Are you supposed to eat back your exercise calories ?

Should I eat back my exercise calories or should i stick to my calorie limit

Replies

  • diannethegeek
    diannethegeek Posts: 14,776 Member
    The short answer is yes, basically.

    The long answer is that it depends a bit on some different factors (calorie estimations, logging accuracy, goals, etc).

    This might be a useful read: http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/818082/exercise-calories-again-wtf/p1
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,626 Member
    Unlike other sites which use TDEE calculators, MFP uses the NEAT method (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), and as such this system is designed for exercise calories to be eaten back. However, many consider the burns given by MFP to be inflated and only eat a percentage, such as 50%, back. Others, however, are able to lose weight while eating 100% of their exercise calories.

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/818082/exercise-calories-again-wtf/p1
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,636 Member
    Your calorie limit assumes you will eat back your exercise calories.
  • Cahgetsfit
    Cahgetsfit Posts: 1,913 Member
    I prefer to eat more food and not have to worry about eating back calorie amounts by 50% so I don't use the MFP settings, I use numbers from tdee calculator and enter 1 calorie burnt for all my exercise. This is because it's easier for me to control my macros if I know EXACTLY how much I have.

    I found that when I was logging exercise calories my macros would go all crazy and i'd never know how much to eat or not eat.

    But this is only an issue if you actually track macros as well as calories. If you only track calories then I wouldn't worry about it.
  • mitch16
    mitch16 Posts: 2,114 Member
    If you were following mfp to a tee and knew exactly your BMR, your calories burned from activity, and your calories consumed, then you should be eating back exercise calories.

    Personally I assume that I am underestimating the calories I eat and overestimating the calories burned through exercise so I never eat back the full amount. YMMV.
  • snickerscharlie
    snickerscharlie Posts: 8,582 Member
    When I started, I ate back about 50% of my exercise calories, while weighing and logging everything I ate and drank. After a solid month, I found I was losing weight faster than I should have, so slowly bumped up my daily calories until I found the sweet spot.

  • brittlb07
    brittlb07 Posts: 304 Member
    Several of you are mentioning macros. What does this mean? I think it has to do with the fat vs. protein vs. carb ratios? Are these ratios the same for everyone?
  • Rocknut53
    Rocknut53 Posts: 1,795 Member
    mitch16 wrote: »
    If you were following mfp to a tee and knew exactly your BMR, your calories burned from activity, and your calories consumed, then you should be eating back exercise calories.

    Personally I assume that I am underestimating the calories I eat and overestimating the calories burned through exercise so I never eat back the full amount. YMMV.

    I agree with this. I've been using MapMyHike for over 3 years now and it gives me ridiculous amounts of calories for my hikes. I never ate more than half of those back and lost weight. I just started using a Garmin Vivosport and it gives me roughly 1/3 the amount of calories for the same exercise.
  • carolinamccabe7245
    carolinamccabe7245 Posts: 15 Member
    Thanks everyone i also set my calorie intake a little lower than mfp gave me so i think i should be ok with eating them back hopefully :)
  • kami3006
    kami3006 Posts: 4,978 Member
    It’s all estimates. Make a plan and stick with it for 4-6 weeks and adjust as needed.
  • JWruns
    JWruns Posts: 18 Member
    I like to think of my calorie count like a bank account. I start each day with a budget. I spend some throughout the day. And when I workout I earn a little back. I’ll spend some of what I earned, but at the end of the day, I like to have some ‘money’ left in the bank, not a negative balance.
  • CindyJNC1963
    CindyJNC1963 Posts: 895 Member
    I'm working with a weight loss physician and I'm on a 1,350 calorie a day plan and she advised that I not eat back my exercise calories at this point. It probably depends on various factors like how much you weigh and how much you exercise.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,842 Member
    brittlb07 wrote: »
    Several of you are mentioning macros. What does this mean? I think it has to do with the fat vs. protein vs. carb ratios? Are these ratios the same for everyone?

    Basically. Macros is short for "macronutrients", which are carbs, protein and fats.

    MFP gives you a default ratio when you set up your profile, and for most people, it's reasonable. If you don't have any reason to want something different, the default ratios should be OK.

    Some people want their ratios (or the raw numbers of grams) to be different from the default. That may be because they find a particular macronutrient more satiating, so like to eat more; or need more of one for a special reason (people who are weight training may want more protein); or need less of one for a special reason (diabetics, among others, may want fewer carbs); or just want to experiment.

    You can change them if you want to, but if you have no reason to do it, and are doing fine aiming for the default, no need to change it.