Do you stick to your daily Kcals or eat more when you workout?

Probably a super noob question, but when you earn more calories from working out, do you eat more than your daily allotment? I’m on 1,200 kcal/day and 3-4 times per week I burn 400-600 kcal in workouts. I have the setting where MFP credits my consumption for those earned calories. I’m not sure if I should eat more? Only eat 1,200. My goal is 16lbs over 16 weeks (leading up to a beach vacay in early March) and so far I’m ahead of schedule but know that the holidays will be hard. I want it to be ‘healthy’ weight loss more than fast. Any help is appreciated!


  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    Your workout calories are part of your daily allotment. You are supposed to eat them back, that’s how MFP is set up. However, some people find that their workout calories are overestimated - the only way to know this for sure is to track your weight loss over time. In the meantime, you should be eating at least some of them back.

    The suggested healthy rate of loss is no more than 1% of bodyweight per week, so depending on your size, a pound a week could be too much, too little, or just right for you. In addition, weight loss is slower the less weight you have to lose. If you only need to lose a few vanity pounds, a half pound a week may be more feasible.
  • neugebauer52
    neugebauer52 Posts: 1,115 Member
    I try to stick to the suggested daily calories calculated by MFP. I do exercise as much as possible but with my huge weight I am not doing much more than walking (slowly) and light water aerobics which doesn't seem to amount to much calorie - wise. I try to do this 3 to 4 times a week and do not feel hungry during those days.
  • frksfrau
    frksfrau Posts: 108 Member
    I usually eat a majority of points I earned by working out. But I don’t binge at the end of the night just to get them in. I usually have 150 left over each day. But it’s Friday who knows what I’ll eat and drink. 😊
  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,601 Member
    the MFP calorie recommendations are based on NOT including purposeful exercise in your daily calories - many people eat back at least a portion of

    that being said, depending on your height weight - 16lbs in 16 weeks is fairly agressive - you may want to re-evaulate goal
  • kenyonhaff
    kenyonhaff Posts: 1,377 Member
    Stick to the MFP plan -- really, it works as presented. You generally do not have to do the math yourself. (Eating back about half your calories works for a lot of people and may be the one exception).

    I will add that adhering to the 1,200 calorie plan if you are not a small, sedentary woman (unless your doctor has ordered it/recommended it) is NOT recommended. One of the #1 posts we get on this site is issues that stem in whole or part from a MFPer trying to lose too aggressively and having problems because of it. People usually have more success in a more gradual approach.

    As for the exercise, 600 calorie burns on a 1,200 calorie diet is...well, while doable is pretty ***extreme***. Triathletes in training don't do that and you don't see many obese triathletes. You do not have to do that. You could easily well go into too much of a deficit and that's not good on a consistent basis.
  • Cricketmad88
    Cricketmad88 Posts: 415 Member
    I aim to eat back half of my exercise cals during the day but if I feel like it in the evening it is nice to know I can have a treat and not go over.
  • airforceman1978
    airforceman1978 Posts: 100 Member
    I never usually reach my regular calories but I have noticed MyFitnessPal estimate are high but most people i have know eat 50%to 80% back
  • lindsey8300
    lindsey8300 Posts: 4 Member
    Thanks for all of the replies. I took a look back at the calculator I used and it turns out I should be at about 1500. It’s funny, that’s the number in my head when I read articles like “This is what 1,500 calories looks like on thanksgiving” but somehow that translated to 1,200 in the app. I’ll adjust that. I’ve been eating back some of my workout calories, about half or a little less so I’ll probably keep doing that. I’m pacing ahead of schedule for my goal (I’m about half way there) after an initial dramatic loss in the first week and a half of about 4 lbs. This was before counting calories but I did kick up the exercise routine a lot. Probably the proverbial water weight loss at the onset (is that real or a myth?). FWIW I feel great, only feel hungry when it’s time for my next meal, and have lots of energy. I thought 1lb/week was a pretty standard goal?
  • JenniferM1234
    JenniferM1234 Posts: 173 Member
    I'm really glad to read this response, @lindsey8300 -- 1500 is much, much more sustainable, and easy to make work than 1200 (and this is from a 5'3" woman, so short!) -- really low calorie restricted diets are perhaps fine for short term but they don't help with long term "lifestyle changes." I think even half a pound a week is a fantastic goal because the weeks go by and the weight comes off, rather than being in stasis or going back on.