Exercise Calories - do you eat them?



  • I eat some of mine back, but only until I feel full. I've found that if I don't eat some of them back it makes me feel faint and almost travel sick? So I eat enough to stop me feeling ill, but I won't try and force food down :-)
  • ubermensch13
    ubermensch13 Posts: 824 Member
    I did, and got to goal weight, now I'm doing TDEE because it makes more sense.
  • smittieaj
    smittieaj Posts: 151 Member
    The only reason I exercise is so that I can eat more lol

    ^^^^ this ^^^^

    Seriously, every time I exercise, I'm dreaming about what I'll get to eat.
  • patentguru
    patentguru Posts: 312 Member
    That's the whole point of doing exercise- so you can go out to eat and drink!
  • nkyjennifer
    nkyjennifer Posts: 135 Member
    Nopeeeeeeeeeeeeeee i never will whats the point in exersizing if you just eat your calories back if your eating really low calories like 1000 to 1200 it may be fine, but even then its tricky, If your eating like 1500 -1600 u should deff not eat them backk!1

    Keep in mind that MFP has already calculated your deficit. The point in exercising is to keep your heart healthy and keep muscle mass while losing weight.

    My daily calorie goal is 1800 and I eat back almost all of my exercise calories every day. It's not unusual for me to eat 2400 calories in a day.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,664 Member
    Hi, no I wouldn't eat all of them! Because to me I worked out hard for no reason!

    'cept MFP has a huge calorie deficit in your goal for weight loss...no need to make it bigger...you don't actually have to exercise at all for weight loss with the MFP method.

    Exercise for fitness; use your diet for weight control. Stop excising for the sole purpose of calorie burn and make fitness goals that are independent of your weight loss goals. You will thank yourself in the long run.
  • threesixten
    threesixten Posts: 134 Member
    I didn't, but now I do.. because I realized I was netting below my BMR.
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,443 Member
    The only reason I exercise is so that I can eat more lol

    Me, too!
  • No. I dont.
  • theskinnylist
    theskinnylist Posts: 286 Member
    I don't eat all of my exercise calories back, although I do give myself the additional carb/fat allowance in my macros at times.
  • mamasmaltz3
    mamasmaltz3 Posts: 1,111 Member
    I usually eat most of them back, they are freaking delicious! And then I have more energy to workout the next day.

    ^^^^^ This for me too.
  • MFP originally set me at 1200 calories net. I went with that because how would I know that was bad? Read a few posts and calculated my BMR (1214) and TDEE (1884 for moderately active). So now I understand eating 1200 calories is barely enough for survival and my body will start sacrificing muscle if I stay there long enough. My first week doing that I lost 4lbs and was not happy. My goal is to lose fat but maintain muscle... 4lbs was 3% of my weight (healthy is .5-1% per week) and most likely I ate up some lean muscle that week. My TDEE-20% is 1507 calories and TDEE-10% is 1700. I have MFP set to 1400 calorie net and I tend to burn 200-300 calories per workout 5x per week (according to MFP) so I'm eating most of those calories back to stay between1500-1700 calories each day total. Today 1576. Right in the middle where I want to be.
  • dsoprana
    dsoprana Posts: 4 Member
    If you burn 900 of the 1200 calories you're allowed, then you've only had 300 calories. At the end of the day, you're supposed to have retained 1200 calories so your body can adequately perform its normal bodily functions. So if you've burned 900 of your 1200, then you need to put that 900 back. That's a lot to be missing. I don't have that problem; my problem is staying within the 1280 I'm allowed, because if exceed my calorie count I may or may not work out. :laugh:

    This website helps me gauge myself so I know what I have left, and so that i don't feel guilty if I didn't work out but did stay within my calorie allotment. I do walk, mind you, but sometimes the eat/exercise balance race gets a little hectic...
  • In the early going this seems to be such a critical question. I absolutely believe that the science of calorie eat back is sound. But full eat back is probably only needed for those who are doing serious weightolifting. For me, I seem to get the healthy weight loss when I eat back about half the calories.

    I am a bit skeptical of the idea that you wouldn't eat back any of the exercise calories after days of vigorous work outs. I guess I would need someone to explain scientifically why that would work and be healthy and safe. When I was doing that at the beginning, I actually felt depleted and hungry. It was miserable....and then to find out that it wasn't even necessary!
  • meggonkgonk
    meggonkgonk Posts: 2,066 Member
    Yeah, I'd say your plateau is likely caused by not eating enough on a regular basis. I would slowly work your way up to eating close to goal maintenance + exercise calories and then drop your calorie goal to an MFP recommended deficit (so up to about 1600 calories + exercise, then drop to maybe 1300+exercise). I know it seems counter intuitive and you will gain a bit initially, but your metabolism needs to come out of emergency mode where it's trying to save anything it can in case food gets any scarcer.
  • kassiebby1124
    kassiebby1124 Posts: 927 Member
    I eat mine back some times and sometimes I don't. Like yesterday. I wanted to eat ice cream and my training session for work required me to work out so when I got home, I ate some.
  • Personally, before reading anyone else's response I will tell you that when I first started I ate my exercise calories, I thought if I was working them off what is the hurt in eating them. Of course I still got results at first because even eating my workout calories I was still eating less than what I was before I started MFP. I lost about 20 pounds and then stopped. The scale wouldnt budge and I didnt know what I was doing wrong. I started either not logging my exercise or if I did I just wouldnt eat them and let me tell you, I felt 100% better and I started losing again.

    If you feel compelled to eat those calories maybe give yourself one day to eat your exercise calories.
  • Druidor
    Druidor Posts: 29 Member
    I have a fairly low calorie target of 1450 but will do cycling at lunch time which will burn around 400-600 calories, I try to use them up as on occasion when I have been under I have felt run down the next day due to no energy.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,300 MFP Moderator
    Nopeeeeeeeeeeeeeee i never will whats the point in exersizing if you just eat your calories back if your eating really low calories like 1000 to 1200 it may be fine, but even then its tricky, If your eating like 1500 -1600 u should deff not eat them backk!1

    Don't say never. I can't tell you how many people think this and then when they get to their weight goal and realize that they don't have the body they want, their minds changed.

    OP, if you want a lean and tight body, you have to fuel your muscles to sustain themselves. Otherwise you will just lose a lot of muscle and be flabby. Also, with very little to lose, you should be aiming for 1/2 lb per week. Additionally, if you are regularly exercising, why don't you include your exercise in your lifestyle factor. If you workout 5-6 days a week, make your account moderate. Then you don't have to chase exercise calories. I will say, the majority of the women on this board that I have helped, are successfully losing at 1700-2100 calories and many of them stopped seeing success quickly at 1200-1500. I will leave you the below thread that expands on why you should eat back exercise calories. Besides, if you are going to follow a program, you might as well actually follow it based on it's design and MFP has you eat back exercise calories.

  • tndejong
    tndejong Posts: 463
    i dont rely on the exercise calories mfp calculates. i have my calories set at 1800 as it is. i eat when im hungry or i dont. but even when im really hungry, 1800 is hard to go over unless im having treats. i still lose with 1800 and exercise almost everyday.