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Eating Back Earned Calories

goldyray1goldyray1 Member Posts: 64 Member Member Posts: 64 Member
What happens if you don't eat back the earned calories you get when you exercise. I would think that would make you lose weight faster. Please educate me. Thank you!!!!!
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  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 6,978 Member Member Posts: 6,978 Member
    What kind of deficit is your goal before exercise?

    How many exercise calories are you talking about?

    Perhaps a good approach is to log meticulously, try to hit your target (or very close) every day and/or balance it out over several days or a week. Eat your exercise calories. Then observe the results. You can adjust your goal or what percentage of your exercise calories you eat back. Since they're all estimates, they may or may not fit in your personal real world.

    Losing weight fast isn't the goal. The goal is losing the right amount of weight at a reasonable and healthy rate. How fast did you ask MFP to have you losing? Five hundred calories per day deficit is about a pound a week. You didn't gain the weight quickly; don't take it off too quickly.
  • goldyray1goldyray1 Member Posts: 64 Member Member Posts: 64 Member
    Truly, I did gain nearly 30 pounds in about 3 month period of time. Prednisone will cause you to eat constantly. I may not know how to work Fitness Pal. I have not posted any exercises yet. I am going by my Garmin Vivosmart. My Garmin connect is linked to Fitness Pal. I am just learning how to do this. I have done forgot from the first time I was on here. I just let Fitness Pal come up with all those figures. I work att a desk all day so I said I was Sedentary. It is true, I had Covid in November and I still feel the effects of the 'tiredness' even now. I do Yoga here at home usually about an hour each night. Haven't gotten on the treadmill yet. I walk on my breaks at work and a little at lunch. That is about all that I know to do. I do stay under or at the amount of calories that is afforded to me each day.
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 944 Member Member, Premium Posts: 944 Member
    goldyray1 wrote: »
    Truly, I did gain nearly 30 pounds in about 3 month period of time. Prednisone will cause you to eat constantly. I may not know how to work Fitness Pal. I have not posted any exercises yet. I am going by my Garmin Vivosmart. My Garmin connect is linked to Fitness Pal. I am just learning how to do this. I have done forgot from the first time I was on here. I just let Fitness Pal come up with all those figures. I work att a desk all day so I said I was Sedentary. It is true, I had Covid in November and I still feel the effects of the 'tiredness' even now. I do Yoga here at home usually about an hour each night. Haven't gotten on the treadmill yet. I walk on my breaks at work and a little at lunch. That is about all that I know to do. I do stay under or at the amount of calories that is afforded to me each day.

    Using the Garmin is one way to track your exercise calories. I use mine the same way and it will adjust the number of calories I am given each day - if you look at your diary there will be a line toward the bottom saying how many "extra" calories you have been given that day. If you are eating those calories but still not losing any weight, you could try eating only half of them, or there might be another issue with how you're logging - if you're measuring correctly how much you eat (it can be easy to eat more than you mean to, especially if you are measuring by volume and not weight), or if the entries you're using in the database are incorrect. It takes time to learn but that's OK! If you make a change, it's a good idea to let it settle for a few weeks so you can really see its effects, before you make another change.

    I am sorry you're still feeling sick. I know a couple of people this has happened to and it is very difficult. I hope you're feeling better soon!
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 6,978 Member Member Posts: 6,978 Member
    After you read what @AnnPT77 wrote, go read it again. There's wisdom within that will help assure your success.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,866 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,866 Member
    P.S. to the OP, @goldyray1:

    I just read your other thread, see that you're around my age (I'm 65), and don't have lots in total to lose. With those facts, plus your recent health challenges, I feel even more strongly that slow loss, and eating your Garmin adjustment to stay close to your MFP goal, is the best bet until you get enough weeks of real-world results to make an evidence-based adjustment in calorie goals (if one even turns out to be needed).

    I won't swear it applies to you, but although I feel excellent for an aging woman these days, pretty healthy, one difference I notice from myself in my 20s/30s or so is that I'm a little bit less resilient. Going to extremes (in nearly any way) has more severe consequences than it used to, and it takes me longer to recover from those consequences. That experience is part of the basis for the advice I'm suggesting here.

    Moderate calorie deficit for slow loss, gradual increase in exercise to build fitness while keeping daily life energy as high as feasible alongside, good nutrition: That's what I advocate, that's what I did and do myself.

    Wishing you much success in health and weight management goals!
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,729 Member Member Posts: 6,729 Member
    Hey Goldyray,

    yeah, Pred can be terrible! It also messes with my blood sugar. Glad I only ever had two short run-ins with it. Are you still on it? One of the side effects next to hunger is also water weight gain. Thus there's a good chance that your 30lbs gain is not only fat, but also just water that sticks around, and that will whoosh away once you stop.

    With regards to your question on exercising. Not eating exercise calories back can be really bad, depending on how much your eating. Say you eat 1300 calories per day. Then you exercise for around 300.
    Cool, now you can eat 1600 calories.
    If you don't eat them back then this is equivalent of only eating 1000 calories as the exercise uses up calories. I don't know how big your deficit is and how much you eat, but this way you could end up in seriously low calorie territory. Several things can happen here:
    * you burn relatively more muscle. You're already a bit older, right? It's not easy to build muscle, and the older you get the more difficult it becomes. Having a good set of muscles also promotes bone strength. You don't want to lose bone mass.
    * you'll be short of nutrients. Your body needs sufficient food! Hair loss and ugly nails might just be the most visible marks of this
    * And not to forget: it might be just too much for you and you end up binging.

    I'd suggest to for now eat back a percentage of your exercise calories. Maybe half? then evaluate if you lose weight at an ok rate, or too fast. Then eat back more.
  • goldyray1goldyray1 Member Posts: 64 Member Member Posts: 64 Member
    I was on prednisone for nearly six months. I have been off of them for a week now. I have rheumatoid arthritis and I think I have found some medication that works good enough to where I don't need the prednisone anymore. I hope so. While I was on it, I was eating anything and everything. I know I ate way too much so therefore I imagine most of mine is just plain fat.

    I am in pretty good condition otherwise. Most of my friends are in their 40 and 50's and I seem to have more stamina than they do. I do Yoga for Seniors so I am pretty limber. But I can tell that I have slowed down quite a bit. Since I have cut my calorie intake down to 1200 calories a day, I really don't eat that much at one sitting.

    Today we had a birthday party and instead of eating lunch I ate a half of a hot fudge sundae (that is what they wanted instead of birthday cake) I know that probably was not a good idea but I did it.


    I appreciate everyone's help and wish everyone good luck with their goals too. Being overweight is not fun. .
  • tdsimoes67tdsimoes67 Member Posts: 18 Member Member Posts: 18 Member
    So along these lines, I have a question. With the exercise I did today, I am still in a negative calorie situation. Should I be eating more? These are my numbers:
    Goal - 1,330
    Food - 1271
    Exercise - 1524
    Net - 253

    Should I at least eat the rest of the -253, or should I be eating more?

  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 6,978 Member Member Posts: 6,978 Member
    tdsimoes67 wrote: »
    So along these lines, I have a question. With the exercise I did today, I am still in a negative calorie situation. Should I be eating more? These are my numbers:
    Goal - 1,330
    Food - 1271
    Exercise - 1524
    Net - 253

    Should I at least eat the rest of the -253, or should I be eating more?

    You should eat goal plus exercise (1330+1524=2854) if the exercise number is accurate. You ate 1271, so you have 1583 left to eat.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,866 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,866 Member
    tdsimoes67 wrote: »
    So along these lines, I have a question. With the exercise I did today, I am still in a negative calorie situation. Should I be eating more? These are my numbers:
    Goal - 1,330
    Food - 1271
    Exercise - 1524
    Net - 253

    Should I at least eat the rest of the -253, or should I be eating more?

    Was the exercise estimate from a fitness tracker synchronized to MFP, or did you log exercise manually? If logged manually, what was the exercise (type & time)?

    If I'm correctly interpreting what you wrote, and the exercise estimate is correct, you should eat more. Your goal (1330) includes a calorie deficit for weight loss (assuming you told MFP you want to lose weight in your profile). On a day with no exercise, you should eat close to 1330.

    When you exercise, to keep the same weight loss rate (same deficit), you would eat back an accurate estimate of the exercise calories *in addition* to your goal calories. If 1524 is accurate for exercise, today you should eat 1330 + 1524, which is 2854, or eat close to the total.

    I asked where the exercise estimate came from, because that's a very high number for exercise calories. It's not impossible, but it's quite unusual. There are some challenges involved in estimating exercise accurately, a learning curve, which is why I'm asking what the exercise was, and how it was estimated.

    It would also help to know your age, height, current weight and what your daily life activity (job/home chores) is like.
  • tdsimoes67tdsimoes67 Member Posts: 18 Member Member Posts: 18 Member
    The exercise is from my Fitbit which I have syncing to MFP. I did 3- 40 minute sessions throughout the day and then an hour and a half walk later in the afternoon, which gave me just over 30K steps in total. I am 53, 5'4", weight is 193 and while I do have a sedentary job where I sit a lot, I also do a lot of daily walking at home with videos. I average about 100K steps per week doing walking videos and outside walks with about 125K overall steps during the week. (I log everything)
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,866 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,866 Member
    tdsimoes67 wrote: »
    The exercise is from my Fitbit which I have syncing to MFP. I did 3- 40 minute sessions throughout the day and then an hour and a half walk later in the afternoon, which gave me just over 30K steps in total. I am 53, 5'4", weight is 193 and while I do have a sedentary job where I sit a lot, I also do a lot of daily walking at home with videos. I average about 100K steps per week doing walking videos and outside walks with about 125K overall steps during the week. (I log everything)

    Under the circumstances, I'd suggest you eat the majority of the 2854, at least 2000+ total, so at least another 750-800 today. If you're pretty full, have something non-filling like nuts, peanut butter, etc. Even a treat food would be OK. If tomorrow will be a lighter day activity-wise, you can carry over some calories to eat tomorrow. Eating 1271 while burning 2854 (which is plausible given what you did, certainly well over 2000) - that would be undereating pretty significantly, IMO. It may feel OK for a while, but it tends to catch up with a person, make the longer term harder to sustain. Kept up, that extreme can even create health risks, plus issues like thinning hair, fatigue, etc. No one needs that!

    Any meaningful amount of weight loss is going to take weeks to months, at least. IMO, it's better to think about making it easy/sustainable (but still make steady progress) vs. trying to lose as fast as possible. Because of temporarily derails and such, "losing fast" as a strategy can actually result in it taking longer to get to goal weight, vs. chipping away steadily at it in a more moderate way.

    (FWIW: I started out not far from where you are now. I was 59, 183, 5'5". I'd been around that weight or higher for around 30 years by then. That was early 2015. By sometime in 2016, I was at a healthy weight, and I've been at a healthy weight since, 124-point-something pounds today. It's not true for everyone, but for me, using the months of (pretty steady) weight loss to figure out sustainable habits, a happy eating and exercise routine that was doable and I could imagine keeping up forever, was pretty vital to staying at a healthy weight long term after loss. YMMV.)

    Best wishes for success!
  • goldyray1goldyray1 Member Posts: 64 Member Member Posts: 64 Member
    Totals 943 106 32 35 1,542 41
    Your Daily Goal 3,204 401 107 160 2,300 120
    Remaining 2,261 295 75 125 758 79
    Calories
    kcal
    Carbs
    g
    Fat
    g
    Protein
    g
    Sodium
    mg
    Sugar
    g
    *You've earned 2,004 extra calories from exercise today

    Where does the daily goal 3204 come from?????? I logged in 20 minutes on the treadmill and that was all.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,866 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,866 Member
    goldyray1 wrote: »
    Totals 943 106 32 35 1,542 41
    Your Daily Goal 3,204 401 107 160 2,300 120
    Remaining 2,261 295 75 125 758 79
    Calories
    kcal
    Carbs
    g
    Fat
    g
    Protein
    g
    Sodium
    mg
    Sugar
    g
    *You've earned 2,004 extra calories from exercise today

    Where does the daily goal 3204 come from?????? I logged in 20 minutes on the treadmill and that was all.

    What else did you do today (not just exercise, chores and things)? How many total calories does your fitness tracker (I think you have a Garmin?) say you burned today?
  • conniewilkins56conniewilkins56 Member Posts: 2,631 Member Member Posts: 2,631 Member
    I really don’t think exercise calories are created equally!...if I swim or tread water for 30 minutes and someone else same age,sex,height etc swims laps for 30 minutes I think that person would burn more calories than I do!...the same with water jogging....I jog in the pool for 30 minutes but another person putting a little more effort or speed than I do would burn more calories....this is why I do not eat most of my exercise calories back....I do drink Zero Gatorade while I swim and I eat a protein bar after a swim or Greek yogurt....I hate to think after almost two years that I should have been eating more....if I had eaten more I don’t think I would have lost 100+ pounds....although I did no exercise the first year!...help!.....

    I started at 350 lbs and now weigh 246.... I am 69 and I am 5’8” and large framed...I have my calorie goal set to lose 1 1/2 lbs a week...does this all sound right?
  • conniewilkins56conniewilkins56 Member Posts: 2,631 Member Member Posts: 2,631 Member
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