Do you eat the calories you earn through cardio exercise?



  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,809 Member
    Yes - all of them, both when I was losing weight and when maintaining.
    Averaging just under 5000 cals a week so far this year.

    I would have a pretty miserable daily calorie allowance if I didn't!
  • Jezebel_Barbie
    Jezebel_Barbie Posts: 198 Member
    I'm always astounded when people don't.
  • Carrieendar
    Carrieendar Posts: 493 Member
    You would have really high deficits if you don't eat most of them back. If MFP says your goal is 1600, that has a calorie deficit built in. Let's say you are at a 500 cal deficit with that number. You burn 800 calories going for a long run. If you don't eat them back, now you are at a 1300 calorie deficit and your body will just compensate by eating away at your muscle to sustain itself.

    The numbers here are usually overestimated. If you use an HRM during cardio, that is pretty accurate. My rule of thumb is to subtract 150 calories an hour from MFP numbers when I am not using my HRM for cardio, that usually make the number match what my watch/HRM gives me. But that works for me personally.
  • RHachicho
    RHachicho Posts: 1,115 Member
    I don't eat back my exercise calories per se. But on a gym day where I spend a large portion of the day active. I usually allow myself an extra 2-400 calories.
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
    Short answer: I eat every single calorie of them.

    Longer answer: I find net calories (instead of a fixed %) and eat those back. Not the whole gross amount.
  • BigT555
    BigT555 Posts: 2,067 Member
  • Inkratlet
    Inkratlet Posts: 613 Member
    I use them to give myself a bit of flexibility, so I don't have to stick strictly to a 1350 limit.

    I will burn an extra 400-1400 calories a day depending on what I'm doing. I don't eat all of them back, probably only about 200 of them. So depending on my actual burn, 20-50% I will eat back. I'm currently losing at around 1-2lbs (0.5-1kg) a week so I'm happy with this set up.