Calorie Counters - Do you eat back the calories you burn?

04-28-2013, 07:10 PM
I have been going back and forth with this...what are the arguments for and against eating back your workout calories? For reference, I am using MFP, set a 1500 cal limit, and I eat back my calories about 50% of the time. Weight loss has been pretty good so far. Today I walked a very long distance and MFP says I burned 700 calories. Seems excessive to eat back that much, so I don't plan to. What are you doing, and how is it working out for you?

04-28-2013, 07:17 PM
I don't. My calorie range from Sparkpeople assumes I'm burning 2000 calories a week.

The only time I would eat them back is if I went hiking and was burning 5000 calories that day, and even then I'd probably have an extra 500-1000 calories that day, and maybe a few hundred extra over the next few days. But those are rare occasions.

04-28-2013, 07:17 PM
I only eat mine back if I am feeling hungry. If I don't feel like I need them, I just see it as a bonus:) Some days I exercise because I feel hungry and want to be able to eat more food without going over my calories on MFP.... So far so good!

04-28-2013, 07:48 PM
I only use mine for insurance in case I go over my limit. But I never consciously eat them for the sake of eating. It's more of "Oops, that was higher than I thought. Good thing I exercised today!"

I also get leery of the MFP calculations for physical fitness. Are those numbers set by MFP or it's a regular person like us who created the activity and amount to credit? Know what I mean?

04-28-2013, 08:51 PM
If I am hungry, I will always eat them back. No point in starving and struggling the rest of the day. If I am not hungry (which is rare - exercise makes me famished!), then I wont eat them. But 99% of the time, I will happily eat them back =)

04-28-2013, 09:11 PM
I use the Olivia method for countin on mfp and if I go over I think for me it's 452 I'll eat those extra ones if I need them..

04-28-2013, 09:21 PM
I only eat them back when I'm hungry. It used to be I never ate them back but haven't eaten them back almost every day the past few weeks. Maybe it's because I started more intense workouts but I've been so much hungrier lately.

04-28-2013, 09:56 PM
No. I take a low-cal protein shake post gym to ease hunger, assist with muscle recovery and get through to lunch. Else I would be ravenous.

Mia Zoe
05-03-2013, 01:04 PM
I walk 12-15 kms (7.5-9 miles) every day and don't eat back the calories I burn.

05-03-2013, 09:46 PM
Thanks for the input everyone! I'm glad to see a variety of approaches working out for people. I'm going to stick with partially abstaining for now, and when my loss slows down a bit I can cut back.

05-03-2013, 10:36 PM
I use them as cushion if I'm hungry but generally don't eat them back! I'm actually way below what MFP says I can eat anyways - it says 1850 and I eat 1200. So I will eat probably up to 1500 with exercise if I'm feeling hungry - but I'm usually not. I eat so much low cal foods throughout the day I feel like I'd be ready to pop if I ate 1850 calories worth lol

Quirky Chick
05-03-2013, 10:42 PM
Mostly not this time. I remember back when I was a member of Anytime Fitness that was 2 blocks from home, and I would end up eating something (nothing major - just enough to maintain rather than lose) because I'd tell myself, "Well, it's ok to have a Snickers bar after eating healthy all day. I can just go to the gym" - but then the problem became little weight loss, as I couldn't step my amount of cals burned due to Fibromyalgia. It's a nasty habbit when you're trying to lose, rather than maintain.

05-04-2013, 10:17 AM
No I don't consciously eat back my calories. Though during the week I go to the gym after work and before dinner so I eat after but that's within my calorie allotment for the day. Sometimes if I have a restaurant meal coming up I will ensure to get to the gym that day and/or in the days leading up.

05-04-2013, 04:01 PM
I use myfitnesspal, so I usually do eat at least some of them back, sometimes all. Myfitnesspal already sets you up for a deficit, especially if you set it to lose 2 lbs per week. If you don't eat back exercise calories, you end up at a much larger deficit than what is healthy a lot of the time. I only eat around 1400 per day without exercise, if I didn't eat them back I'd be at a net of only 1000 calories, which is too low for me. But obviously, to each their own.

05-05-2013, 10:25 PM
Thanks for the input everybody!
I hadn't thought about that Medchick!...I didn't eat back exercise cals last week and ended up losing 8 lbs, but I was sick too so that might have played into the swoosh. I see the importance of paying attention to so that you don't eat too little.

05-05-2013, 11:47 PM
I do not eat my workout calories.

Just my opinion, loss and maintaining is done in the kitchen, and fitness is done through exercise, done on purpose.:carrot:

05-21-2013, 11:02 AM
It's a good question, Lecomtes.

In the past, I would occasionally eat my calories. But now, because I have only a few more kilo's to lose, and it's not recommended to eat less than 1200, I try my best to not eat my calories burned because I'm losing slowly enough as it is! My workout usually consists of running for up to an hour, which burns quite a lot, so I wont deny myself a little something extra if Im feeling faint or something lol, but yeah, I try not to eat more than 1200 even if I burn 400+ calories.