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Do you eat back the calories you burn?

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:10 PM   #1
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Default Do you eat back the calories you burn?

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?
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:17 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:17 PM   #3
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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!
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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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?
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:51 PM   #5
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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 =)
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:11 PM   #6
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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..


http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/s...up-your-mfp-go
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:21 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:56 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:04 PM   #9
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I walk 12-15 kms (7.5-9 miles) every day and don't eat back the calories I burn.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:46 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:36 PM   #11
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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
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:42 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:17 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:01 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:25 PM   #15
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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.
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