Calorie Counters - Do you account for exercise in your daily calorie count?

02-09-2010, 12:37 PM
I was going to post this under the "lose it" thread, but I'm sure people who don't use "lose it" would have some good advice, so I thought I'd just start a new thread.

When you set your calorie budget for the day, do you stick to it regardless of activity or do you vary it accordingly?

For example: 1600 calories + no exercise = 1600 net calories.

BUT...1600 calories - 300 cals burned excercising = 1600 calories total, but only 1300 cals "net."

The lose it app does show your total calorie intake, but only "counts" your net calories toward your daily budget.

How to you guys account for excersice calories? Just "ignore" the excercise and consider it part of your daily activty or do you allow yourself extra calories on exercise days? I know my exercise isn't all that intense right now (slowly building up my fitness level), but as I get more active, I would imagine that it might be unhealthy/dangerous to not account for calories burned and risk going below the minimum needed to maintain good health.

I know you could just enter your activity level as "moderately active" or something when figuring average calories burned (which would allow for a larger daily budget to begin with), but that would only be useful if you exercise at the same level every day.

Currently, I consider myself "sedentary" as I have a desk job and don't do anything overly physical in my day-to-day activities. Instead, I just add any "extra" exercise as it happens (currently 5-6 days a week.)

Thanks for any insight. It's always nice to hear how other people do things.

02-09-2010, 12:49 PM
I use that app too and find it irritating that the "exercise" calories are added back. I want my exercise calories to add to my overall deficit, not eat them back. If I could edit that feature I would. I suppose if I exercised 5-7 days a week I would eat a few hundred more calories, but for 2-4 days a week I prefer not to.

02-09-2010, 01:32 PM
I use LoseIt to keep track of food calories, and keep track of my exercise in another app (iStayFit but there are lots of others) so I can monitor progress. I don't want to eat the exercise calories back, just have it as a buffer since I don't really have any idea if the calorie counts for the exercise are accurate for me.

02-09-2010, 02:15 PM
True...I trust the food calorie counts much more than the exercise estimates (and of course NONE of this is an *exact* science!) I'm usually under my budget anyway so should have enough buffer...though sometimes weekends are pretty close!

02-09-2010, 02:26 PM
I just count the food calories. The exercise is part of my daily activity. Going to download the app when I get home.

Carly Smoker
02-09-2010, 03:53 PM
I wear a heart rate monitor when I exercise so I do know how much I burn during exercise. I don't use this except to push myself to my best. I don't subtract it from my daily totals.
I usually eat 1500 a day but sometimes I exercise up to 600 lost in a spin class. I still only eat 1500 and loose faster.

Hades Handmaiden
02-09-2010, 04:11 PM
I don't consistently exercise enough to deduct my exercise calories from my intake but if I over extend (like Super Bowl Sunday) and then exercise to counteract the extra calories (like running up and down the stairs every time one of the teams scored and twice for touchdowns along with extra walking) I do note it but I don't deduct it. For example: my calories for SBS were 2100. My exercise calculator put my deficit at 700 calories. So between the intake and the outgo, I was within my calories. FORTUNATELY, I didn't gain as a result of the over-eating/drinking but I still count my calories as 2100 for that day.

02-09-2010, 04:50 PM
I do track my exercise calorie output as to measure my daily progress I track my calorie deficit rather then weighing in. I aim for an average daily deficit of 875 calories, which I can't make unless I exercise.

02-09-2010, 05:27 PM
I don't account for it at all, because I don't trust those numbers. On the other hand, last summer, I spent three days painting various rooms of my house, including moving tons of furniture and such, so on those three days, I didn't worry about the couple of extra snacks. ;)

Shannon in ATL
02-09-2010, 05:58 PM
I just count eaten calories, even with my HRM. I might eat a slightly higher calorie limit on heavy exercise days, but I don't eat back all of the exercise calories by any means. I don't trust the calculation, even from the HRM. I've been this way for several years now, it didn't slow my loss and I'm maintaining now on 1950 average consumed, with exercise that varies from 250-1500 per session depending on what activity I do that day.

02-09-2010, 05:58 PM
I plug my exercise into LoseIt, mostly just to keep track of what I did, but I don't factor the calories burned into my daily intake. I'm aiming for 1,600 calories eaten per day regardless of exercise, though if I have a really hard day - like a four hour hike - I will eat some more snacks to make sure I'm not starving and grouchy. :) I also use a GoWear Fit and I look to that more for calories burned, but as many people have said, it's all an estimate and a tool, rather than an exact science.

02-09-2010, 06:15 PM
I don't track exercise calories. I figure that they make up the difference if I've missed anything I ate or didn't measure properly, or if I've exercised a lot and I'm really hungry, and then I have a piece of fruit, even if it bumps me slightly over my plan. (but not as an excuse to eat a cookie or something like that!)

So I guess in a round about way, I do count them as a cushion, without formally tracking them.

Hades Handmaiden
02-09-2010, 06:28 PM
Fortunately I'm not so anal about calories that every bite matters. I use my exercise calories for those little bits where I'm off on what I've eaten. I believe everyone has a different influx even from what it says on the package because machines aren't perfect and not every food matches the number on the package. I use the exercise for those type of things.

02-09-2010, 07:18 PM
Thanks, everyone.

02-09-2010, 07:42 PM
I ignore my calories burned.

02-09-2010, 07:54 PM

02-09-2010, 09:18 PM
I don't adjust my daily calories based on calories burned from excercising. I suppose if I was doing major training, I would, but I don't think my 20-30 minutes a day are burning enough calories to add calories to account for it.

02-10-2010, 03:04 PM
A little off subject:

How do you determine your calorie deficit for the day?

Amy Bass
02-11-2010, 10:07 PM
I use the GoWear Fit to tell me how many calories i've burned and I shoot to eat 1,000 less than I burn each day. If I burn more I can eat more.