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Do you eat Your Exercise Calories

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  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,292 Member Member Posts: 10,292 Member
    mpkpbk2015 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    dolorsit wrote: »
    So . . . you're using MFP in a way that pushing you below 1,500 net per day?

    Yes. Just as everyone who actually is highly active and whose MFP calorie recommendation is around 1650 would also be doing.

    I don't know who told you this, but no. Everyone who is highly active isn't using MFP to net below the 1,200/1,500 minimum.
    Yep. I'm highly active at 57. I don't net less than 1900 calories minimum. I have to eat back my exercise calories or I'd not only be ravenous, but weak as well.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    If I eat my exercise calories back, I do not lose weight. I am 56.

    Maybe it's a age thing because I am 66 and when I eat mine back I don't lose either. So I don't which is what prompted me to start this discussion to see what other peoples experience is.

    When I bike a lot I eat every one of my exercise calories back and I lose weight faster than expected.

    It happens because the way my gadgets count bike calories doesn't include BMR and be MFP's exercise calories math expects it too. In other words my system for exercise calories isn't fully accurate (in the other direction as normal) and it has an effect on my weight loss because I'm eating the wrong number. Does that make sense? It's not because they're exercise calories instead of everyday calories, it's because my way of measuring them is wrong.

    (I do 20 miles after work most nice days most of the year so it adds up. Just coming back into the season now.)
  • mpkpbk2015mpkpbk2015 Member Posts: 714 Member Member Posts: 714 Member
    mpkpbk2015 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    dolorsit wrote: »
    So . . . you're using MFP in a way that pushing you below 1,500 net per day?

    Yes. Just as everyone who actually is highly active and whose MFP calorie recommendation is around 1650 would also be doing.

    I don't know who told you this, but no. Everyone who is highly active isn't using MFP to net below the 1,200/1,500 minimum.
    Yep. I'm highly active at 57. I don't net less than 1900 calories minimum. I have to eat back my exercise calories or I'd not only be ravenous, but weak as well.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    If I eat my exercise calories back, I do not lose weight. I am 56.

    Maybe it's a age thing because I am 66 and when I eat mine back I don't lose either. So I don't which is what prompted me to start this discussion to see what other peoples experience is.

    When I bike a lot I eat every one of my exercise calories back and I lose weight faster than expected.

    It happens because the way my gadgets count bike calories doesn't include BMR and be MFP's exercise calories math expects it too. In other words my system for exercise calories isn't fully accurate (in the other direction as normal) and it has an effect on my weight loss because I'm eating the wrong number. Does that make sense? It's not because they're exercise calories instead of everyday calories, it's because my way of measuring them is wrong.

    (I do 20 miles after work most nice days most of the year so it adds up. Just coming back into the season now.)

    Yes it make sense, thank you . Have a great evening and Happy biking.
  • 75in201375in2013 Member Posts: 355 Member Member Posts: 355 Member
    dolorsit wrote: »
    Ok, this is my very last attempt. I promise I won't say another word.

    Let me introduce my pals John and Jim. They're twins. They both have a BMR of 1650. They both want to lose weight and have pulled out of a hat the goal of losing 1kg/week. John works from home at a desk so puts his activity level as Sedentary into MFP. Jack is a coal miner and he puts his activity level as Highly Active. MFP spits out this:

    John: TDEE 2060 (1650x1.25) Net target: 1500. Projected loss 0.5kg/week since he hit the min of 1500
    Jim: TDEE 2970 (1650x1.8) Net target: 1870. Projected loss 1kg/week.

    John is a keen runner and he runs the equivalent of 910 calories per day, coincidentally expending the same amount of energy per day as Jim does.
    Jim goes home every day and watches TV.

    John comes on here and asks whether he should eat his exercise calories every day and maintain 1500 "net".

    Everyone tells him that he must, because otherwise he'd "net" 590 cals per day and that would be bad for him

    Which is exactly what MFP has advised Jim to do every day.

    John points at Jim and says how come he can do 910 calories of effort at work every day and nobody tells him to eat it all.


    Your math may be confusing you because you are so close to the low barrier of 1500kcal.

    In this case MFP automatically adjusts John's goal to .5kg/week so that his daily calorie intake does not drop below 1500kcal.

    In order to make John and Jim comparable again you have to adjust both goals to .5kg/week. Otherwise you are comparing apples and oranges.

    When you adjust Jim's goal to .5kg/week his net target becomes 2410kcal. As you can see MFP actually does tell him to eat his 910kcal back!


    Let's take a differernt approach and assume MFP would not adjust John's calorie goal. MFP would now suggest a calorie goal of 960kcal (which we know MFP would never do!!!) for John to reach 1kg/week. Now we add John's 910kcal exercise calories and obviously he has to eat them back. And ... his new calorie goal for that day is 1870kcal (same as Jim).


    In your example John has to eat 370kcal of his 910kcal exercise calories back. Otherwise John would consistently lose more than 1kg/week which is also considered to be unhealthy (besides the 1500kcal minimum).


    As a takeaway: you only have to eat back all your excercise calories if you want to stick to your goal (which in your example was unfavorably auto-adjusted). But you have to make sure that you eat enough of your exercise calories so that you a) don't drop below your 1500kcal goal and b) that your calorie deficit is not so huge that you would consistently lose more than 1kg/week. Both would be considered unhealthy.
  • mpkpbk2015mpkpbk2015 Member Posts: 714 Member Member Posts: 714 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    mpkpbk2015 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I use the TDEE method...so essentially, yes...I do eat back exercise calories in that they are already included in my total activity level and I take my cut from TDEE. I don't use the MFP method of setting activity level to day to day stuff and logging exercise separately...but when I did, it pretty much worked out to be 6 of 1, half dozen of the other.

    With MFP I had 2000 calories to lose about 1 Lb per week...with logging exercise I was eating around 2300-2500 gross calories per day to lose 1 Lb per week. With TDEE I eat the same...pretty much 2300-2500 calories per day to lose 1 Lb per week...the only difference is that my exercise is included in my activity level and thus my base calorie target is higher than it is with MFP...but after exercise gross calories are pretty much the same.

    If you're not losing weight and/or gaining weight from eating back exercise calories as MFP intends, then something else is off...logging is off...erroneous entries...inaccurate serving sizes...over-estimation of exercise calories, etc.

    I've lost all my weigh 100 pounds and I am starting the maintenance phase and wanted to know others experience with eating back calories - I carefully weigh and measure and log everything that goes in my mouth to the point sometimes of being OCD. I used MFP numbers for exercise calorie burn so that might have been what was off. So I don't eat back my calories - my calorie needed for a given day was calculated via a metabolism test done by my doctor's office what's on MFP which was higher for my age, height and beginning weight. Just checking other users experience - Thanks for sharing.

    Yes, if you're getting your calorie target from elsewhere, it's all really a moot point because you're not really using MFP's methodology...you're just using MFP to track stuff. The whole "eat back" calories thing is because when you use MFP to get your calorie target, exercise isn't included in your activity level...and you therefore start with a lower base calorie target. The only reason to log and eat back calories from exercise with MFP is to account for that activity that is otherwise not accounted for.

    When you're using other calculators or getting your calorie needs, etc from a doctor, those are typically going to roll up everything into your calorie target...ie, some regular exercise and your daily are already accounted for. If you then logged and ate back additional calories, you would be double dipping. The only reason to eat back calories with MFP is if you are specifically following MFP's methodology. If you're doing something else, it's a moot point really.

    The metabolism test is just telling me how many calories I need to eat to be healthy. And avoid being diabetic. It had nothing to do with calculating how much exercise I do. those question were not asked or addressed. They have tell you how much you body burn based on what the machine reads or calculates from your breathing into it over a specific time period.
  • mpkpbk2015mpkpbk2015 Member Posts: 714 Member Member Posts: 714 Member
    mpkpbk2015 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    mpkpbk2015 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I use the TDEE method...so essentially, yes...I do eat back exercise calories in that they are already included in my total activity level and I take my cut from TDEE. I don't use the MFP method of setting activity level to day to day stuff and logging exercise separately...but when I did, it pretty much worked out to be 6 of 1, half dozen of the other.

    With MFP I had 2000 calories to lose about 1 Lb per week...with logging exercise I was eating around 2300-2500 gross calories per day to lose 1 Lb per week. With TDEE I eat the same...pretty much 2300-2500 calories per day to lose 1 Lb per week...the only difference is that my exercise is included in my activity level and thus my base calorie target is higher than it is with MFP...but after exercise gross calories are pretty much the same.

    If you're not losing weight and/or gaining weight from eating back exercise calories as MFP intends, then something else is off...logging is off...erroneous entries...inaccurate serving sizes...over-estimation of exercise calories, etc.

    I've lost all my weigh 100 pounds and I am starting the maintenance phase and wanted to know others experience with eating back calories - I carefully weigh and measure and log everything that goes in my mouth to the point sometimes of being OCD. I used MFP numbers for exercise calorie burn so that might have been what was off. So I don't eat back my calories - my calorie needed for a given day was calculated via a metabolism test done by my doctor's office what's on MFP which was higher for my age, height and beginning weight. Just checking other users experience - Thanks for sharing.

    Yes, if you're getting your calorie target from elsewhere, it's all really a moot point because you're not really using MFP's methodology...you're just using MFP to track stuff. The whole "eat back" calories thing is because when you use MFP to get your calorie target, exercise isn't included in your activity level...and you therefore start with a lower base calorie target. The only reason to log and eat back calories from exercise with MFP is to account for that activity that is otherwise not accounted for.

    When you're using other calculators or getting your calorie needs, etc from a doctor, those are typically going to roll up everything into your calorie target...ie, some regular exercise and your daily are already accounted for. If you then logged and ate back additional calories, you would be double dipping. The only reason to eat back calories with MFP is if you are specifically following MFP's methodology. If you're doing something else, it's a moot point really.

    The metabolism test is just telling me how many calories I need to eat to be healthy. And avoid being diabetic. It had nothing to do with calculating how much exercise I do. those question were not asked or addressed. They have tell you how much you body burn based on what the machine reads or calculates from your breathing into it over a specific time period.

    What is Metabolic Testing? Metabolic Testing measures how many calories someone is burning and enables us to see if they are burning more or less than they should. When a person is underfed, it also measures how much lean mass (muscles, brain, organ tissue, etc.) is being used to fuel the body.

  • Beverly2HansenBeverly2Hansen Member Posts: 193 Member Member Posts: 193 Member
    Absolutly not. I was stuck in a feedback loop because I used too. Not I custom log exercise as 1calorie burn. I lose weight at a reasonable steady weight.
  • mpkpbk2015mpkpbk2015 Member Posts: 714 Member Member Posts: 714 Member
    Absolutly not. I was stuck in a feedback loop because I used too. Not I custom log exercise as 1calorie burn. I lose weight at a reasonable steady weight.

    Thanks for sharing - I totally agree when I tried eating them back I gained. But many people when I posed this question disagreed with me. So it nice to hear someone else who doesn't eat them back. apparently we are in the minority. Have a nice weekend. Apparently the program is written to eat them back.
  • TeaBeaTeaBea Member Posts: 14,454 Member Member Posts: 14,454 Member
    mpkpbk2015 wrote: »
    Absolutly not. I was stuck in a feedback loop because I used too. Not I custom log exercise as 1calorie burn. I lose weight at a reasonable steady weight.

    Thanks for sharing - I totally agree when I tried eating them back I gained. But many people when I posed this question disagreed with me. So it nice to hear someone else who doesn't eat them back. apparently we are in the minority. Have a nice weekend. Apparently the program is written to eat them back.

    Yes - the program is written that way. It's called NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenisis).

    Every thing is estimates, therefore the "controversy."

    Your activity level is not the same number each and everyday, even if it were activity level is a range. Activity level and calories for a woman your age, blah, blah, blah is an AVERAGE. Maybe you're not average.

    Then there are calories in (food logging). Some people are very accurate, and others just think they are.

    Then there's the exercise calorie estimate itself. Some forms of exercise are easier to estimate. There are some tools to help estimate calorie burns, some good, some not so much. But again....it's all estimates.
  • mpkpbk2015mpkpbk2015 Member Posts: 714 Member Member Posts: 714 Member
    TeaBea wrote: »
    mpkpbk2015 wrote: »
    Absolutly not. I was stuck in a feedback loop because I used too. Not I custom log exercise as 1calorie burn. I lose weight at a reasonable steady weight.

    Thanks for sharing - I totally agree when I tried eating them back I gained. But many people when I posed this question disagreed with me. So it nice to hear someone else who doesn't eat them back. apparently we are in the minority. Have a nice weekend. Apparently the program is written to eat them back.

    Yes - the program is written that way. It's called NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenisis).

    Every thing is estimates, therefore the "controversy."

    Your activity level is not the same number each and everyday, even if it were activity level is a range. Activity level and calories for a woman your age, blah, blah, blah is an AVERAGE. Maybe you're not average.

    Then there are calories in (food logging). Some people are very accurate, and others just think they are.

    Then there's the exercise calorie estimate itself. Some forms of exercise are easier to estimate. There are some tools to help estimate calorie burns, some good, some not so much. But again....it's all estimates.

    Thanks I know - I just didn't expect such a heated controversy about it by asking the question simply out of curiosity about other peoples experience, one guy even took my response the wrong way and reported me for attacking him, and I wasn't. Have a great weekend.
  • mpkpbk2015mpkpbk2015 Member Posts: 714 Member Member Posts: 714 Member
    mel941980 wrote: »
    Hell yes! I power walk 20 + miles a week and strength train 2-3 times a week, so I can eat those calories. I've lost 80lbs in 15 months. Could I have lost weight more quickly if I didn't eat exercise calories, or course. That said, this is the first time I've changed my lifestyle and stuck with it for over a year.

    Thanks for sharing and Congrats on your 80 pound loss that's impressive. Have a great Sunday.
  • mel941980mel941980 Member Posts: 31 Member Member Posts: 31 Member
    Thank you, @heybales! I agree. I enjoy the walking and I highly doubt I would have stuck with running long-term.
  • middleagegirlmiddleagegirl Member Posts: 19 Member Member Posts: 19 Member
    Oh my goodness. Way too technical. Eat your calories back or not. I do not. Defeats the purpose of all of my heard work. Why would there be a calorie and fat burning zone to burn fat and calories then???
  • Vanessa1969Vanessa1969 Member Posts: 142 Member Member Posts: 142 Member
    Disclaimer: This is just my personal approach as someone who lost a considerable amount of weight a few years ago using this website, but then gained it back after a fairly bad car accident... and then some.
    I don't eat them - I treat my calorie reduction and exercise as two completely different entities. I don't log my calories/exercise daily either - beyond logging in a few meals in order to get a rough idea of how much quantity I should be eating. I have made significant changes to what I eat, how much of it I eat, and I exercise nearly every day for, at least, 15 minutes. I have lost 24lbs in three months, which is bang on my goal of 2lbs per week. I have a painfully long way to go and I am sticking to it.
    I'm not doing any criticizing, or judging, of those who are tracking what they eat, but it just didn't work for me the last time round. I don't want to think it terms of my calorie count this time, I want to think in terms of this is what you should be eating in the amount that you should be eating it. I need to not rely on a website as much as I did the last time. My treat to myself will eventually be not having to intentionally exercise as much as I do today.
    I will continue to exercise at the same frequency that I do now, increasing in length/type as my body enables me to do so, until I get to a healthy weight. After that, I will treat myself sparingly and reduce (not eliminate) the intentional exercise when I am able to be more active overall. I will continue to weigh myself every few days until I die to prevent myself from ever gaining back the weight I have this time.
    Yes, I treat myself occasionally and, when I do, I recognize that I might not reach my goal for this week/month/duration. I ask myself if every single treat I want is worth the sacrifice and I give it a thumbs up, or down, from there. I treat skipping a day of exercising the same way. I never treat myself on the basis of using the "I'll just work it off tomorrow" approach. I want to eventually reach the point of being able to treat myself without having that kind of impact on my weight, because all of the other aspects of my eating, and activity rate, are on point.
    edited March 23
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,292 Member Member Posts: 10,292 Member
    Also isn't the purpose of exercise to be healthy, have fun, get rid of your stress, and improve your fitness? Eating your calories back doesn't defeat the purpose, it strengthens it.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,837 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,837 Member
    Oh my goodness. Way too technical. Eat your calories back or not. I do not. Defeats the purpose of all of my heard work. Why would there be a calorie and fat burning zone to burn fat and calories then???

    You burn more calories per minute when you work out at an intensity *above* the "fat burning zone". You typically burn the highest percentage of calories from fat when you're asleep or at rest, which is way below the "fat burning zone".

    Why would there be a "calorie and fat burning zone" to burn calories and fat then?

    *Not* eating back calories from exercise defeats the purpose of *my* hard work, but I think we're working toward slightly different goals, and that's fine.
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