Creating a deficit with exercise?

I've heard a million times that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. But if it's all about CICO, if I eat exactly the same things I normally would, but create a 300 (or whatever) calorie deficit with exercise, how is that different from just eating 300 calories less while sitting on my *kitten*?

Thoughts?
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Replies

  • chonji4ever
    chonji4ever Posts: 120 Member
    sitting on the couch wont get you looking toned, with a rocking bod!

    That's exactly right!
  • Mavrick_RN
    Mavrick_RN Posts: 439 Member
    A lot of people over estimate the calorie burn from exercise. You do NOT burn 330 calories walking to the refrigerator to reward yourself with an ice cream bar.(An exaggeration on my part but hopefully the point is that little bit of exercise does not make up for high caloric food choices.)
  • seska422
    seska422 Posts: 3,218 Member
    You would need to be sure that you actually were eating the same calories that you normally eat (not just the same foods) so that a deficit was actually created with the exercise.

    You can undo the calories from hours of exercise with 10 minutes of eating if you aren't careful.
  • armydreamers
    armydreamers Posts: 175 Member
    sitting on the couch wont get you looking toned, with a rocking bod!

    Right, but people on here are always saying that you don't need to exercise to lose weight, you just need to eat less. I guess I don't get why it matters how you get a deficit as long as you have one.
  • a_hounslow09
    a_hounslow09 Posts: 36 Member
    I think it's just easier for most people to over eat than it is to make up for it with exercise... In college I could literally eat like a football player... But I was playing ice hockey 1 1/2 hours a day 6 days a week, doing plyometrics 45 minutes 3x a week, lifting 45-60 minutes 3-5 days a week... And walking all over campus all day every day... But that just not practical as a 34 year old with 3 kids and all my adult responsibilities.
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    sitting on the couch wont get you looking toned, with a rocking bod!

    Right, but people on here are always saying that you don't need to exercise to lose weight, you just need to eat less. I guess I don't get why it matters how you get a deficit as long as you have one.

    You and the people on here are saying the same thing.

    I love to exercise (I do running and walking) because it lets me eat more nommy calories. :)
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,183 Member
    I thought people on here were saying that one had to get in and stay in a calorie deficit to lose weight.
  • seska422
    seska422 Posts: 3,218 Member
    sitting on the couch wont get you looking toned, with a rocking bod!

    Right, but people on here are always saying that you don't need to exercise to lose weight, you just need to eat less. I guess I don't get why it matters how you get a deficit as long as you have one.

    It doesn't matter how you get your deficit as long as you get a deficit.

    I've lost 90ish pounds so far with basically no exercise. You don't need exercise to lose weight. It's great for overall health but it's not required.

    Some can't exercise. Some won't exercise. They can still lose weight. People who never tried to lose weight because they thought they would have to exercise and they couldn't/wouldn't can know that they, too, can lose weight.

    There are posts all the time from people who are exercising and don't understand why they aren't losing weight. They aren't losing weight because they aren't creating a calorie deficit. They are consuming more calories than their body is using. Creating a deficit with exercise still requires that you pay attention to calorie intake to make sure that you aren't eating more calories than you want to eat. That means that diet is still the major factor even if the deficit is created entirely with exercise.
  • tabbyblack13
    tabbyblack13 Posts: 299 Member
    The deficit is the important part. If you can do that with food then that's fine. A lot of us like food a little too much so exercising is how we create a large enough to lose weight.
  • mom22dogs
    mom22dogs Posts: 470 Member
    I lost about 50 lbs about 6 years ago just by walking every day. I didn't watch what I ate. BUT, I'm disabled and walk on crutches, which means that I lift my bodyweight with every step I take, so I burn a lot more calories just walking. Walking more than 40 feet gets me breathing really hard and it's a hard workout for me. I can walk 1/2 mile, but I'm working really hard. Most people don't lose just by exercising.
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,056 Member
    edited May 2016
    You can create a deficit by eating less food or doing more exercise.It's totally up to the individual.

    Personally I find it easier to add more exercise, than i do decreasing my food. But i work part time from home and have plenty of time. I'd probably change my tune if i spent 8-10 hours sitting behind a desk everyday .
  • PhilP0wer
    PhilP0wer Posts: 76 Member
    It all comes down to how much free time you have (and how much you like exercising). Technically you can lose weight strictly through diet, but you can absolutely lose weight through exercise as well. You just have to have the exercise time available to you. My personal guess as to why so many people on mfp say exercising isn't necessary is that it is a calorie counting site mixed in with the fact that it is really easy to eat back your exercise calories plus a few - your body will try to trick you like that if you don't keep an eye on things.
  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,360 Member
    edited May 2016
    I've heard a million times that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. But if it's all about CICO, if I eat exactly the same things I normally would, but create a 300 (or whatever) calorie deficit with exercise, how is that different from just eating 300 calories less while sitting on my *kitten*?

    Thoughts?

    Speaking purely in terms of weight loss, there's no difference.

    Speaking in terms of body composition, fitness and overall health along with weight loss, there's a big difference.
  • armydreamers
    armydreamers Posts: 175 Member
    Thanks for the replies. I asked because personally, I'd rather increase my exercise than decrease my food. But I kept hearing that 80%/20% thing...
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,331 Member
    edited May 2016
    If you are logging accurately I don't see why not. You would need to be extra vigilant with your logging though because you will have less room for error. Going by what you "feel" is your usual intake may not be accurate because exercise can increase appetite for some. Give it a try, why not...

    An hour of brisk walking can burn 200 calories (although you don't look heavy enough to burn that much and would likely burn 150 or so) so you could start with that and build on it. If you stick to counting only the exercises that can be more accurately calculated like walking and running and only eating back half or so of the calories of any other exercises that are hard to estimate accurately you should be fine.

  • shadow2soul
    shadow2soul Posts: 7,693 Member
    Thanks for the replies. I asked because personally, I'd rather increase my exercise than decrease my food. But I kept hearing that 80%/20% thing...

    Exercise allows you to eat more; true.
    If you are not paying attention to how much you are eating, you could easily eat the calories you burned through exercise or more.

    So whether you exercise to eat a few more calories or don't exercise at all, I would still say diet is 80% of the equation.
  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,360 Member
    Thanks for the replies. I asked because personally, I'd rather increase my exercise than decrease my food. But I kept hearing that 80%/20% thing...

    The problem people run into is believing the inflated calorie burn figures from many workout machines/fitness trackers and then eating all those calories back (which puts them into a surplus). If you have a good handle on realistic calorie burns and/or only eat a portion of those calories back, no problem; if you believe the treadmill when it tells you that you just burned 850 calories by walking for 30 minutes and you eat all those calories back, there's a problem.

    The 80/20 thing and the "you can't out-exercise a bad diet" saying comes from the fact that it may take you an hour or more to create a 300 calorie deficit, but you can easily wipe out that deficit (and a lot more) in 5 minutes or less without too much effort.
  • JinjoJoey
    JinjoJoey Posts: 106 Member
    I've got a Garmin fitness tracker. It's GPS enabled as well as counts steps and everything in between. I specifically bought one with GPS because you know it's going to be fairly accurate when it can count steps as well as track how fast you moved from point A to B to C, via the GPS. Now, as far as exercise machines, yeah, I wouldn't trust them as far as I can throw them. Even with my Garmin, I never eat back more than 50% of my exercise calories and I've lost 80lbs since last Oct. Never had a week where I gained, but I've been jogging A TON!

    That said, I don't even look at weight loss as 80/20 or any percentage of numbers. At the end of the day, it's whatever you make it. Just make sure you're creating a deficit and you'll lose weight, doesn't matter how you create it. Just be sure you're creating one.