Weight loss tips

Hey do people recommend logging exercise when trying to lose weight or is it better to try to eat the recommended calories as if you hadn’t exercised?


  • Mama530
    Mama530 Posts: 285 Member
    edited November 2021
    Every body is different. Right now, my exercise isnt excessively strenuous or taxing and my calorie goal isn’t set at 1200, so I don’t eat back those calories.

    I may change my strategy as time, progress or maintenance inspire me to.
  • PremGandhi
    PremGandhi Posts: 115 Member
    It is fair to subtract the exercise calories.gives you a clear picture. This is what I believe and follow even if the exercise calories are hardly 10% of the calorie intake. Good luck!
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
    At this point I have a daily exercise habit that's quite consistent, so instead of using the number MFP gives me and logging my exercise separately, I just override the guided setup and set my own goal that includes the exercise calories already accounted for. I used several TDEE calculators to get a ballpark figure for my total daily energy expenditure, then subtracted 500 from that number to get a daily intake amount that would result in ~1lb/week weight loss.

    MFP uses a different method to figure your calorie budget (called NEAT, non-exercise activity thermogenesis), which does not include calories burned through purposeful exercise, whereas TDEE does include that. MFP's point is that you don't have to exercise to lose weight, but if you do, you can (and should) eat more on days when you do exercise, to maintain your deficit at the rate you chose and fuel your body. For me, I exercise 7 days a week and the calories I burn doing so are more or less the same every day (or average out to be so for the week), so it makes more sense for me to just assume that I will have burned those calories exercising rather than going in and logging a workout every single day. I am effectively eating back my exercise calories, just not explicitly logging that exercise.
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,633 Member
    For the average user, using MFP the way it is DESIGNED to be used, you would enter the exercise and eat back those calories.

    That said, the burned calorie estimates tend to be on the high side for MOST people. As such, it is wise to only eat back a portion until you learn how accurate they are for YOU. Most people start by eating back about half of them, watching their weight for 4-6 weeks (better 6-8 weeks) and seeing how their actual weight loss progresses as compared to how it SHOULD progress. Then adjust up or down as needed. (eat more if losing too fast, less if losing too slow)

    The problem with THAT, is it Assumes your LOGGING of food is SPOT ON ACCURATE. For many new members.... it is not. even if they THINK it is. Add in possible water retention from a new exercise routine, or hormonal and TOM fluctuations for women, and you complicate matters even more (which is why I say 6-8 weeks is better) LOL
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,280 Member
    Aiming at an aggressive weight loss rate and does exercise that burns a fairly substantial number of calories? In that scenario, *not* eating back the exercise is a slippery slope toward risk of negative health consequences and toward possible unsustainability.

    Aggressive loss rate = roughly, more than 1% of current body weight per week (less than that if less than 50 pounds to lose or with other major stressors in one's life, because calorie deficit is an added stressor, and so is new exercise). More than a 20% calorie cut from total maintenance calories is another way to conceptualize "aggressive".

    Fairly substantial exercise calories = maybe something in the low hundreds on average daily, like 10% of what would be pre-exercise maintenance calories.

    Negative health consequences = loss of energy, reduced immune system capability, hair loss, gallbladder problems, muscle loss, etc.

    Unsustainability = frequent deprivation-triggered cravings causing binges, inability to stay with the aggressive routine long enough calendar time to achieve a meaningful total amount of weight loss, let alone learning how to maintain loss.

    Bad things guaranteed to happen? No. Just higher risk.

    On the other end of the spectrum, aiming for a very-slow weight loss, and doing a quite-small amount of exercise (in calorie terms)? Probably fine to let exercise increase one's calorie deficit, so lose pretty-slow rather than very-slow.

    Very-slow weight loss = Less than 0.5% of current body weight weekly, 0.5 pounds/0.25kg loss weekly, that sort of thing.

    Quite-small exercise calories = Exercising at moderate intensity for maybe half an hour 3x a week, maybe, depending on current physical condition.

    In between those two extremes of aggressive deficit/exercise and slow deficit/low exercise? It's a judgement call. How much health risk do you like in your life? How much total weight do you have to lose? Do you have other stressors in your life? How's your starting health? How's your starting fitness level? Etc.