Working out and calorie intake

Ok so I am a hot mess right now and Google just doesn't seem to have a reliable answer for me. I am a binge eater. Have been since I was a kid. Had high metabolism since I was a kid till about 30 then I had to get a grip on my eating...been working on it ever since.
I work out daily. I maybe take 1 day off a week. I burn 400-500 calories per workout plus I have an active job. I want to shed my extra 15lbs however I am ALWAYS hungry. The calorie allowance myfitnesspal gives us never seems to be enough for me and I go over 3 or 4 times a week. It seems to be my challenge to not freak out mentally when I am hungry. I have healthy snacks, but even some of those are calorie dense. I eat 5 times a day off a small plate and most days but every few days I get so bloody hungry I have a baby binge. Like today I had two turkey sandwiches, an apple and popcorn and that meal was like 800 calories!! I drink lots of water and tea. No pop/soda or any juice really. No sugar really. I make my own bread or buy organic seed bread. Is it normal for someone who lifts weights and runs to eat a lot? Any suggestions? I feel like I have tried everything.
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Replies

  • Redordeadhead
    Redordeadhead Posts: 1,188 Member
    Some stats would be helpful to get tailored advice. How many calories per day are you aiming for, how tall are you, current and goal weight, what is your MFP activity level set at and your selected weekly rate of weight loss, are you eating back your exercise calories, how long have you been following this plan, how are you measuring your intake (weighing? Cups? Package labels) and what kind of activity are you doing for how long to burn 400-500 calories?
  • concordancia
    concordancia Posts: 5,320 Member
    800 calories may be overeating, but it isn't a binge, so you are good there.

    Are you eating back your exercise calories every day?
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,304 Member
    edited March 2021
    deezer23 wrote: »
    Ok so I am a hot mess right now and Google just doesn't seem to have a reliable answer for me. I am a binge eater. Have been since I was a kid. Had high metabolism since I was a kid till about 30 then I had to get a grip on my eating...been working on it ever since.
    I work out daily. I maybe take 1 day off a week. I burn 400-500 calories per workout plus I have an active job. I want to shed my extra 15lbs however I am ALWAYS hungry. The calorie allowance myfitnesspal gives us never seems to be enough for me and I go over 3 or 4 times a week. It seems to be my challenge to not freak out mentally when I am hungry. I have healthy snacks, but even some of those are calorie dense. I eat 5 times a day off a small plate and most days but every few days I get so bloody hungry I have a baby binge. Like today I had two turkey sandwiches, an apple and popcorn and that meal was like 800 calories!! I drink lots of water and tea. No pop/soda or any juice really. No sugar really. I make my own bread or buy organic seed bread. Is it normal for someone who lifts weights and runs to eat a lot? Any suggestions? I feel like I have tried everything.

    Yeah...I think it's pretty normal for a person who has an active job and also works out 6 days per week to have a pretty good appetite...like literally...the more you move, the more energy (calories) you are burning. It's kind of like is it normal for a car that travels 120 miles per day to burn more fuel than a car that just goes around the corner to the grocery store?

    Also, MFP's calorie goal is your target PLUS additional calories for logged exercise. When people get really low calorie targets, it is generally because they selected the most aggressive rate of loss...and often not set their activity level appropriately, and neglect to account for exercise.

    I also wouldn't really consider an 800 calorie meal to be a binge...it could possibly be overeating depending on what's going on the rest of the day...or it actually may be quite normal. My wife is a runner and lifts and does a whole bunch of other stuff activity wise, so 800 calories for a meal really isn't all that out of the ordinary for her, particularly if it's a weekend brunch/lunch and she's either skipped breakfast to do a fasted run or has only had something very small.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,859 Member
    edited March 2021
    "I work out daily. I maybe take 1 day off a week. I burn 400-500 calories per workout plus I have an active job."
    Did you set your activity setting to active?
    Are you eating back exercise calories as this app is designed to be used?

    "I want to shed my extra 15lbs however I am ALWAYS hungry. The calorie allowance myfitnesspal gives us never seems to be enough for me and I go over 3 or 4 times a week."
    What is your calorie allowance?
    What rate of loss did you select to get that goal?

    "Like today I had two turkey sandwiches, an apple and popcorn and that meal was like 800 calories!!"
    Why do you think that is a binge when you are active, exercising and need to eat to fuel accordingly? It's hardly an exceptional amount.

    "Is it normal for someone who lifts weights and runs to eat a lot? "
    Yes of course. People who are active need to eat more than people who aren't. People who exercise need to eat more than people who don't. That's just mathematics.
    Helpful if you define what "a lot" sounds like to you.

    BTW - I'm 61, retired and eat 3000 - 3500cals to maintain my weight.
    Is that a lot for my demographic. Yes!
    Is it a lot for someone active, lifts weights and cycles a lot? No!


  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    An 800 calorie meal doesn't seem that out there for someone who works out six days a week and has an active job. It may be that you expect yourself to eat too few calories, which is setting up a cycle of excessive restriction followed by over-eating.

    What an active person eats when losing weight SHOULD be more than what a non-active person will need to eat to lose weight because what you need to maintain your current weight is higher than it would be if you were non-active. If I wasn't active, I would need to eat about 1,200 calories a day to lose weight. But since I'm active, I can actually lose weight eating as much as 1,750-1,800 calories per day. That's a big difference!

    So the first thing I would do is to make sure that your calorie goal is a reasonable one (that is, you're setting your activity level as active and choosing a reasonable goal like .5 pounds a week). On top of that, you'll want to log your exercise and eat at least SOME of those calories back (if you feel like your calorie burn estimates are accurate, go ahead and eat all of them back). With just fifteen pounds to lose, you'll need to be patient and consistent, but there is no need to feel starving the whole time. Once you know you're planning to eat enough, you can look at some tricks to make sure you feel satisfied on the amount of food you're eating (satiety varies by individual, but some common trends are sufficient fiber, sufficient fat, sufficient protein, higher volume meals, meal timing that matches your preferences/lifestyle, etc).
  • deezer23
    deezer23 Posts: 17 Member
    800 calories may be overeating, but it isn't a binge, so you are good there.

    Are you eating back your exercise calories every day?

    No not every day. I eat my limit 3 or 4 times a day, then 3 or 4 meals a week I over eat one. Trust me, I know 800 isn't a binge...that's why I called it a baby binge. However it is a slipper slope and I still don't feel good about it. Just seems harder to just eat my recommended calorie intake when I started working out heavy. I hate feeling hungry and unsatisfied all the time.
  • deezer23
    deezer23 Posts: 17 Member
    Some stats would be helpful to get tailored advice. How many calories per day are you aiming for, how tall are you, current and goal weight, what is your MFP activity level set at and your selected weekly rate of weight loss, are you eating back your exercise calories, how long have you been following this plan, how are you measuring your intake (weighing? Cups? Package labels) and what kind of activity are you doing for how long to burn 400-500 calories?

    It suggests 1630 cal/ week. I am 5'7" 166lbs. My goal is around 150lbs or a size 7 whichever works out best for my body. I am set to "active" on MFP. WEEKLY weightloss is set at 1.5/week. I eat back on occasion but it isn't daily however today even after working out I am still over. Measuring intake is usually per serving according to label and I do Measure my food. I weight train, kettlebell train, interval run and treadmill for exercise about an hour or more.
  • deezer23
    deezer23 Posts: 17 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    "I work out daily. I maybe take 1 day off a week. I burn 400-500 calories per workout plus I have an active job."
    Did you set your activity setting to active?
    Are you eating back exercise calories as this app is designed to be used?

    "I want to shed my extra 15lbs however I am ALWAYS hungry. The calorie allowance myfitnesspal gives us never seems to be enough for me and I go over 3 or 4 times a week."
    What is your calorie allowance?
    What rate of loss did you select to get that goal?

    "Like today I had two turkey sandwiches, an apple and popcorn and that meal was like 800 calories!!"
    Why do you think that is a binge when you are active, exercising and need to eat to fuel accordingly? It's hardly an exceptional amount.

    "Is it normal for someone who lifts weights and runs to eat a lot? "
    Yes of course. People who are active need to eat more than people who aren't. People who exercise need to eat more than people who don't. That's just mathematics.
    Helpful if you define what "a lot" sounds like to you.

    BTW - I'm 61, retired and eat 3000 - 3500cals to maintain my weight.
    Is that a lot for my demographic. Yes!
    Is it a lot for someone active, lifts weights and cycles a lot? No!


    I said baby binge....not an actual binge. Trust me if I don't stop myself I can get in 10,000 calories!!! It is a slippery slope so I am very self aware. After a 800 calorie meal I am still not satisfied. I stop because I know better and I don't want to fall down that hole again. Same as how a smoker will stop smoking even if they love it...they know it is unhealthy and will eventually kill them. What I am trying to communicate is that working out is making my struggle with food a little harder because I am so hungry even with a pre-workout snack. After my workouts I am usually good but somedays I am like a ravenous wild animal. All your other questions i answered in another reply. My MFP is set to active and my weightloss per week was 1.5. I just changed it today to 1lb per week. See if that helps.
  • girlwithcurls2
    girlwithcurls2 Posts: 2,257 Member
    I get it. You're frustrated about that 15 pounds. When you're already in an active job and then adding a lot of activity on top of that (workouts), you need fuel. My stats are similar, although I'm not aiming to reach 150, but 160. It's just too aggressive a goal to try for 1 lb/week even. I know it will take longer to do .5 lb/week, but really, the time will pass either way. Why not make this easier by giving yourself some more wiggle room for calories? You haven't got much to lose, and your body is working hard for you.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,859 Member
    deezer23 wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    deezer23 wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    "I work out daily. I maybe take 1 day off a week. I burn 400-500 calories per workout plus I have an active job."
    Did you set your activity setting to active?
    Are you eating back exercise calories as this app is designed to be used?

    "I want to shed my extra 15lbs however I am ALWAYS hungry. The calorie allowance myfitnesspal gives us never seems to be enough for me and I go over 3 or 4 times a week."
    What is your calorie allowance?
    What rate of loss did you select to get that goal?

    "Like today I had two turkey sandwiches, an apple and popcorn and that meal was like 800 calories!!"
    Why do you think that is a binge when you are active, exercising and need to eat to fuel accordingly? It's hardly an exceptional amount.

    "Is it normal for someone who lifts weights and runs to eat a lot? "
    Yes of course. People who are active need to eat more than people who aren't. People who exercise need to eat more than people who don't. That's just mathematics.
    Helpful if you define what "a lot" sounds like to you.

    BTW - I'm 61, retired and eat 3000 - 3500cals to maintain my weight.
    Is that a lot for my demographic. Yes!
    Is it a lot for someone active, lifts weights and cycles a lot? No!


    I said baby binge....not an actual binge. Trust me if I don't stop myself I can get in 10,000 calories!!! It is a slippery slope so I am very self aware. After a 800 calorie meal I am still not satisfied. I stop because I know better and I don't want to fall down that hole again. Same as how a smoker will stop smoking even if they love it...they know it is unhealthy and will eventually kill them. What I am trying to communicate is that working out is making my struggle with food a little harder because I am so hungry even with a pre-workout snack. After my workouts I am usually good but somedays I am like a ravenous wild animal. All your other questions i answered in another reply. My MFP is set to active and my weightloss per week was 1.5. I just changed it today to 1lb per week. See if that helps.

    OK I will be blunt - you are doing it wrong.
    Your rate of loss is too aggressive and you are reluctant to use this tool as designed and eat back your exercise calories. You are simply trying to do too much on too few calories. Your hunger is normal for someone under-eating.

    I understand you are scared of binging but don't you think that what precedes binging is restricting too much?

    Reduce your rate of loss to be far more appropriate level for having little weight to lose.
    Eat back your exercise calories - they are the same calories as your estimated BMR calories, the same as the estimated calories required for an active job. There should be no guilt or reluctance to fuel your exercise properly. Your exercise is far too extensive to get away with running on empty.

    Please reconsider and reset.

    I did reset today cuz I thought the same thing. I am just SOOOOO paranoid about taking two steps back you know? Been retraining my brain for years and getting a better relationship with food. I am lucky I never got over 200lbs...but I was 197lbs when I started all this 7 yrs ago and understanding food and nutrition has been exhausting. I love food....when I was a kid we didn't have much so in my brain hunger=pain so when I get the twitch I binge. Counseling has helped that but a boost from others who get it helps too.

    That's really positive news. So many people when they are in a hole just keep digging.

    I always think of those very slim but awesome cyclists doing the Tour de France on 6,500cals a day and struggling to keep weight on as a nice reminder that lots of calories out really does demand a lot of calories in.

    A lot of dieting lore is focussed on very heavy and sedentary people, you are neither of those things.

    Best wishes, hope you find your peace and your balance.
  • MidlifeCrisisFitness
    MidlifeCrisisFitness Posts: 1,106 Member
    I too was always hungry. Look into satiating foods.

    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-incredibly-filling-foods#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4

    I chose Greek yogurt. oatmeal and cottage cheese.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,990 Member
    edited March 2021
    With 15 pounds to lose, half a pound a week loss rate would be a good plan . . . but it will take a long time to show up clearly on the scale. How fast have you actually been losing?

    Using data from at least one full menstrual cycle, add up how many calories you've logged, add the approximate number of calories you've lost during the same time period (3500 x number of pounds), and divide by the number of days. That's be your approximate TDEE. Subtract 250 from that, and eat that much daily to lose about half a pound a week. Monitor that for at least *two* more months before adjusting (usually one month is enough, but that slow a loss rate takes longer to be clear, amongst routine daily water-retention fluctuations).

    (ETA: That would be total calories, so you wouldn't eat back exercise on top of that. If you want to account exercise separately, per the usual MFP routine, the arithmetic is a little more complicated, but still doable.)

    I've been losing slowly for over a year, even more slowly than that, to lose a few vanity pounds: Only about a pound a month. It's been effective, and virtually painless. I'm smaller and older than you (female, 5'5", 125ish pounds now, age 65), and not exercising as much as an hour most days. In a slow-loss context, 600-800 calorie meals can easily be part of the routine. I admit I'm a mysteriously good li'l ol' calorie burner for my demographic, even before exercise, but I eat 800+ meals several times a week.

    If you get 1630 for a pound and a half a week, you should get about 2130 for half a pound a week at active. Since you're working out lots, that should be very useful.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 26,173 Member
    Like others have said, hunger is to be expected for someone with an overly aggressive weekly weight loss goal who is not consistently eating back exercise calories.

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  • Speakeasy76
    Speakeasy76 Posts: 960 Member
    edited March 2021
    As someone who also struggled with bingeing as brought on by overly restrictive dieting, I would also highly suggest setting your weight loss goal to be .5 pounds per week. Also, how quickly do you eat? Do you eat mindfully? If not, that may be something to look into, since (you may already know) it takes at least 20 minutes for your stomach to realize it's had enough.

    For me, it used to be even the thought of being hungry made me think I might binge. I really had to work on changing my mindset to actually believing I could be a person who doesn't binge anymore...or if I did start, I would be able to be mindful of it and stop it. However, this is all assuming that I'm not overly hungry and that I'm eating satiating foods for me. I also had to become comfortable with the idea of/sensation of being a little hungry. A little hunger is perfectly normal and something most people without eating problems experience. It didn't mean I would lose all control and binge eat. However, this last time I set out to lose weight (about 8 pounds), I set the rate to .5 pounds per week and I really didn't feel overly hungry, except for having cravings during PMS.

    I also had to change my mindset in telling myself that nothing is off limits, but it's all up to me, my choices and what I prioritize. I have treats (big or small) every day, but I also trade off and most of my diet is "healthier" foods. I don't deprive myself of the things I REALLY want, but also don't fall into that trap of feeling sorry for myself because I "can't" have all the "junk" foods I used to eat.
  • deezer23
    deezer23 Posts: 17 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    With 15 pounds to lose, half a pound a week loss rate would be a good plan . . . but it will take a long time to show up clearly on the scale. How fast have you actually been losing?

    Using data from at least one full menstrual cycle, add up how many calories you've logged, add the approximate number of calories you've lost during the same time period (3500 x number of pounds), and divide by the number of days. That's be your approximate TDEE. Subtract 250 from that, and eat that much daily to lose about half a pound a week. Monitor that for at least *two* more months before adjusting (usually one month is enough, but that slow a loss rate takes longer to be clear, amongst routine daily water-retention fluctuations).

    (ETA: That would be total calories, so you wouldn't eat back exercise on top of that. If you want to account exercise separately, per the usual MFP routine, the arithmetic is a little more complicated, but still doable.)

    I've been losing slowly for over a year, even more slowly than that, to lose a few vanity pounds: Only about a pound a month. It's been effective, and virtually painless. I'm smaller and older than you (female, 5'5", 125ish pounds now, age 65), and not exercising as much as an hour most days. In a slow-loss context, 600-800 calorie meals can easily be part of the routine. I admit I'm a mysteriously good li'l ol' calorie burner for my demographic, even before exercise, but I eat 800+ meals several times a week.

    If you get 1630 for a pound and a half a week, you should get about 2130 for half a pound a week at active. Since you're working out lots, that should be very useful.

    I haven't been losing i have been floating right around 170lbs for a year now. I haven't stopped working out but I got aggressive with it 14 weeks ago. Still haven't lost a pound. I maintain well, but am not losing so it has to been eating too many calories. So I got more aggressive with diet and I guess I am just stressing myself out which isn't healthy either.
  • deezer23
    deezer23 Posts: 17 Member
    KHMcG wrote: »
    I too was always hungry. Look into satiating foods.

    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-incredibly-filling-foods#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4

    I chose Greek yogurt. oatmeal and cottage cheese.

    I eat all of those things. Most of the time they help but on the days I have a craving (usually due to how my brain is wired) it doesn't matter what I eat if I am not self aware, I can eat thousands of calories. When I was 197lbs I was up to almost 8,000 or more a day due to eating crappy. I don't keep any type of junk food in my house so most times I get a large calorie meal its fruit, veggies meat, popcorn, crackers and things of that nature. My craving has increased since I upped my workouts so I just wanted to make sure it was normal to be hungrier. Just that little bit of confirmation can quite my food triggers and I don't think about it as much. I guess I just want to make sure I'm not messing up all the hard work I put in.
  • deezer23
    deezer23 Posts: 17 Member
    As someone who also struggled with bingeing as brought on by overly restrictive dieting, I would also highly suggest setting your weight loss goal to be .5 pounds per week. Also, how quickly do you eat? Do you eat mindfully? If not, that may be something to look into, since (you may already know) it takes at least 20 minutes for your stomach to realize it's had enough.

    For me, it used to be even the thought of being hungry made me think I might binge. I really had to work on changing my mindset to actually believing I could be a person who doesn't binge anymore...or if I did start, I would be able to be mindful of it and stop it. However, this is all assuming that I'm not overly hungry and that I'm eating satiating foods for me. I also had to become comfortable with the idea of/sensation of being a little hungry. A little hunger is perfectly normal and something most people without eating problems experience. It didn't mean I would lose all control and binge eat. However, this last time I set out to lose weight (about 8 pounds), I set the rate to .5 pounds per week and I really didn't feel overly hungry, except for having cravings during PMS.

    I also had to change my mindset in telling myself that nothing is off limits, but it's all up to me, my choices and what I prioritize. I have treats (big or small) every day, but I also trade off and most of my diet is "healthier" foods. I don't deprive myself of the things I REALLY want, but also don't fall into that trap of feeling sorry for myself because I "can't" have all the "junk" foods I used to eat.

    I am pretty much where you are. However eating slowly and waiting 20mins has been hard since I kicked up my workout. I just wanted to see if my hunger was real or my binge problem. That's why I reached out
  • westrich20940
    westrich20940 Posts: 643 Member
    edited March 2021
    deezer23 wrote: »
    Some stats would be helpful to get tailored advice. How many calories per day are you aiming for, how tall are you, current and goal weight, what is your MFP activity level set at and your selected weekly rate of weight loss, are you eating back your exercise calories, how long have you been following this plan, how are you measuring your intake (weighing? Cups? Package labels) and what kind of activity are you doing for how long to burn 400-500 calories?

    It suggests 1630 cal/ week. I am 5'7" 166lbs. My goal is around 150lbs or a size 7 whichever works out best for my body. I am set to "active" on MFP. WEEKLY weightloss is set at 1.5/week. I eat back on occasion but it isn't daily however today even after working out I am still over. Measuring intake is usually per serving according to label and I do Measure my food. I weight train, kettlebell train, interval run and treadmill for exercise about an hour or more.


    I just want to say --- I know that each person has individual differences but my calorie goal to maintain my weight is 1600 --- and I have sedentary set for my lifestyle so I log my food and my calories and eat back my exercise calories and I run 3-4 times per week (and I'm only 5'3" AND weigh less than you). On days I run my calorie goal is like 2000+ depending on how many calories I burned. ---- so I'd say you feel hungry because you ARE hungry...so then maybe that is leading to binges that end up making you not have a net deficit.? Just a thought -- maybe upping your daily calorie goal will keep you from getting ravenous and having your net cals being messed up?
    --->I should also add that I calculate my calorie goal via a TDEE calculator then set it manually in MFP....I think that might be different than what you're doing. Both take into account your daily lifestyle though (I have mine set to sedentary bc I have a desk job...but you could set yours to whatever you think it is based on your job). I just separate out my workouts bc it's easier for me in my head to just log them and have those cals added to my daily limit.

    And I know that 1600 is more or less my TDEE because I haven't lost or gained any unexpected weight (I actually continued to lose weight when I wasn't trying originally bc I miscalculated my TDEE and was only eating 1400+my exercise cals).