Eating less vs exercising more?

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Over a 1+ year period I lost a good amount of fat because I used to be overweight. I made sure to eat at a 300-500 deficit from my TDEE (according to myfitnesspal). This was before any added exercise. I did exercise but not much, and I still do. The problem is I'm only 7 pounds away from my goal weight and I feel like I just can't do counting deficits anymore. It's getting too difficult so I was wondering would I still see results if I instead ate at maintenance and increased my exercise and activity?
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  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 25,152 Member
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    There is a good chance you will see results ... try it. :)

    Just calculate your exercise low ... pick a slower speed than what you figure you're doing or round down the time/distance. For example, I select the "light" choice when I ride my bicycle on the trainer even if I've been doing pretty intense commercial intervals. And I don't count warm ups and cool downs.
  • gmallan
    gmallan Posts: 2,099 Member
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    If you eat at your current TDEE and add more activity then you should still lose - provided you're burning an additional 300-500 calories per day. Make sure you track your weight regularly so you know if you are losing at the rate you'd like because as you lose weight your BMR will decrease as will the amount of calories you burn from exercise so keep this in mind. For example a 70kg person has a higher BMR than a 60kg person and will also burn more calories doing the same amount and intensity of exercise. In addition to this your body will adapt to exercise and become more efficient even without a change in weight (i.e. you will burn less calories for the same amount of exercise as your body adapts).
  • djspacecaptain
    djspacecaptain Posts: 366 Member
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    I personally do not believe that one can effectively lose weight with out both eating in a deficit and exercising. One with out the other leaves more room for error. Now how much to do of both is up to the individual. MFP is suppose to already have you eating at a deficit (if you have your profile set to lose) so if you stick to that on top of exercising you will be golden. But test it out. If it ends up not working or you dont like it then you can go back to what you were doing.
  • lasirena624
    lasirena624 Posts: 41 Member
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    I personally do not believe that one can effectively lose weight with out both eating in a deficit and exercising. One with out the other leaves more room for error. Now how much to do of both is up to the individual. MFP is suppose to already have you eating at a deficit (if you have your profile set to lose) so if you stick to that on top of exercising you will be golden. But test it out. If it ends up not working or you dont like it then you can go back to what you were doing.

    Interesting. I lost over thirty pounds with just adapting my calories in versus calories out to create a deficit. Once I exercised I found my appetite went way up and my weight loss slowed considerably!

  • hjlourenshj
    hjlourenshj Posts: 66 Member
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    I personally do not believe that one can effectively lose weight with out both eating in a deficit and exercising. One with out the other leaves more room for error. Now how much to do of both is up to the individual. MFP is suppose to already have you eating at a deficit (if you have your profile set to lose) so if you stick to that on top of exercising you will be golden. But test it out. If it ends up not working or you dont like it then you can go back to what you were doing.

    But sure you believe that weightloss just by exercising is pointless? I think here we all believe that effectively loosing weight can only be achieved by first having your food intake in order. I that case exercising is the 'extra'. Not the base
  • Sued0nim
    Sued0nim Posts: 17,456 Member
    edited August 2016
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    I think it's harder to increase exercise without a related increase in appetite so you will have to continue to log accurately ..even if that logging is at your old maintenance

    So I don't see any direct benefit in changing your approach to be honest ...but it's certainly worth trying

    Benefit in terms of weight loss of course, rather than fitness / body composition
  • caradack1985
    caradack1985 Posts: 254 Member
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    Yeah I've lost my first 14lbs without exercising. I have now started to incorporate exercise but that's partly so I can eat more and partly because I want to be stronger. I could have continued as I was and continued to lose weight.
  • litsy3
    litsy3 Posts: 783 Member
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    I personally do not believe that one can effectively lose weight with out both eating in a deficit and exercising. One with out the other leaves more room for error. Now how much to do of both is up to the individual. MFP is suppose to already have you eating at a deficit (if you have your profile set to lose) so if you stick to that on top of exercising you will be golden. But test it out. If it ends up not working or you dont like it then you can go back to what you were doing.

    But sure you believe that weightloss just by exercising is pointless? I think here we all believe that effectively loosing weight can only be achieved by first having your food intake in order. I that case exercising is the 'extra'. Not the base

    Like the OP, I want to lose about 5-7lbs, and I am doing it by eating at pretty much what I take maintenance to be (1800ish) but not eating my exercise calories (admittedly there are quite a lot of these). It's working fine, as obviously I *am* creating a deficit by burning more calories than I am consuming. There is nothing wrong with my food intake, as I'm already a healthy weight and quite close to my goal, and when I reach my goal I'll be able to eat more than 1800 as I'll still be exercising. Indeed, I'll *have* to eat more than 1800 so as not to lose even more. I'm quite looking forward to it.

    However, even though I haven't built a deficit into my MFP goals (because I don't think I need to eat a deficit every day if I don't feel like it, especially on rest days, and I find it discouraging to have a lower baseline than 3 reasonable-sized meals + snacks), I do still find it useful to track my intake.
  • cgvet37
    cgvet37 Posts: 1,189 Member
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    Well, you can eat in a smaller deficit and exercise more. So, instead of eating a 500 calorie deficit per day, you could do 300 calories. Then burn an extra 200 calories in exercise. Just make sure you are getting as accurate as possible calorie burn.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,988 Member
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    Over a 1+ year period I lost a good amount of fat because I used to be overweight. I made sure to eat at a 300-500 deficit from my TDEE (according to myfitnesspal). This was before any added exercise. I did exercise but not much, and I still do. The problem is I'm only 7 pounds away from my goal weight and I feel like I just can't do counting deficits anymore. It's getting too difficult so I was wondering would I still see results if I instead ate at maintenance and increased my exercise and activity?

    Sure, you can certainly create a calorie deficit this way.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,371 Member
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    Exercising more boosted my appetite, unfortunately, so it doesn't really work.
  • snickerscharlie
    snickerscharlie Posts: 8,578 Member
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    Over a 1+ year period I lost a good amount of fat because I used to be overweight. I made sure to eat at a 300-500 deficit from my TDEE (according to myfitnesspal). This was before any added exercise. I did exercise but not much, and I still do. The problem is I'm only 7 pounds away from my goal weight and I feel like I just can't do counting deficits anymore. It's getting too difficult so I was wondering would I still see results if I instead ate at maintenance and increased my exercise and activity?

    What is it about 'counting deficits' that's getting too difficult? And if you're not counting your calories (in spite of increased exercise) how will you know whether or not you're eating at maintenance?
  • mitch16
    mitch16 Posts: 2,113 Member
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    When I was your age, I found it very easy to lose weight without exercising... Now that I'm older and wiser I really wish I had started working out more regularly when I was in my 20's! I'm pretty fit now (and I have way better muscle definition than I did when I was a skinny twenty-something)--but I can only think how much better it would be had I started sooner.

    Try adding some exercise--it probably can't hurt.
  • iangelab
    iangelab Posts: 42 Member
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    personally I think eating is 80% of it and its much easier to do cico versus increased exercise, but try it out and see. or maybe go maintenance for a short time to give yourself a break and then start back up.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,988 Member
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    Francl27 wrote: »
    Exercising more boosted my appetite, unfortunately, so it doesn't really work.

    How much exercise? I have to exercise a LOT for this to happen. Moderate exercise, like walking for an hour, doesn't boost my appetite.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,683 Member
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    Over a 1+ year period I lost a good amount of fat because I used to be overweight. I made sure to eat at a 300-500 deficit from my TDEE (according to myfitnesspal). This was before any added exercise. I did exercise but not much, and I still do. The problem is I'm only 7 pounds away from my goal weight and I feel like I just can't do counting deficits anymore. It's getting too difficult so I was wondering would I still see results if I instead ate at maintenance and increased my exercise and activity?
    Eating at maintenance would mean no weight gain or loss. Find your TDEE (that includes exercise and activity) and eat 250 calories less.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

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  • faidwen
    faidwen Posts: 131 Member
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    Be careful... be very very very careful... exercising can become HIGHLY addictive....

    The more you do, the easier it becomes, and the easier it becomes, the more you do.... soon, you have to eat LOTS just to keep up!!! ;(
  • ogtmama
    ogtmama Posts: 1,403 Member
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    I personally do not believe that one can effectively lose weight with out both eating in a deficit and exercising. One with out the other leaves more room for error. Now how much to do of both is up to the individual. MFP is suppose to already have you eating at a deficit (if you have your profile set to lose) so if you stick to that on top of exercising you will be golden. But test it out. If it ends up not working or you dont like it then you can go back to what you were doing.

    But sure you believe that weightloss just by exercising is pointless? I think here we all believe that effectively loosing weight can only be achieved by first having your food intake in order. I that case exercising is the 'extra'. Not the base

    Nope. A) he's already got his eating in order and lost a significant amount of weight that way and b) any way you create a deficit will cause you to lose weight.