned 1740 calories on a 2.5 hour walk according to fit bit. It says I am allowed 1800 so I should have had a right pig out last night :D but I didn't. I ate normally which I think is about 1300 calories according to my high protein low carb diet.
    Got a weigh in later today so wondering how much I lost last week.
  • mullanphylanemullanphylane Member Posts: 168 Member Member Posts: 168 Member
    • Experiment.
    • Every body is different, but one commonality is the plateaus - they happen.
    • Trust your numbers, especially the scale, but use the same source of the numbers every time. Even if (right, "if" 😜 ) your numbers don't reflect an accurate reality, they give you a target to aim at.
    • Keep to your calorie goal and don't be concerned about how many more you can eat based on anything. Figuring out "how many more" is a habit that should be broken. Work on a healthy life style instead of "how many more".
  • adelinacastellonadelinacastellon Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member
    Thank you all for your input!
  • HeidiCooksSupperHeidiCooksSupper Member, Premium Posts: 3,653 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,653 Member
    For me, it's easier to ignore the exercise calories. I'm not doing hours of exercise a day so usually I'm only burning and extra 250-750 calories worth. I'm also not exercising every day. Truth be told, sometimes I knosh a little after I've closed my diary and go over on occasion. So, it all works out. The scale keeps me honest. If I am exercising less and lying to the diary a bit more, I hover on a plateau or even gain. This gets my attention and I'm back to good behavior. Actually calculating and figuring out daily consumption based on exercise is too much work for me.
  • tgillies003tgillies003 Member, Premium Posts: 131 Member Member, Premium Posts: 131 Member
    I’ve given up trying to estimate calories burned. The general rule of thumb is to ‘eat back’ half your burned calories. Why? Because calories in often get under reported and calories out are often over reported.

    This is a lifestyle. This is what I do:
    - make a small sustainable change eg., if you like to drink pop, then switch that out for water or sparkling water with lemon or lime in it. Or in your case, adding exercise
    - Once you’ve adjusted to that change then make another small sustainable change eg., if you like to eat rice, switch that out for brown rice
    - Track what you eat and you exercise
    - Monitor your macros
    - Monitor your metrics (weight and measurements)
    - Then adjust as needed —> if you’re losing and that is your goal, great, if you are not then either eat less or exercise more.
    - As you lose weight, your body is going to change, not only in appearance, but also in how it reacts to different foods.

    This all takes time. Weight adjustments happen after a period of average caloric deficit or surplus.

    Take care
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