Do you use your exercise calories you earn??

nurseday73 Posts: 5 Member
I’ve seen some things on other sites that suggest this will stall your loss. I’m confused I guess, MFP calculates them in my available calories so I figured it would be safe to use them if I need them...


  • nurseday73
    nurseday73 Posts: 5 Member
  • nurseday73
    nurseday73 Posts: 5 Member
    ceiswyn wrote: »
    I just hiked fourteen miles. If I don’t eat any of that back, I will be seriously non-functional tomorrow!

    WOW! That’s quite a hike!
  • kimondo666
    kimondo666 Posts: 198 Member
    safe thing to do is eat half the exercise calories.
  • RMSchmidt17
    RMSchmidt17 Posts: 30 Member
    Short answer, No. But longer answer is - Depends on how you are calculating your calories burned. If you are using the MFP estimates or (god forbid) an estimate off a machine, you are likely way off. If you're using a HR monitor (Polar, Apple Watch or FitBit HR) and a step-based workout (like running) you can get a decent estimate. I have tested it over many workouts and many years and they MFP estimates typically run 30% over what my actual burn is. So if I ate back all of that I would not only undo my workout, I'd be overeating. When I exercise over an hour I will typically eat back *some* of those calories if- and only if- I am hungry which is usually the case! Currently I am training for a marathon and ran 13 miles this morning, so clearly my body needs some extra fuel! I will probably eat back around 500 of the 1275 calories I burned. On a regular workout day I do not eat them back.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 10,846 Member
    MikePTY wrote: »
    The reason why sometimes people are cautious is because exercise calorie estimators can sometimes be aggressive. So if you don't have a great idea of how many calories your are burning, sometimes 50-75% of the estimate is a good place to start. But for many people, the estimates are accurate and they eat all their calories back and lose at the expected rate. So you can play around with it (especially if yourn burns say they are in the 1000s, that's unlikely), but you should at least make some adjustment in your intake for exercise. The only for sure wrong number is 0.

    An exception to this are connected trackers where these "exercise calories" are not really referring to an actual exercise... they are just an adjustment of TDEE based on what the tracker thinks you burned for the day.

    Assuming accurate logging to the gram, and picking correct database entries, I would be tempted to eat back a much much higher percentage of these types of "exercise" calories.

    Your mileage will vary, of course. During the three plus years I was logging my food intake very carefully, my weight trend reacted as expected and in line with my Fitbit estimates--to a divergence of less than 3.5% of TDEE over any period longer than 60 days.
  • TrishSeren
    TrishSeren Posts: 587 Member
    I used to, but have now worked out that what I was entering didn't seem to be remotely accurate as I was gaining weight not losing it. I now eat maybe a quarter of them back, and that seems to be accurate as I am now losing weight. I stopped logging my weight training calories completely.

    I realised I was eating them simply because I'd logged them rather than gauging if I was actually hungry, stopping tracking them made me a bit more accountable. I now stop and think about if I can actually have that 2nd glass of wine.

    I'm not hungerer than I was a month ago (when I stopped eating them back) so I don't feel deprived. However, if I went on a huge three-hour hike I'd definitely eat them back!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,217 Member
    I estimated exercise calories very carefully, and ate pretty much all of them back, through the process of losing around 50 pounds in less than a year (at age 59-60, while hypothyroid (but treated), BTW).

    And I've continued eating back exercise calories for 3, nearing 4, years of maintenance since, still at a healthy weight after literally decades of obesity.