MFP net calories from working out...?

I'm under the impression that as long as you eat a minimum of 1200 calories a day it doesn't matter how many calories you burn after that. Correct?

I have my profile set to lose 1lb a week which means I get 1510 calories a day, but I only eat a little over 1200, then I burn 550 working out in the gym which now means I've only consumed about 600 calories. I'm not starving myself by doing this right?

By the end of the day I have 800 calories or more that I could consume. Thanks in advance for any help, I just want to make sure I'm doing it right.

Replies

  • Oneday150
    Oneday150 Posts: 241
    I am under the same thing with the calories, I am working out hard burning around 500-550 calories and eating 600-800 calories and I have been doing that for 7 days and my weight has not budge...
  • Actually, that is exactly what it means. 600 calories is not enough for the body to survive on, and your body will react negatively. If you are extremely obese you might be able to get by a little under recommendations for a while, but the closer you come to healthy body weight the more extreme your body's reaction will be.

    If you want to lose faster increase the MFP settings to lose 2 lbs a day and follow the calories it recommends. You don't necessarily need to burn all of your exercise calories, but you should burn most of them (75-85%).
  • lysistrataNix
    lysistrataNix Posts: 125 Member
    If I change my setting to lose 2lbs then I only get to eat 1200 a day. Isn't that what I'm already doing?
  • Miragirl12 - If I'm reading that right you are letting your body subsist on 250-300 calories a day. No matter how small you are that is not enough for your body to survive on and your body is probably doing bad things to itself in the name of survival right now. There are numerous threads about how increasing calories to recommended amounts (as counter-intuitive as that seems) will actually increase weight loss by significant amounts.

    If you have been under-eating for a long time you will probably gain some weight first as your body normalizes.
  • If I change my setting to lose 2lbs then I only get to eat 1200 a day. Isn't that what I'm already doing?

    No, because if you add the exercise calories on top of that you are probably looking at closer to 1600-1700 calories intake that you need.
  • HMonsterX
    HMonsterX Posts: 3,000 Member
    I'm under the impression that as long as you eat a minimum of 1200 calories a day it doesn't matter how many calories you burn after that. Correct?

    I have my profile set to lose 1lb a week which means I get 1510 calories a day, but I only eat a little over 1200, then I burn 550 working out in the gym which now means I've only consumed about 600 calories. I'm not starving myself by doing this right?

    By the end of the day I have 800 calories or more that I could consume. Thanks in advance for any help, I just want to make sure I'm doing it right.

    Well, not really.

    You're supposed to be at 1,200 NET, i.e. calories you consume minus calories you burn. In your example if you burn 500 cals, you would need to eat 1,700 minimum to get the 1,200 net.

    This ofc is different for some people, but the general consensus of this site is to stay no lower than 1,200 net. If you go too long eating too big a deficit you body may run into all sorts of metabolism issues.
    If I change my setting to lose 2lbs then I only get to eat 1200 a day. Isn't that what I'm already doing?

    you only get to eat 1,200 if you do no exercise. If you then burn off, say, 500, you get to eat an extra 500. A lot of people ONLY do exercise so they can eat more.
  • lysistrataNix
    lysistrataNix Posts: 125 Member
    Ok thanks! I've been seriously watching what I eat trying to stay in that minimum range, I'll start eating back some of those calories then :smile:
  • em9371
    em9371 Posts: 1,047 Member
    I'm under the impression that as long as you eat a minimum of 1200 calories a day it doesn't matter how many calories you burn after that. Correct?

    I have my profile set to lose 1lb a week which means I get 1510 calories a day, but I only eat a little over 1200, then I burn 550 working out in the gym which now means I've only consumed about 600 calories. I'm not starving myself by doing this right?

    By the end of the day I have 800 calories or more that I could consume. Thanks in advance for any help, I just want to make sure I'm doing it right.

    Well, not really.

    You're supposed to be at 1,200 NET, i.e. calories you consume minus calories you burn. In your example if you burn 500 cals, you would need to eat 1,700 minimum to get the 1,200 net.

    This ofc is different for some people, but the general consensus of this site is to stay no lower than 1,200 net. If you go too long eating too big a deficit you body may run into all sorts of metabolism issues.

    ^^^another vote for this. the 1510 allowance that MFP gives you already includes a 500 cal/day deficit required for you to lose 1lb/week, so if you do 500 cals worth of exercise you need to eat 1510 plus 500. if you dont want to eat back all of your exercise cals, you should be able to lose 1.5lb/week but make sure that your NET cals after exercise are 1200 or above.
    you get a 1200 cal allowance for 2lb/week goal as MFP will not give you a goal which is below the 'safe' level of 1200 per day.
  • Oneday150
    Oneday150 Posts: 241
    Gshields42- I am currently 5'5' and weight 185.5. And I have having a net between 300- 500 a day. So whatever I have done in excersive burning off I have to eat back? Example I am set a 1200 and buring 550 average. Would I need to consume 1750? or the 1200?
  • I just wanted to offer my opinion which is not to entirely trust what cardio machines at the gym, for example, and what MFP says regarding calories burned. Personally, I err on the side of caution and inflate the number of calories I ate and do not always take into account the full number of supposed calories burned. I think cardio machines and MFP over estimate calories burned, and in a scientific setting it entails much more analysis for an accurate figure. I just don't believe that I've burned, say, 600 calories during 50 minutes of the elliptical just because MFP says so. Seems way too high. And, I don't figure in daily stuff such as cleaning or carrying around a toddler.
  • amberl10
    amberl10 Posts: 75 Member
    I think you need to eat back most of the calories you burn because I think you're not eating enough even if you don't feel hungry. If after you exercise you still have 600 calories remaining you need to eat at least 75% of that I think. 1200 is fine but that means you need to eat that many calories not including your calorie burn.
  • gabi_ele
    gabi_ele Posts: 460 Member
    I can only speak for myself. I have jojoed myself up to this weight by eating to few calories and messing up my metabolism. Years and years of starving myself, then not being able to keep it up, gaining all of the weight back and then some
    . I agree with some of you I only count half of the calories I get back from exercise. I also only count exercise if it is something out of the ordinary. For instance if like today, I take all my Christmas decorations down and put them away ,plus stack a load of wood, then I will count half of that as exercise, since I don't do that every day.
    I am happy to report that I am loosing at a very good rate ( which since I have to lose over 100 pounds is not a big surprise) , but there is a reason why this works and there are a lot of people that have lost a lot of weight the save and healthy way and are keeping it off.
  • Gshields42- I am currently 5'5' and weight 185.5. And I have having a net between 300- 500 a day. So whatever I have done in excersive burning off I have to eat back? Example I am set a 1200 and buring 550 average. Would I need to consume 1750? or the 1200?

    You probably don't need to eat all of the calories back, but 75-80% would probably be good (there are always over-estimations on the amount of calories burned, and underestimations on food that are built in by manufacturers trying to sell "quality products").

    What is MFP saying you should be eating? Your food diary is private so I can't see.
  • em9371
    em9371 Posts: 1,047 Member
    Gshields42- I am currently 5'5' and weight 185.5. And I have having a net between 300- 500 a day. So whatever I have done in excersive burning off I have to eat back? Example I am set a 1200 and buring 550 average. Would I need to consume 1750? or the 1200?

    you should be eating the 1750, your NET should be the 1200.
  • Oneday150
    Oneday150 Posts: 241
    Gshields42- I am currently 5'5' and weight 185.5. And I have having a net between 300- 500 a day. So whatever I have done in excersive burning off I have to eat back? Example I am set a 1200 and buring 550 average. Would I need to consume 1750? or the 1200?

    You probably don't need to eat all of the calories back, but 75-80% would probably be good (there are always over-estimations on the amount of calories burned, and underestimations on food that are built in by manufacturers trying to sell "quality products").

    What is MFP saying you should be eating? Your food diary is private so I can't see.

    I opened it up take a look and see if you could point me to the right dirrection, This morning I gained another pound.
  • em9371
    em9371 Posts: 1,047 Member
    Miragirl12,
    you seem to be eating low amounts of calories from mostly processed / readymade foods, your net cals are below 1200 most days which is not enough, that will be why your body is trying to hang onto fat and you are not losing.
    try to eat more fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meat, wholegrain rice/pasta/bread, low fat dairy etc, and add healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil and natural peanut butter to increase your net calories to above 1200. by choosing foods like this you will be able to eat a lot more for the same amount of calories, and will get vitamins and minerals that are not found in most ready made foods.
  • itsuki
    itsuki Posts: 520 Member
    Gshields42- I am currently 5'5' and weight 185.5. And I have having a net between 300- 500 a day. So whatever I have done in excersive burning off I have to eat back? Example I am set a 1200 and buring 550 average. Would I need to consume 1750? or the 1200?

    You probably don't need to eat all of the calories back, but 75-80% would probably be good (there are always over-estimations on the amount of calories burned, and underestimations on food that are built in by manufacturers trying to sell "quality products").

    What is MFP saying you should be eating? Your food diary is private so I can't see.

    I opened it up take a look and see if you could point me to the right dirrection, This morning I gained another pound.

    Hey Mira - I hope this doesn't come off as judgmental, but dang girl, eat some dinner! :D You're under your daily goal buy up to 1200 calories on some days. This can definitely prevent you from losing weight; plus, with the amount your exercising compared to the amount your eating, you could be missing other essential nutrients as well. Up your calorie intake and you might be pleasantly surprised in a week or two when you step on the scale.
  • Definitely agree with the others. You definitely need to get some more caloric intake. Since you started logging in early January, it looks like you have 80% sub-1k calorie days net (after exercise is subtracted from intake). Most days you were at <700 calories, and some days you were as low as 200 calories.

    Judging from this, your body has definitely been starving yourself. If your logging was the start of this, then you should be able to add some calories to get you back up to speed pretty quickly (probably want to eat actual maintenance calories for a couple of days). You will likely gain a couple of pounds short term, but then should be able to continue with healthy loss. If you have been doing this longer than you have been logging, it will probably take longer for your body to recover and start cooperating with you on the weight loss. Be patient, and don't be alarmed at any short term gains.

    Also, was the 1200 budget what MFP gave you, or did you manually over-ride to that?
  • Oneday150
    Oneday150 Posts: 241
    Thank you all for the imputs,
    I have been low calorie eating since Dec 5th. 2011 , and I was losing fairly good. I started the gym on Jan 3rd 2012 and still was eating low calories. Coming from a family that they are all overweight I did not know how to diet. I figured the more I burned the more weight I would lose. But after reading alot here I notice that my intake was really low.
    Also another reason why I dont know eat dinner is beacuse the food made is super high calorie coming from a latino family.

    Oh and I manually set it to 1200 calories
  • You should immediately go back to the goals screen and reset the goal to what MFP says. I wouldn't try to go under that, especially as you have been underfeeding yourself so much as of late.

    As to dinner, I don't know your home situation, but there are always ways that you can work on that without being unhealthy. Try and push healthy eating (for dinner if nothing else) on everyone else there. If it isn't too horrible, just limit portions a little to account for the calorie dense food (I'm not really familiar with Ethnic Latino food, so I can't really say). If nothing else, make your own dinners and let the rest of them admire your strength in eating right. Not eating just really isn't a healthy option.

    As I said in the previous post, expect that your weight will probably grow for a while. Your body has been essentially eating itself for a month now, and it is going to need to recover. I highly recommend eating right at your caloric maintenance (no reduction at all) for a while to get your body back on the right path. After that, reduce it to the amount of calories MFP says you should be eating, and please make sure you account for extra food to make up for any extra exercise calories.

    Do it slow and right, and you won't have the problems maintaining it later!