How precisely do you log your food/exercise?

I'm 22, about 5 foot 7 and 172lbs.

I have lost weight using My Fitness Pal before but want this time to be more long term and to lose more weight (target is 150lbs).

When I've been logging food before, I have left out condiments and drinks (although I don't drink milkshakes or anything horrific!) and butter, sugar etc so I didn't get too obsessive. I also walk about a total of 45 minutes a day just commuting but leave this out as well.

For those who have successfully lost weight and are around my weight/height, do you log every single food item and every single bit of exercise?

It just seems counter-productive to walk for 15 minutes then eat those extra calories I've just burnt!


Any input greatly appreciated - Thanks in advance!
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Replies

  • jigsaw_me
    jigsaw_me Posts: 616 Member
    Oooh I would be logging butter and sugar, both are very high cal density, same with oil.

    I don't always weigh my vegetables that I put in the salad - I mean 30gm of carrots Vs 50gm ain't going to account for much.

    But anything with sugar or fat in it - definitely - that gets weighed and measured carefully.

    I wouldn't count "exercise" (like the walk) that I've done every day as exercise but anything additional I would.
  • SweeDecadence92
    SweeDecadence92 Posts: 218 Member
    Everything I possibly can. If it has calories I add it. I don't log anything thats 0 calories, basically water, straight teas and coffee.

    Condiments, butter and 1-2 individual sweets add up real quickly, you can find you may have a few hundred calories going out at the end of the day on these things alone, hindering your progress.
  • _Zardoz_
    _Zardoz_ Posts: 3,987 Member
    not your height and weight but I'll tell you what I do and have done. I log everything if I consume it I log it. The only thing I don't log is water. Exercise wise when I started I logged all my dog walking as that was my main exercise I never ate those calories back as to me it was low intensity so in reality I did not feel I needed to fuel those walks in any special way. I now no longer log dog walks they are part of my daily activity. I run a lot I eat back on average around a third to half those calories (to take into account error rate). Running is obviously higher intensity than walking a dog so eating enough is important. I know some people eat every calorie of there exercise calories back. I don't get preachy about what people should do. Do what works for you but be sensible don't deprive yourself (as that normally ends in failure) and make sure you eat enough. Most people who count calories accurately realise they can eat more than they though and healthily lose weight.
  • MissBabyJane
    MissBabyJane Posts: 538 Member
    Everything I could. I don't add water and my chewing gums... (sugarfree)
  • colortheworld
    colortheworld Posts: 374 Member
    I only log planned exercises (if I go out and dance or do extra cleaning or go on a walk just for fun, I never log it) and I log everything I eat, I either weigh or measure almost everything that's calorie dense (pretty good at estimating since I've cooked for the past 20 years) but low calorie foods like veggies I usually guess at and spices and seasonings I rarely log, unless it's something like taco seasoning, which is something like 120 cal a packet.
  • nikibean123
    nikibean123 Posts: 81 Member
    Thank you so much for all your quick replies. Sorry for my ignorance, but if you log 30 mins running and then eat the calories you've burnt off running, doesn't that mean you have defeated the object of running?

    That's what I've got in my head and it might be completely wrong!

    Will def log EVERYTHING for the next week to see how that changes things, thanks
  • ginnycarroll77
    ginnycarroll77 Posts: 27 Member
    if i smell a cookie ...i log it
  • Dewymorning
    Dewymorning Posts: 762 Member
    Yeah, I log just about everything food-wise. I guessitmate on some things, but I try to weigh as much as possible, especially on higher calorie items. Like, as someone said, 20 grams difference for most vegetables is hardly anything, but it can be a lot if it is butter.

    Exercise- well, it depends on the length of time, my intensity and also on whether or not logging will motivate me to do it.

    Like, I log cleaning because it motivates me to clean :P

    I log longer walks, but a 5 or 10 minute walk down the street during my lunch break, I usually don't log that.


    The only things I don't log that I can think of is my chewing gum and water
  • LongIsland27itl
    LongIsland27itl Posts: 365 Member
    I assume about a 10% margin for error and make that up with extra gym time
  • ginnycarroll77
    ginnycarroll77 Posts: 27 Member
    oh and i dont count begging for food off other people plate
  • nikibean123
    nikibean123 Posts: 81 Member
    if i smell a cookie ...i log it

    I get the idea! :p

    I'm going to log absolutely everything to get a realistic idea. I usually don't log ANY fruit/veg either so I eat more of these to stay healthier. I have however just seen that a small Innocent smoothie bottle is 150 cals :noway:
  • Yram29
    Yram29 Posts: 10
    I don't log fruit or veg, and to make up for that I don't eat back my exercise calories
  • Dewymorning
    Dewymorning Posts: 762 Member
    Thank you so much for all your quick replies. Sorry for my ignorance, but if you log 30 mins running and then eat the calories you've burnt off running, doesn't that mean you have defeated the object of running?

    That's what I've got in my head and it might be completely wrong!

    Will def log EVERYTHING for the next week to see how that changes things, thanks

    Depends what the object of running was.

    Exercise is not just about losing weight, it is also about, well, exercising. Elevating heart rate, pumping through some adrenaline, building muscle etc. It helps improve mood, improve overall health and improve how you look even if you do eat all of the calories back.

    And then there are the days I want to go to a party and know I will eat lots so I head to the gym beforehand so I know I can fit some extra treats in. :P

    As a good friend of mine once said "I don't exercise to lose weight, I exercise so I can eat more"

    Of course I try to go somewhere in the middle and usually I don't eat all my exercise calories back.
  • jigsaw_me
    jigsaw_me Posts: 616 Member
    if i smell a cookie ...i log it

    Now I know where I'm going wrong :(
  • Dewymorning
    Dewymorning Posts: 762 Member
    I assume about a 10% margin for error and make that up with extra gym time

    If I have to guess how much of something I ate I usually add an extra 10% margin on to try to be safe.
  • nikibean123
    nikibean123 Posts: 81 Member
    I don't log fruit or veg, and to make up for that I don't eat back my exercise calories

    That sounds fair enough - If I find logging everything too tough I think I'll do this as then the pressure it off a bit if i can eat lots of bananas and melon!
  • KitTheRoadie
    KitTheRoadie Posts: 641 Member
    I think the point of eating back your exercise cals is MFP already has whatever deficit you require built in so if you don't eat them back you're probably not eating enough! That's easy for me to say burning 1000cals upwards everyday with my cycling commutes but as for smaller burns I don't really know. Some people only eat a certain percentage of their exercise cals back to err on the side of caution.

    I log everything, even if it takes me over and I've been pretty successful! :happy:
  • jigsaw_me
    jigsaw_me Posts: 616 Member
    Have a read of this

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/1080242-a-guide-to-get-you-started-on-your-path-to-sexypants?hl=sexypants

    And yes, MFP is does work on the theory that you eat back your exercise cals - someone might be able to post a link to why this is.

    But basically MFP recommends that you eat less than your BMR - which means you should lose weight even if you don't do any exercise .. therefore if you exercise you can eat those cals back and still lose weight.

    However, be careful of the method you use to track cals burnt. I find MFP SERIOUSLY overestimates for me. I use a HRM and even then I don't eat back 100% of my exercise cals.
  • ChrisM8971
    ChrisM8971 Posts: 1,067 Member
    Thank you so much for all your quick replies. Sorry for my ignorance, but if you log 30 mins running and then eat the calories you've burnt off running, doesn't that mean you have defeated the object of running?

    That's what I've got in my head and it might be completely wrong!

    Will def log EVERYTHING for the next week to see how that changes things, thanks

    MFP sets you up with a calorie deficit designed to allow you to lose weight at the rate you have specified and expects you to eat back exercise calories.

    If you do not eat them back, as many do not, then you are just increasing your deficit and there have been some heated debates about whether doing that is healthy or not

    My view is that my body needs a certain amount of calories to survive and to keep doing what I do on a daily basis, my TDEE if you will. Now I know the body can make up for a deficit by burning fat (which is why we are eating at a deficit in the first place) but it also makes up the deficit by burning away lean body mass, which is bad. I have read in forum posts and elsewhere that the bigger the deficit then the more LBM you burn.

    I am not sure how true that is or what size deficits are being talked about, but if I am losing at a healthy rate using the MFP deficit and eating back exercise calories based in a HRM then why would I want to take the risk of burning more LBM?

    Hope that makes sense

    Edited to say that I also think that the reason this works for me is that I weigh and log everything I eat and measure and log everything I drink.
  • nikibean123
    nikibean123 Posts: 81 Member
    Thanks so much everyone! I know everyone's different but is good to know how strict to be without going crazy about it!

    Going to buy sweetener and 1 cal cooking spray now that I'm logging EVERYTHING. :tongue: