Exercise! - Net Calories vs. Food Intake vs. Exercise

03-07-2012, 04:01 PM
I'm struggling a bit.

I'm training for a triathlon and I've had to up my caloric intake because I am exercising so much.

I'm 5'5", 215lbs and from my understanding, without exercise, I should be intaking 1489 calories to reach my goal of 150lbs.

HOWEVER, I am burning at least 1000 calories a day. (I wear a garmin heart rate monitor and I'm training a minimum of 90 minutes a day.) I work out 6-7 days a week up to twice a day.

I've been tracking through the "Lose it" app and it's telling me that I'm budgeted 1489 calories but since I burnt 1090 calories today I should be consuming 2579 calories to still lose 2lbs/wk. This seems INSANELY high to me. My calories are being spent on healthy foods, not junk. (lean protein, whole grains, veggies, fruits, etc.)


03-07-2012, 08:53 PM
You might have to go with trial and error on this and see how your body responds to the exercise. How have you been doing so far? How much are you eating? Are you losing?

I'd probably err on the side of eating a little more for a couple of weeks (maybe 2000-2200 cals) and see how you go. If you keep losing then you know your calorie levels are about right; if you don't, you can adjust downwards. That said, fuel is important to your body if you are pushing it really hard with exercise: eat healthily and eat as much as you can while still continuing to lose.

This is an opportunity for you to learn your body. :)

03-08-2012, 12:37 AM
Think of it this way. If your caloric intake is 1489 and you burn 1000 calories, then your asking your body to survive on a mere 489 to function. I did a google search for "how many calories should I eat" and found freedieting.com. Using random information it seems the Lose It app is on point.

Good luck on your triathlon training.

03-08-2012, 09:22 AM
2579 calories does seem high... If you are eating 1489 calories while training for your triathlon and you still feel energetic keep going at that rate, if however you're not feeling well, bring your calories up till you find the point where you're feeling good... Your body will tell you how it feels on X amount of calories I wouldn't rely on any type of calculator because they are never 100% accurate...

03-08-2012, 10:09 AM
Doesn't sound high to me as a ballpark estimate.

I'm not even training for races and I'm losing on 2200 average and 30 min easy exercise 5x a week.

I second checking out


Can't expect a fire to burn without giving it some wood.

Can't expect metabolism to meet all your "not be dead" body functions like breathing, heart beating, etc AND fuel a training program for a race well AND deal with the biochemistry processes of shedding extra fat if you don't give it enough fuel.

Check out the chart. (http://www.allkids.org/body.cfm?id=580) Another estimate, but eye opening to see that 1400 is kid level.

If you feel nervous about going to 2500 ish, go to 1800 or 2000 then. See how that feels and how you are feeling. We all want to lose, but losing too fast brings other problems besides just skin sag because it didn't have time to catch up and adjust. Poor performance, dizzy, hunger, etc. It's just not a comfortable ride on down, and increases odds of giving it up entirely.


03-08-2012, 10:15 AM
I have read to add back half of the calories that you burn through exercise (if you feel that you need it-and since you're training for a triathalon, you probably need it).
So, that'd put you at about 2000.
Good luck with your training!

03-09-2012, 09:40 AM
It definitely is interesting to watch. Today was my weigh in day and I ate an average of 1761 kcal/day this week and only lost 1lb. It's extremely frustrating, but all in due time, right?

Thanks for everyone's advice. I'm certainly going to play around with it some more.

03-12-2012, 02:29 PM
Good for you!

I am not on a weight loss journey so take this as my own personal experience and not as advice. I work out 6x a week as a group fitness instructor, and demonstrate (not work out per se) 4 times more than that. At 5'10", I maintain my weight at around 2000 calories a day. I'm a bit of an anomely (sp?) but my point is, in my experience, you can maintain health on a low calorie diet while exercising a ton.