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Dont eat back exercise calories?

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My calorie goal is 1200, if i dont eat back the exercise calories, im at 900, isnt that dangerous?? I keep reading "dont eat back those calories", is that good advice or are people on higher calorie diets so that deficit still keeps them above the doctor recomended minimum of 1200?
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Replies

  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 28,034 Member
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    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/818082/exercise-calories-again-wtf/p1

    If you are using MFP to tell you how many calories to eat, you should probably be eating back some portion of your exercise calories.

    If you are using an external calculator and then customizing your intake to match that, you should not be eating back your exercise calories.
  • _Waffle_
    _Waffle_ Posts: 13,049 Member
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    NET calories are what's important. If you eat 1200 and then burn off 300 then your NET calories are 900. Your body had an intake of 900 calories for the day. If 1200 calories is giving you a weight loss of 1 pound a week then eating back those calories still works. 1200 -300 + 300 = 1200.


    My calorie goal is 2500 a day. I know, I know. Sounds like a ton of food right? But wait. My morning workouts burn around 1,100 calories. How long do you think I could keep running a bit over 10k if I was eating 2500 - 1100 = 1400 calories a day? Not very long. I'd tank within a month I'm sure. I add pretty much all of that back in. Even though I have 3600 calories the NET effect is still just 2500 calories and my weight stays the same. (I'm trying to maintain weight)

    Skipping exercise calories isn't sustainable in the long run.
  • LivingtheLeanDream
    LivingtheLeanDream Posts: 13,342 Member
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    Yes that's not a healthy thing to do...eat back at least half those exercise calories. You need to aim for a net of 1200.
    Eating back some accounts for overestimated calorie burns/inaccuracies.
  • _Waffle_
    _Waffle_ Posts: 13,049 Member
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    If I want to lose weight I drop my base to 2000 and still eat back exercise calories. I lose about a pound a week even if I'm eating 3000 calories a day. NET calories are what matter.
  • banana_butterfly
    banana_butterfly Posts: 29 Member
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    Ah i see, thanks for the replies!
  • StacyChrz
    StacyChrz Posts: 865 Member
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    I'm not sure where you're reading "don't eat back your exercise calories". MFP is set up so that you do eat all or at least a portion of your exercise calories back. Your calorie goal is net, including any exercise. Some people will start by eating back just 25-50% because many of the estimated calorie burns given by the exercise database are on the high side. Try that for a couple of weeks and see how much weight you're losing. If it's more than 2 lbs/wk then move up to 50-75% of your exercise calories and try that for a couple of weeks. It takes a little trial and error to find the right mix for you.

    Personally, I have my activity set to sedentary and my goal to lose 2 lbs/wk. I eat back all of my exercise calories and sometimes more. As long as I am logging accurately (that's the big key) I lose 2 lbs/wk and feel great.
  • srecupid
    srecupid Posts: 660 Member
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    If you don't need them ie you aren't hungry then don't eat them. But, if you are starving just eat them. Do you want to lose weight faster or are you perfectly happy with whatever goal you have set in myfitnesspal? If you are happy with myfitnesspal predictions then it anticipates you eating them
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,865 Member
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    My calorie goal is 1200, if i dont eat back the exercise calories, im at 900, isnt that dangerous?? I keep reading "dont eat back those calories", is that good advice or are people on higher calorie diets so that deficit still keeps them above the doctor recomended minimum of 1200?

    That is advice from people have no clue how this tool actually works...there does seem like there are a lot of people without a friggin' clue.
  • Jpost001
    Jpost001 Posts: 26 Member
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    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    My calorie goal is 1200, if i dont eat back the exercise calories, im at 900, isnt that dangerous?? I keep reading "dont eat back those calories", is that good advice or are people on higher calorie diets so that deficit still keeps them above the doctor recomended minimum of 1200?

    That is advice from people have no clue how this tool actually works...there does seem like there are a lot of people without a friggin' clue.

    So then what's your advice?
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,564 Member
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    StacyChrz wrote: »
    I'm not sure where you're reading "don't eat back your exercise calories". MFP is set up so that you do eat all or at least a portion of your exercise calories back. Your calorie goal is net, including any exercise. Some people will start by eating back just 25-50% because many of the estimated calorie burns given by the exercise database are on the high side. Try that for a couple of weeks and see how much weight you're losing. If it's more than 2 lbs/wk then move up to 50-75% of your exercise calories and try that for a couple of weeks. It takes a little trial and error to find the right mix for you.

    Personally, I have my activity set to sedentary and my goal to lose 2 lbs/wk. I eat back all of my exercise calories and sometimes more. As long as I am logging accurately (that's the big key) I lose 2 lbs/wk and feel great.

    A lot of people don't eat back their exercise calories for a variety of reasons, whether legitimate (hard to estimate how many calories were burned) or not (believing if they eat them back they'll no longer be in a deficit).
  • ShrinkinMel
    ShrinkinMel Posts: 982 Member
    edited June 2016
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    So much back and forth on this. I eat some to all of mine(I don't always eat them unless hungry because of possibility of inaccuracies with their calculations on my calories burned) based on hunger and losing 2 lbs/week(which is what I'm set at because I have 100+ lbs to lose its healthy) or near there on average.

    I'd say go based on your body. If you aren't losing try eating some/half. If you are losing keep doing what you are doing for now. But technically speaking it is my understanding that MFP is counting on you eating them.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,865 Member
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    Jpost001 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    My calorie goal is 1200, if i dont eat back the exercise calories, im at 900, isnt that dangerous?? I keep reading "dont eat back those calories", is that good advice or are people on higher calorie diets so that deficit still keeps them above the doctor recomended minimum of 1200?

    That is advice from people have no clue how this tool actually works...there does seem like there are a lot of people without a friggin' clue.

    So then what's your advice?

    Ummm....IDK...maybe use the tool as it is designed to be used...just a thought.

    This really isn't effing rocket science...it's pretty much 5th grade math to figure this out.
  • Annahbananas
    Annahbananas Posts: 284 Member
    edited June 2016
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    Everyone's different. But I personally don't eat back my exercise calorie spent

    But in all honesty, do what makes you happy.
  • lauraesh0384
    lauraesh0384 Posts: 463 Member
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    My goal is 1300 and I eat around 1900-2000. I eat around 75% of my exercise calories. I actually lose weight better when I properly fuel my body.
  • Enjcg5
    Enjcg5 Posts: 389 Member
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    I don't eat mine back because I believe the calories burned estimate given to me is inaccurate. MFP gave me 1450 for weight loss of 1lb/week. I try to stay withon 100 calories of that in either direction.
  • CChandler81
    CChandler81 Posts: 100 Member
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    I don't sweat it if I'm a little under or above my goal of 1300-ish. A lot of days I net around 1100, some 1400, on the rare occasion 900, and a handful of times a month, don't even track.

    If you're still hungry eat. Whether it's a protein shake, a handful of veggies or fruit; i.e. whatever you might be lacking macro wise.

    If you aren't, don't stress about it. Pay closer attention to macros and nutrients vs calories and you'll learn life-long habits that hopefully won't depend on tracking every bite.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 28,034 Member
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    So much back and forth on this. I eat some to all of mine(I don't always eat them unless hungry because of possibility of inaccuracies with their calculations on my calories burned) based on hunger and losing 2 lbs/week(which is what I'm set at because I have 100+ lbs to lose its healthy) or near there on average.

    I'd say go based on your body. If you aren't losing try eating some/half. If you are losing keep doing what you are doing for now. But technically speaking it is my understanding that MFP is counting on you eating them.

    Yes, unlike TDEE calculators, MFP uses the NEAT system and as such is designed for exercise calories to be eaten back.

    However, because the burns given by MFP tend to be inflated, many here suggest not eating more than 50% of the calories you earn from exercise.
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,179 Member
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    If you are on a target calorie goal of 1200, you should eat back all your exercise calories, but you should also check-in with your weight daily and watch your progress for a month. If you don't lose the expected weight in a month, reduce the amount of exercise calories you eat back.
  • Shana67
    Shana67 Posts: 680 Member
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    I dunno. I eat back maybe 100 of my exercise calories, and I am very strong, healthy and fit. It's not that much doom & gloom :)