Using only excercise to create deficit

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Hi all, has anyone tried using exercise only to create their deficit - I am far too hungry on a calorie deficit so I was thinking about eating at maintenance then not logging excerise and see how it goes. I do some form of exercise every day. Has anyone tried this?
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Replies

  • Kittyy1994
    Kittyy1994 Posts: 108 Member
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    Thanks for the replies. My weight loss target is not very aggressive at all, just the last 2-3 kilos (some say vanity weight) only. When eating in deficit I always hit protein goals but still feel hungry and lack energy at the gym.
  • mmapags
    mmapags Posts: 8,934 Member
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    Kittyy1994 wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies. My weight loss target is not very aggressive at all, just the last 2-3 kilos (some say vanity weight) only. When eating in deficit I always hit protein goals but still feel hungry and lack energy at the gym.

    If you are only looking to lose a few kilos, that strategy can work. A question I would have is; when you eat in a deficit, how much of a deficit is it? And if you eat back some portion of your exercise calories, don't you arrive at about the same calories for the day doing that?
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
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    Yes, that's perfectly fine. Bear in mind that some people experience an increase in appetite when they increase their activity level, so your best bet is to keep logging to make sure you aren't inadvertently overeating.
    sijomial wrote: »
    Different types of exercise can create very different hunger responses. High intensity cardio or strength training have a far bigger hunger impact for me compared to moderate intensity cardio even if that is long duration with far higher calorie burns.

    This has been my experience as well. It affected me to the point where I try to keep my strength training sessions very focused on my goals to keep them short, and I abandoned high intensity cardio all together because it makes me hungry enough to eat all the calories I burned and then some, making maintenance much harder.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
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    Kittyy1994 wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies. My weight loss target is not very aggressive at all, just the last 2-3 kilos (some say vanity weight) only. When eating in deficit I always hit protein goals but still feel hungry and lack energy at the gym.

    Yeah, that should work.

    I think the exercise-only thing gets a bad rap because some not counting just think if they increase exercise they should lose, even if their diet is not in check (I did that a bunch in the past).

    But I also used increasing exercise (training for a tri) as a way to get off my last 10 vanity lbs once upon a time. I had my eating in check and was able to tell I wasn't eating more than I had been (when I'd been at maintenance for a time), and lost the rest due to the increased exercise.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,868 Member
    edited February 2020
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    mmapags wrote: »
    Kittyy1994 wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies. My weight loss target is not very aggressive at all, just the last 2-3 kilos (some say vanity weight) only. When eating in deficit I always hit protein goals but still feel hungry and lack energy at the gym.

    If you are only looking to lose a few kilos, that strategy can work. A question I would have is; when you eat in a deficit, how much of a deficit is it? And if you eat back some portion of your exercise calories, don't you arrive at about the same calories for the day doing that?

    Yeah, this is what I was trying to get at too...it's really 6 of 1, half dozen of the other and really semantics more than anything. If I'm losing .5 Lbs per week I have a 250 calorie deficit which means that even though I'm namely using exercise rather than changing my eating, I'm still eating in a 250 calorie deficit.
  • motivatedmartha
    motivatedmartha Posts: 1,108 Member
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    How would you know you were in deficit if you weren't monitoring the number of calories you were eating?
  • mmapags
    mmapags Posts: 8,934 Member
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    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    mmapags wrote: »
    Kittyy1994 wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies. My weight loss target is not very aggressive at all, just the last 2-3 kilos (some say vanity weight) only. When eating in deficit I always hit protein goals but still feel hungry and lack energy at the gym.

    If you are only looking to lose a few kilos, that strategy can work. A question I would have is; when you eat in a deficit, how much of a deficit is it? And if you eat back some portion of your exercise calories, don't you arrive at about the same calories for the day doing that?

    Yeah, this is what I was trying to get at too...it's really 6 of 1, half dozen of the other and really semantics more than anything. If I'm losing .5 Lbs per week I have a 250 calorie deficit which means that even though I'm namely using exercise rather than changing my eating, I'm still eating in a 250 calorie deficit.

    Yes. And that's why I asked the question of how large a deficit is getting applied. Some have a tendency to be too aggressive with only a small amount to lose. That could cause hunger issues.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
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    How would you know you were in deficit if you weren't monitoring the number of calories you were eating?

    Weight loss over an extended period of time - just the same as people who count.
    I haven't logged my food intake in ages but can decide when to be in a deficit and lose weight successfully.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
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    The only way to lose weight is to be in a calorie deficit, in other words taking in less than you expend. However CICO has two halves, calories in and calories out, and you can change either one to get the results you want.

    If what you mean to say is that restricting calories from your normal eating habits doesn’t work for you and you are wondering whether increasing activity will, then yes, absolutely, that can work - up to a point. There comes a point where a person of average fitness with an average amount of hours in the day can’t reasonably burn any more calories. But you can earn several hundred more calories a day.

    Just be aware that several hundred calories can vanish in a heartbeat if you eat a typical American diet. That’s a single dessert, big slice of pizza, half a low calorie meal at an American chain restaurant. You will probably need to count and stay within a reasonable calorie goal in order for this to work for you if you have a habit of overeating.
  • Luke_rabbit
    Luke_rabbit Posts: 1,031 Member
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    Kittyy1994 wrote: »
    Hi all, has anyone tried using exercise only to create their deficit - I am far too hungry on a calorie deficit so I was thinking about eating at maintenance then not logging excerise and see how it goes. I do some form of exercise every day. Has anyone tried this?

    As part of transitioning to maintenance, I changed my goal to maintenance and am still doing a slight deficit, which one could say is from exercise calories. I have a Fitbit linked to MFP and continue to log food, so I am still watching the whole picture. In January my deficit was around 200 calories per day. In February, I am shooting for under 150. My January weight loss was higher than expected. February is going better so far.

    I find it a good way to zero in on my actual maintenance calories and get off the last few pounds. However, without tracking exercise, you won't get the benefit of figuring out your maintenance calories.

    I didn't increase exercise from what I was doing before, but reading your OP, I don't see you saying that you plan to either.
  • Kittyy1994
    Kittyy1994 Posts: 108 Member
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    How would you know you were in deficit if you weren't monitoring the number of calories you were eating?

    I am...
  • gothchiq
    gothchiq Posts: 4,590 Member
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    It should still work. Just make sure your logging is as accurate as possible.
  • ryanaamos
    ryanaamos Posts: 2 Member
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    If you are far too hungry, I would try in cutting any empty calories or carbs, to make sure it's hunger and not cravings you are feeling.