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Old 02-24-2010, 09:56 AM   #1
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Default Need help understanding calories in/calories burned

I'm going tomorrow to buy a Mio Watch heart rate monitor, which uses info like my resting heart rate, age, weight, etc to determine how many calories I'm burning when I'm exercising.

I've been zig zagging my daily calories consumed with success so far. On days I don't exercise intensely, I'm satisfied, but sometimes after a hard workout I'm just famished, but I'm scared to eat much beyond my set daily calories because I don't want to overeat.

I guess I don't really understand the relation between the calories burned during exercise and how/when/if that should be taken into account to make adjustments to how many calories I'm consuming each day. I hope that question makes sense. I feel really dumb I just can't seem to wrap my brain around the concept for some reason.

Can anyone give me the "For Dummies" explanation of how it all works together? Thanks!
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:30 AM   #2
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No one way of doing it is going to work for everyone. Most people do not count their calories burned towards what they can or should eat that day, but there is no rule saying that is the way to do it.

I am a firm believer that you should NEVER go hungry. If you're hungry on days you workout your body is trying to tell you something. Feed it. This doesn't mean you should go over your calories, necessarily. Maybe instead you re-examine how you're getting those calories and make adjustments that will allow you to eat a great quantity of food on the same calorie count, for instance.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:33 PM   #3
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I've been struggling with this lately as well and it really just takes some fine tuning. Honestly, if you're famished you need to look at your calories. I use freedieting for my zig zag and I play between the 3xs a week (when I'm scared of eating too much) and 5xs a week (when I really feel like I've pushed myself) on the exercise option. It's only a 100-200 calorie difference so no real damage can come from it. I also round down to the nearest 50 cals. You can see my stats and here is what my typical zig zag looks like.

M - 1650-1750
T - 1400-1450
W - 1800-1950
Th - 1650-1750
F - 1500-1600
S - 2000-2150
Su - 1650-1750

I hike 2xs a week, jog/walk 2-3xs a week, do yoga 3xs a week (minial maybe 30 mins) and rest 2xs a week.

It's all trial and error. Maybe just up your cals by 100 on those days you are hungry. 100 cals is all it takes sometimes to beat that hunger and it's not going to ruin your progress. If you gain (I highly doubt you will) you can always take it out.
My Journey
268 lbs - Journey Begins (January 11, 2006)
197 lbs - 71 lbs lost (October 15, 2007)
247 lbs - 50 lbs gained pregnancy (August 22, 2008)
195 lbs - baby weight gone (July 7, 2009)
168 lbs - 100 lbs lost (March 26, 2010)
148 lbs - GOAL! 120 lbs lost (July 18, 2010)
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PR 1/2 Marathon - Time 1:59:50 (November 11, 2012)
PR Marathon - Time 4:40:53 (March 18, 2012)
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"There is nothing you can't have tomorrow so there is no reason to eat it all today."

Last edited by ncuneo; 02-24-2010 at 04:34 PM.
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