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Do I have to eat the calories I gain from exercise?

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Hi,
I'm new to MFP I was wondering if I had to eat the extra calories you earn from exercise in order to lose more weight.
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Replies

  • NVREST
    NVREST Posts: 94
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    No, if you want to loose weight. Yes, if you want to maintain your current weight. Generally speaking.

    This may help a little more if interested:

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/NVREST/view/quick-and-dirty-a-quickie-482188
  • PreggoRocker
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    eating your exercise calories will not make you maintain your weight. thats not the way MFP works.
    they create a deficit for you based on you not exercising, so when you DO workout, you need to add more calories to your day to fuel your bodily functions.
    i lost all my weight (45 lbs) while eating back exercise calories.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,155 Member
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    No, if you want to loose weight. Yes, if you want to maintain your current weight. Generally speaking.

    This may help a little more if interested:

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/NVREST/view/quick-and-dirty-a-quickie-482188

    You must be new...oh look, you are...this site is set up differently than every other site out there....so the answer is...eat them....

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/186814-some-mfp-basics

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/61706-guide-to-calorie-deficits

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/819055-setting-your-calorie-and-macro-targets

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/818082-exercise-calories-again-wtf
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,155 Member
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    NVREST, while you have some good links and resources in your blog, please accept that this site is different. It uses the Mifflin-St Joer calculator. No other mainstream sites use it. The calculations are a little different.
  • babyshme
    babyshme Posts: 310 Member
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    No, if you want to loose weight. Yes, if you want to maintain your current weight. Generally speaking.

    This may help a little more if interested:

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/NVREST/view/quick-and-dirty-a-quickie-482188

    You must be new...oh look, you are...this site is set up differently than every other site out there....so the answer is...eat them....

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/186814-some-mfp-basics

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/61706-guide-to-calorie-deficits

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/819055-setting-your-calorie-and-macro-targets

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/818082-exercise-calories-again-wtf

    Yes you eat them back. I always eat mine back and I have lost weight.



    Side Note: Sorry cmriverside , I seen your join date. KICK *kitten*!!!
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,155 Member
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    Side Note: Sorry cmriverside , I seen your join date. KICK *kitten*!!!

    Yeah, baby, thanks - I think!

    This site is different, and that's where a lot of the "discussion" occurs here. Most people are used to using other calculators. I started in 2007, lost my weight (55 lbs) and I've been maintaining for six years.
  • Mock_Turtle
    Mock_Turtle Posts: 354 Member
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    you can do whatever you want keeping in mind what your daily caloric requirement is and what your goal is (weight loss vs weight gain vs maintenance).

    I usually don't eat mine back, although perhaps up to 1/4 of them on running days, and I don't see the issue. I think I eat below my BMR as well, another big faux pas on this site. My goal is to get an average daily caloric deficit of 1000 cals/day balanced out over the course of a week since I don't do cardio every day.
  • Mock_Turtle
    Mock_Turtle Posts: 354 Member
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    Yes you eat them back. I always eat mine back and I have lost weight.

    I almost never eat mine back and I have also lost weight.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,155 Member
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    you can do whatever you want keeping in mind what your daily caloric requirement is and what your goal is (weight loss vs weight gain vs maintenance).

    I don't eat mine back, although perhaps up to 1/4 of them on running days, and I don't see the issue. I think I eat below my BMR as well, another big faux pas on this site. My goal is to get an average daily caloric deficit of 1000 cals/day balanced out over the course of a week since I don't do cardio every day.

    Good luck with that muscle mass loss....

    Okay, I'm done...not gonna come back.
  • nobo
    nobo Posts: 13 Member
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    No - you don't have to. Everyone is different in terms of how their body and metabolism work. Experiment a little - sometimes eating them for a couple weeks, then not for a couple of weeks or something like that. I've found that I need to stay pretty close to 1200, even while burning 500-800 additional calories on most days, to lose weight, but obviously other people have had different experiences.
  • Pinkigloopyxie
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    If you're hungry, yeah, if not, don't. Just make sure you're getting enough protein.

    I ended up walking 3mi from Aldi's to Walmart instead of waiting for the bus, and walked to other stores for about 2hrs of exercise. I got to walmart and god was i hungry... got a cliff bar and ate it. Got home and was tired and starving... had like 2 dinners because I waited an hour after eating the first and I was still crazy hungry and had cals left. So even though I ate like 1800 cal i still only ate 1400 because of exercise, get it?

    Generally I don't always eat them all back, just half or so unless I was super active that day.
  • Mock_Turtle
    Mock_Turtle Posts: 354 Member
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    you can do whatever you want keeping in mind what your daily caloric requirement is and what your goal is (weight loss vs weight gain vs maintenance).

    I don't eat mine back, although perhaps up to 1/4 of them on running days, and I don't see the issue. I think I eat below my BMR as well, another big faux pas on this site. My goal is to get an average daily caloric deficit of 1000 cals/day balanced out over the course of a week since I don't do cardio every day.

    Good luck with that muscle mass loss....

    Okay, I'm done...not gonna come back.

    Good job speaking in absolutes. So far for me muscle mass losses have been minimal, but strength gains have also been very limited. But I'm happy if when cutting weight I can just keep the same strength levels so whatever.
  • AlohaKeAkua
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    Thanks for asking this!! I have been wondering the same thing! Now if only we could get people to agree on an answer... Is this one of those "it could be a few answers" or "everybody is different" deals?? This is a great thing to know!! I don't want to be too under my calorie limit bc I worked out hard, but mentally my brain says "Look how many calories you were able to burn! Awesome, now keep them off for better weight loss!!" (I eat all day long, so I don't starve myself by any means. Healthy meals/snacks all day. But, if I eat 1800 cals and burn off 900, am I putting myself at risk for not losing weight or something?) Sorry to jump in your question, but this has been plaguing me too!
  • concordancia
    concordancia Posts: 5,320 Member
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    MFP is designed for you to eat your calories back.
  • KenosFeoh
    KenosFeoh Posts: 1,837 Member
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    I don't eat all of mine unless I feel like I'm starving. The burn MFP gives me is an estimate, and I like to leave a margin for error.
  • mcflat29
    mcflat29 Posts: 2,159 Member
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    Okay, this makes a lot more sense out of my roller coaster lately. I've majorly increased my workouts but wasn't eating back the calories. I would just maintain my weight and then at the end of the week, I'd have a 3-5lb weight gain. My off day is Sunday and Monday morning, the extra weight would be gone. A big problem for the fitness challenge I'm in. I think I'm going to try eating the calories back on my major workout days and see if that helps. It's worth a shot! :smile:
  • TillyNix
    TillyNix Posts: 25 Member
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    At the beginning, when I was on the 1200 calories, I didn't eat them back which meant that my ''net'' caloric intake was way way too low on work out days and after a while I started to feel week. So I started eating more on work out days only but not ''all'' of them and only if I was still hungry or ''in need'' of a little treat :-) .

    I continued to loose weight and I have enough energy for my work outs which are becoming more rigorous. I am now at 1350 calories a day and on work out days I eat about 1600 calories. I now usually add an after work out protein shake which is about 250 cal.

    This is working well for me.
  • bzmommy34
    bzmommy34 Posts: 229 Member
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    Rejoined program early Dec 2012.

    My goal has been to eat my BMR plus no less than 50% of my exercise cals. I do 400-500 cal burns 6 days a week and my body needs the fuel to keep my energy levels up. I have averaged a 1.59 lb loss per week.

    I will tell you that there is a bit of 'what works for your body' in this BUT the MFP science is spot on for SUSTAINABLE weight loss. The program wasn't designed to drop 5 lbs a week or even 3 lbs.

    I started at the recommended 1200 cals and quickly found it wasn't enough for my body to lose. It took a couple weeks of playing with the numbers but it all came together.

    Patience and hard work.... Both in the workout dept and meal planning.

    Best wishes on your journey. :)
  • Otterluv
    Otterluv Posts: 9,083 Member
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    As others have said, MFP is designed in a way that you need to eat them back.