adding calories for exercise

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Evamutt
Evamutt Posts: 2,452 Member
Is eating more calories after the exercise gives you more to eat really nessesary? I've stopped logging the exercise because i don't want to eat more calories?

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  • SueInAz
    SueInAz Posts: 6,592 Member
    edited August 2016
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    MFP is set up so that you can lose weight without exercise. Not everyone can exercise, after all. So, you already have the deficit needed to lose weight at the rate you specified in your goals (.5 to 2 pounds per week) built into your calorie goal for each day. When you exercise, you earn calories to eat because eating them maintains the same deficit needed to meet your goal.

    If you have a lot of weight to lose, you may find that you don't need to eat the extra calories because you'd have more calories available to eat anyway. Those of us with only a few pounds to lose, or close to 1200 calories per day, seem to find that we need to eat at least some of them back because exercise makes us more hungry.
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
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    shirleymut wrote: »
    Is eating more calories after the exercise gives you more to eat really nessesary? I've stopped logging the exercise because i don't want to eat more calories?

    This is how the tool is designed. MFP gave you a deficit with zero exercise factored in. An increased deficit may help you lose weight faster....but at what price?

    A moderate deficit, meeting protein goals & strength training help you preserve existing lean muscle mass.

    Now, you may be at a moderate goal already and exercise is minimal. Eating back calories is not such a big deal. OR you may have an aggressive weekly weight loss goal (1200 calories?) and exercise quite a bit. Then eating back exercise calories is way more important.

    Healthy weight loss helps you lower your body fat %.
  • JeanLaw131
    JeanLaw131 Posts: 78 Member
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    If I don't eat back a portion of my exercise calories, I don't feel as energetic and able to preform as well. I have lost 20lbs since May eating back a portion of my exercise calories.
  • nowine4me
    nowine4me Posts: 3,985 Member
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    If you have a consistent schedule of activity, the alternative is to adjust that metric accordingly and turn off the exercise calories. In other words, change from not active/sedentary to moderately active. Then eat 100% of whatever MFP says.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
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    I did fine for a few months not eating back my exercise calories. Then I hit a wall, hard. I was hungry constantly, workouts were harder (and I stopped progressing towards goals), and my energy crashed. Once I began eating back to fuel my activity, everything got better. Some people with moderate deficits and/or limited activity may be able to sustain it, but I couldn't.
  • kgirlhart
    kgirlhart Posts: 5,039 Member
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    If you used mfp to get your calorie goal then you should be eating back at least a portion of the exercise calories. If you don't want to do that then use a TDEE calculator and get your goal from that and don't log exercise.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
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    Exercise calories taste the best IMO!
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
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    think of your body as a car and your calories as fuel. You put in enough fuel to get from home to work and back(home to work is regular life) and that's it...what if you want to go get lunch or go to a movie after work...you need more fuel..that is what exercise calories are...if you want the fun stuff you eat your exercise calories back...and by fun I mean more exercise or extra food.
  • CasperNaegle
    CasperNaegle Posts: 936 Member
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    You need to take into account your total calorie burn in order to know what your deficit is. Don't think of it as eating back your calories. Think of it as total burn and staying say in a 20% deficit overall.
  • crispaholicshaz
    crispaholicshaz Posts: 79 Member
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    I log my exercise to see what i have burnt. Not to gain more food. I try not to eat any more than my calories allowance, of 1600 apart from on Saturday which Is treat day & I set myself a target of 2500. still lost 31lb since January...
  • SueInAz
    SueInAz Posts: 6,592 Member
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    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    shirleymut wrote: »
    Is eating more calories after the exercise gives you more to eat really nessesary? I've stopped logging the exercise because i don't want to eat more calories?

    As others have said, MFP expects you to eat back those calories - your calorie deficit is built into your basic calorie allowance, and failing to eat the exercise calories may be under-fueling your body, if you exercise more than a small amount, or have large deficit (like two pounds loss per week) to start with.

    Here's another perspective, speaking as someone around your age (I'm 60) who's been successful at weight loss (60+ pounds, and now in weight maintenance mode at 120 pounds):

    If you're losing more than about 1% of your body weight weekly - at an absolute maximum - you're risking loss of lean body mass, such as muscle, along with fat. Your body can only burn about 30-some calories per day per pound of stored body fat. If your deficit is bigger than that, it burns other kinds of tissue, like muscle - and in addition to regular body muscle, our hearts are a muscle, of course.

    At our age, as women, muscle is very difficult (slow) to rebuild, even if we work very hard at it.

    If I eat at maintenance calories and I were to lift heavy weights several times per week, I'd consider it a miracle to build as much as a quarter pound of muscle a week. I think of muscle as one thing that stands between me and an early transition to the assisted living facility. Therefore, I want to lose the absolute minimum of muscle while losing fat.

    On top of that, with too big a deficit, bone loss is possible. Osteopenia/osteoporosis is also a major risk at our age, and can cause disability or hasten death.

    Finally, if one loses lean body mass along with fat, that increases risk of "adaptive thermogenesis" - a fancy way of saying that one's lean-tissue-depleted body requires fewer calories to operate long term than someone who never lost weight. So, if that happens, one needs to eat even less to maintain the lost weight. Not my idea of a fun lifestyle!

    So, no, eating back your exercise calories isn't strictly necessary, if you're losing weight slowly. But losing weight fast has some down-sides, and I find those down-sides more daunting given my age. To me, it made sense to lose weight more slowly, for greater assurance of coming out of the process healthy and strong.

    I think I love you. :heart:

    I tell people this all of the time and I sometimes feel like I'm talking to myself. So many women are of the mindset that they need to lose quickly rather than looking forward into their future. I, thankfully, started down the path of size is more important than weight and the-more-muscle-the-better in my mid-40s. My grandmother lived into her mid-90s and after my grandfather passed away she lived the last 7 years alone and on her own terms. She's my role model.
  • Evamutt
    Evamutt Posts: 2,452 Member
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    thank you, very helpful. No, i'm not trying to loose wt fast, but I have to find things to eat to fill up the exercise calories when i'm not hungry. I do water aerobics 2x/wk, swim & do some exercise in water most every day & do the bike a few times a week. I walk an hour every morning(at dog park) so i'm not exercising intensely but regularly
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,969 Member
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    shirleymut wrote: »
    thank you, very helpful. No, i'm not trying to loose wt fast, but I have to find things to eat to fill up the exercise calories when i'm not hungry. I do water aerobics 2x/wk, swim & do some exercise in water most every day & do the bike a few times a week. I walk an hour every morning(at dog park) so i'm not exercising intensely but regularly

    Maybe consider simply adding something small but a little bit calorie dense, and reasonably healthy, such as a serving of nuts (1 oz. is usually about 1/4C and close to 200 calories!) or some peanut butter, some slices of avocado, a banana, an ounce of cheese, or some other such thing that you enjoy. Or have a treat like a couple small squares of chocolate, if your macros are in good shape for the day.
  • gothchiq
    gothchiq Posts: 4,590 Member
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    I think it overestimates those calories. I only eat back half at most. If yr not hungry I honestly wouldn't bother with it.
  • Evamutt
    Evamutt Posts: 2,452 Member
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    I've been have some of the Minute maid Popsicles in the evening. theyre only 40cal each & taste so good since it's been 100+ degrees here
  • frankiesgirlie
    frankiesgirlie Posts: 669 Member
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    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    shirleymut wrote: »
    Is eating more calories after the exercise gives you more to eat really nessesary? I've stopped logging the exercise because i don't want to eat more calories?

    As others have said, MFP expects you to eat back those calories - your calorie deficit is built into your basic calorie allowance, and failing to eat the exercise calories may be under-fueling your body, if you exercise more than a small amount, or have large deficit (like two pounds loss per week) to start with.

    Here's another perspective, speaking as someone around your age (I'm 60) who's been successful at weight loss (60+ pounds, and now in weight maintenance mode at 120 pounds):

    If you're losing more than about 1% of your body weight weekly - at an absolute maximum - you're risking loss of lean body mass, such as muscle, along with fat. Your body can only burn about 30-some calories per day per pound of stored body fat. If your deficit is bigger than that, it burns other kinds of tissue, like muscle - and in addition to regular body muscle, our hearts are a muscle, of course.

    At our age, as women, muscle is very difficult (slow) to rebuild, even if we work very hard at it.

    If I eat at maintenance calories and I were to lift heavy weights several times per week, I'd consider it a miracle to build as much as a quarter pound of muscle a week. I think of muscle as one thing that stands between me and an early transition to the assisted living facility. Therefore, I want to lose the absolute minimum of muscle while losing fat.

    On top of that, with too big a deficit, bone loss is possible. Osteopenia/osteoporosis is also a major risk at our age, and can cause disability or hasten death.

    Finally, if one loses lean body mass along with fat, that increases risk of "adaptive thermogenesis" - a fancy way of saying that one's lean-tissue-depleted body requires fewer calories to operate long term than someone who never lost weight. So, if that happens, one needs to eat even less to maintain the lost weight. Not my idea of a fun lifestyle!

    So, no, eating back your exercise calories isn't strictly necessary, if you're losing weight slowly. But losing weight fast has some down-sides, and I find those down-sides more daunting given my age. To me, it made sense to lose weight more slowly, for greater assurance of coming out of the process healthy and strong.


    Absolutely perfect^^^

    I'm 55. I'd just like to add that under eating, as in not eating any exercise calories back, therefore losing weight too fast, is also very hard on your looks, as in your skin, hair, nails, gums and teeth.
    The skin doesn't snap back for some young people even. At our age, we have to be extra careful.
  • mrsmathman
    mrsmathman Posts: 9 Member
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    This is so helpful! Makes sense and I believe it. BUT I'm 60, need to lose 30 lbs., on a 1200 calorie program, strength train 3 days a week (MFP says no calories burned with strength training), and Zumba 60 minutes, twice a week. 60 minutes of Zumba is 600 calories. Adding 600 calories to my 1200 allowance seems like a LOT!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,969 Member
    edited August 2016
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    mrsmathman wrote: »
    This is so helpful! Makes sense and I believe it. BUT I'm 60, need to lose 30 lbs., on a 1200 calorie program, strength train 3 days a week (MFP says no calories burned with strength training), and Zumba 60 minutes, twice a week. 60 minutes of Zumba is 600 calories. Adding 600 calories to my 1200 allowance seems like a LOT!

    MFP says you get a few calories for strength training, if you log those minutes in the cardio area with the standard exercise database item "Strength training (weight lifting, weight training)". I found I needed those few extra calories on weight training days, personally, to feel my best. (I spent them on extra protein, typically.)

    How fast are you losing on your 1200 calories plus 600? With 30 pounds to lose, I'm guessing you're probably in the realm where around 1 to (maybe) 1.5 pounds weekly would be a reasonable maximum loss rate (slower is always fine). Your personal loss rate at any particular calorie level is always the best guide to whether your deficit is reasonable, and that includes the exercise component, however you calculate it.

    Personally, I tended to check multiple sources to estimate my exercise: MFP, specialized web sites (like bicycling site for bicycling calories), and what my heart rate monitor said. Then I'd use an estimate on the lower end of those I found (and eat them all, usually).

    At age 60, I was still losing on 1800 gross calories, FWIW, when I was closer to goal than 30 pounds. (I did 1200 net calories briefly; it was just too low for me - I got fatigued. I went up in calories, and found I could still lose at a satisfactory rate in the 1400-1600 range. Your experience may vary, of course.)

    I you're worried that 600 is too high, consider eating back half to start, then evaluate in 3 weeks or so based on your loss rate (sooner if you can tell the result sooner). If you're losing faster than a healthy rate, eat more. If you're losing slower, eat back less of the exercise calories.

    Good luck!

    Edited to add a P.S.: If you want, you can eat back the 600 calories over multiple days, i.e., 200 extra for each of 3 days for each Zumba class, if you decide the 600 is a reasonable estimate, but find the wildly different daily calorie levels hard to manage. Balancing out across a week, say, is just fine.