can you eat the calories you earn back with exercise?

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Just curious. the calories you get back when you exercise, are you allowed to eat those back or will it ruin your diet. what do you do? I'm trying to lose as much weight as fast as possible.

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  • BrettPGH
    BrettPGH Posts: 4,720 Member
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    You can and you should. Maybe not 100% of them as MFP can estimate cals burned a smidge high.. but you'll want to at the very least eat back 1/3-1/2 of the calories you're burning. The body needs that fuel.
  • trinawynne75052
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    I certainly do & I am losing :)
  • _Elemenopee_
    _Elemenopee_ Posts: 2,665 Member
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    ^^^ YES! What Brett said!
  • Kirsty_UK
    Kirsty_UK Posts: 964 Member
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    I'm trying to lose as much weight as fast as possible.

    why? please rethink this

    losing it slowly, and steadily, is the healthiest way to do it, and the way to learn as much as possible about healthy eating and exercise and good portion sizes etc etc to be able to keep it off
  • Trulyfree
    Trulyfree Posts: 21
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    Yes, you can. I thought for sure it wouldn't work but it does. I lost weight too! You don't have to eat it all back but it allows you to have a little fun with your food and not be quite so strict. Call it a reward for all your hard work!
  • grex1949
    grex1949 Posts: 130
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    I'm trying to lose as much weight as fast as possible.

    why? please rethink this

    losing it slowly, and steadily, is the healthiest way to do it, and the way to learn as much as possible about healthy eating and exercise and good portion sizes etc etc to be able to keep it off

    ^^^^This
    And yes, you need to eat back the exercise calories.
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
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    Yes - think of those calories as fuel for your workouts.

    MFP works on the premise that all people do not exercise (the deficit is already built in). As the previous poster said - be careful that the calorie burn you are eating back is not overstated. Machines can be way high too; a heart rate monitor is much more accurate.
  • workoutgirl23
    workoutgirl23 Posts: 267
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    I just wasn't sure if eating back the calories you burn, is defeating the whole purpose. I'm paranoid if i eat them back, i won't lose any weight. but with all the exercise i do, i probably need to eat some of them back at least. or i get sick and feel like i'm fainting all day long.
  • Spanaval
    Spanaval Posts: 1,200 Member
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    Depends on how you set your calorie goals. If you're eating at or slightly above BMR, then yes. If you're eating 15 - 20% below TDEE, then no, unless you slip below BMR, since TDEE already takes your lifestyle and exercise into account.
  • Kennkaru
    Kennkaru Posts: 210 Member
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    My method is this:
    I set my daily calorie goal to my BMR (which is the minimum number of calories your body needs to function properly, more or less).
    There are lots of online tools to help you find your BMR. I suggest checking out a few different ones and averaging the answers.
    I make sure I'm eating at least that amount- usually about 100-200 calories more. For me, that's between 1800-2000 calories daily.
    I eat back about half of my exercise calories.

    I've been steadily losing a pound a week, which is a healthy rate of loss, and I'm building muscle and losing inches all over the place. You may lose more than a pound or two a week at first, and that's normal because you'll be losing a lot of water weight. Once you've been at this for a few weeks though, a pound a week is a very reasonable goal and will help you develop the right healthy habits to keep your weight down and stay healthy.
  • nataliann99
    nataliann99 Posts: 15
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    Dont eat to little!! your body will go into starvation mode and it will make it WAY harder to loose weight!! (:
  • dlwyatt82
    dlwyatt82 Posts: 1,077 Member
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    Just curious. the calories you get back when you exercise, are you allowed to eat those back or will it ruin your diet. what do you do? I'm trying to lose as much weight as fast as possible.

    That's what you're supposed to do. If you didn't eat them back, your calorie deficit for the day would grow from what you originally planned. Depending on your metabolism, this could be a good or a bad thing; eating too few calories can actually stall your weight loss as your metabolism starts to slow down in response.
  • gayje
    gayje Posts: 230 Member
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    I have done it both ways - NOT eating back exercise calories and then eating most of them back on a few weekends here and there. Everyone's body is different. Period. Eating back my exercise calories put on 4 pounds for me this weekend. A huge bummer but I now can say that I've "tried and tested" this method and it's not for me in my journey to loose. Just remember to eat healty, drink water like it's going out of style to hydrate and flush your system and if you make good food choices (very easy to do if you plan meals ahead, btw) you will get out of it what you put into it.

    There is NO quick / easy / magical method to loosing a lot of weight really fast. Good luck!
  • dlwyatt82
    dlwyatt82 Posts: 1,077 Member
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    I have done it both ways - NOT eating back exercise calories and then eating most of them back on a few weekends here and there. Everyone's body is different. Period. Eating back my exercise calories put on 4 pounds for me this weekend. A huge bummer but I now can say that I've "tried and tested" this method and it's not for me in my journey to loose. Just remember to eat healty, drink water like it's going out of style to hydrate and flush your system and if you make good food choices (very easy to do if you plan meals ahead, btw) you will get out of it what you put into it.

    There is NO quick / easy / magical method to loosing a lot of weight really fast. Good luck!

    There is no way eating back a few hundred exercise calories resulted in a 4-pound weight gain. That's just water retention, and happens all the time for various reasons.

    Remember, it takes 3500 calories to equal a pound of fat (either up or down). I don't think you ate 15 thousand extra calories this weekend. :smile: