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Eating Exercise Calories? - I'm not 100% convinced.

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Hey folks,

After reading many of the boards here reagarding eating your exercise calories, I figured I would try and do that. However, I may have been brain washed from one or more of the diets I have paid for, and I feel incredibly guilty for eating the exercise calories I earned. I feel like I cheated myself...I hope I made the right choice.....does anyone else feel guilty when they eat theirs?
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Replies

  • 623Hernandez
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    me either!!!
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,156 Member
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    No.
  • Tonnina
    Tonnina Posts: 979 Member
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    I think that it's a good way to maintain weight rather than lose pounds.
  • BondBomb
    BondBomb Posts: 1,781 Member
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    Tried it this week and lost nada. Eh I'm going back to what I was going before.
  • 007DIVA
    007DIVA Posts: 12
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    I eat them but only sometimes...If I do decide to eat those earned cals I never eat all of them. I eat just enough so that I'm not feeling hungry. Just be sure that you are eating enough calories per day though, you wouldn't want the body going in to starvation mode.

    Great job so far on MFP
  • alyssamiller77
    alyssamiller77 Posts: 891 Member
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    After losing almost 30 pounds, beyond my goal, while eating back my exercise calories, no I don't feel i'm cheating myself or doing anything wrong by eating them. The facts are simple if you do the research, your body burns energy when you exercise, the only way to replace that energy is to eat more.
  • CarolineSuzanneSmith
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    I'm right there with you! I've been stuck at a plateau for quite a while, and after combing through my diaries I realized that I was probably eating too little compared to how much I was exercising. So, for the past two weeks I've tried "upping" my calorie intake (still healthy foods!) to see if that'll help me...my first weigh in will be on Friday. Hopefully I see some progress.

    All those diets out there have put my mind in a bad place...most of them basically tell you "less calories = more pounds lost" but that's not really it! I was starving myself before...and I'm having to retrain my body and mind; I need more than 900 calories a day!

    All this to say, you're not alone! Best of luck!!
  • cownancy
    cownancy Posts: 291
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    Here's what my nutritionist and doctor have told me. IF you are obese or morbidly obese, by medical definition, and are supervised by a doctor, you can get away with NET calories between 1000-1200 per day if you are exercising. As you lose the weight, you will raise your net calorie number, but since I have a LOOOOONG time to go, I won't know that number anytime soon. Plus, when I am no longer in the obese range, the office has a device that can measure your metabolic rate so that you can adjust your intake accordingly.

    So, my calories are set at 1500 per day and unless I get more than 400-500 exercise calories, I do NOT eat them back, for now. But, that really depends on your current situation. If you are improving to do sports, then it's TOTALLY different. You NEED a much higher net calorie intake to be healthy.

    Good luck.
  • riccoismydog
    riccoismydog Posts: 319 Member
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    My bmr is 1200 and my net calorie intake is 1200. So I don't eat my exercise calories. I'm pretty lazy unless I'm exercising. Maybe if I had children to chase after and spent more than 45 minutes on housework a day I very well might eat some my exercise calories. I'm only working two days a week right now. When I do work and stand on my feet for eight hours, I don't eat my exercise calories, but I do add in 200 calories for my work day, provided I still do some exercise. I have never even heard of eating your exercise calories before mfp, and I've only ever eaten what I thought would make me lose weight, and then exercised some on top of that. I may at some point do a week of eating my exercise calories, just to see what happens. I don't feel hungry or deprived, even when I work out really hard. If I do, then I say screw it, and eat something healthy, but that is pretty rare.

    I think it's best to listen to your body. If you are eating healthy and on the days you work out hard you find yourself hungrier, eat some more, just make sure it's healthy food. If you find your not as hungry when you don't work out, you should eat some of your exercise calories when you do work out. Best to listen to your body. Everyones body works different. Gotta experiment to see what works for you.
  • gsenriquez
    gsenriquez Posts: 181 Member
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    I eat my exercise calories. I don't eat all of them but I make sure that if I am hungry I can eat because I have reserves. I started doing MFP seriously on Aug 21st and so far I have lost 9 lbs
  • llkilgore
    llkilgore Posts: 1,169 Member
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    When I was introduced to the concept of eating back exercise calories in January, I asked myself: Was it more important to me to lose an extra pound or two this week, or would it be better to preserve the calorie burning muscle mass I'd need to keep the weight off permanently once I'd lost it, however long it took? Muscle preservation and permanent weigh loss won, hands down, so I ate back most if not all of my exercise calories from the start. And I never felt the least bit guilty about it.
  • BondBomb
    BondBomb Posts: 1,781 Member
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    My bmr is 1200 and my net calorie intake is 1200. So I don't eat my exercise calories. I'm pretty lazy unless I'm exercising. Maybe if I had children to chase after and spent more than 45 minutes on housework a day I very well might eat some my exercise calories. I'm only working two days a week right now. When I do work and stand on my feet for eight hours, I don't eat my exercise calories, but I do add in 200 calories for my work day, provided I still do some exercise. I have never even heard of eating your exercise calories before mfp, and I've only ever eaten what I thought would make me lose weight, and then exercised some on top of that. I may at some point do a week of eating my exercise calories, just to see what happens. I don't feel hungry or deprived, even when I work out really hard. If I do, then I say screw it, and eat something healthy, but that is pretty rare.

    I think it's best to listen to your body. If you are eating healthy and on the days you work out hard you find yourself hungrier, eat some more, just make sure it's healthy food. If you find your not as hungry when you don't work out, you should eat some of your exercise calories when you do work out. Best to listen to your body. Everyones body works different. Gotta experiment to see what works for you.

    See I have often wondered does this take into consideration smaller people with lower bmr. Mine is only 1300.
  • mrsredneckmorris
    mrsredneckmorris Posts: 119 Member
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    Well this week probabably wasn't the best week to test out the "eating back your exercise calories" as we celebrated Thanksgiving here in Alberta, Canada....I tried to behave...and exercise...but I may not have been 100% accurate in my portions/calculations....hopefully there wasn't too much damage done!
    The best part of it all is that I would have quit by now...but I'm still trying!
  • Rae6503
    Rae6503 Posts: 6,294 Member
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    I eat mine.

    Loosing weight is mostly about calorie deficit. You don't need exercise for that. Exercise actually allows you to eat MORE (who doesn't like that) while maintaining your calorie deficit. It also give yous energy, is fun, preserves some muscle, makes you feel good about yourself, etc.
  • starwhisperer
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    I don't eat mine. When I get to the weight I want to be at, and I start working at gaining muscle then I will for sure. But I don't need anymore than I am eating now so I don't bother.
  • Lucylaser
    Lucylaser Posts: 94 Member
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    Exercise is hard work! It feels hard, it makes you sweat and if you did it right you feel sore after. However, I think a lot of the time its easy to over-estimate how many calories you actually burned. I think the approximated burn numbers are a bit high for me here, so I have some of them back if I am hungry still.

    I want to get an HRM when I have a bit more cash on hand. But until then, I try to be a bit conservative.
  • Anayalata
    Anayalata Posts: 391 Member
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    I'm able to calculate how many calories I burned using a heart rate monitor and such.

    I eat them back, but I'm trying to gain muscle as well.

    Usually though, I don't eat them all back. My BMR is 1800~, my current diet lets me eat 1650, but I try not to eat over 1800 regardless of my exercise.

    Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but I'm not seeing any real results yet even though I'm on my last week of Insanity so I'm trying to cut down the calories even more.
  • lovelee79
    lovelee79 Posts: 362
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    I think that burning exercise calories is a gift, a gift to yourself that you worked really hard to achieve, and I personally wouldn't want to eat them back! That's kinda like working hard all day at a stressful job, then when you get your pay check you decide to give a few hundred dollars back to your boss ! No way !!!! I work hard to sweat, & get to the gym & pay for my gym so I'm gonna take that calorie burn as a gift to self ! :)
  • Cold_Steel
    Cold_Steel Posts: 897 Member
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    carbs before a work out - protein after - helps process muscle and helps repair.

    Replacing your calories is fine as long as its not eating crap or too many dormant energy foods like breads, sugars etc. Stick with the protein after a work out - nuts, peanut butter, lean meats, dark greens etc.
  • dreambig_gohome
    dreambig_gohome Posts: 194 Member
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    I NEVER eat my exercise calories, but I'm on a strict training program right now for my sport. I stay 300-400 calories under my goal on top of intense, high-calorie-burning exercise sessions, but I'm very strict about the types of foods I eat to keep my nutritional value high for building muscle but keeping calories intensely low. My nets a lot of times look insane after intense burns, but I eat a ton of proteins and some healthy fats to keep myself going. I think I would feel extremely cheated after I work as hard as I do to throw away my workouts.