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Old 12-13-2007, 10:09 PM   #1  
Weight Loss; Control Gain
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Default Eat Back Your Calories

I don't get it.
I have to be the most annoying calorie counter, but hey I am a newbie for real. I used to be a fitness instructor, so I have a wealth of knowledge in that area, but I don't know much about calories and eatings and diets.
Explain to me why you would want to eat back your calories?
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:14 PM   #2  
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In my opinion, you wouldn't. Any calories I burn exercising are bonus weight loss calories. There are some folk that believe that those are extra calories that you can eat, loosely along the lines of WW activity points I guess.

If I exercise and burn an extra 300 calories, cool - If I do that about 12 times - that is one more stubborn lb. gone forever.
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:48 PM   #3  
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I wouldn't either.

Any calories burned through exercise are completely separate for me from the calories I ingest. Works for me!

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Old 12-13-2007, 11:00 PM   #4  
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vix
Some people like to hit their thumb with a hammer. Do we understand them either? lol. I think it is self destructive to figure out how many calories you have burnt off with exercise and then eat them right up. Thought the point of exercise was to help make the body strong and or lose weight.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:22 PM   #5  
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No such thing as an annoying newbie! I think the more ya know the better off ya are! And how do you learn if you don't ask?

I'm with the others - you shouldn't be eating more calories with moderate exercise.

That being said I need to heed my own advice.. I tend to do a LOT of cardio...and then I tend to eat more than I should...then I'm back doing more cardio...*cough* like a rat in a maze *cough*

Good thing I happen to biking...but I annoy myself with it sometimes. I'm maintaining when I could be losing.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:27 PM   #6  
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The concept behind WW activity points is that you eat PART of your calories back but not all of them. Throughout my weight loss (which has been quite consistent), I have eaten slightly more on the days I worked out. This, however, is because my workouts generally involve several miles of running. If I was just walking or was doing something less intense, I probably would not eat my calories back. When you run or do something of that level of intensity (or you do longer duration of any cardio), you may NEED more calories for energy. Some of my runs last more than 2 hours. If I ate the same number of calories on a day with a 2-hour run as I did on a rest day, I simply wouldn't be giving my body what it needs. If, however, your exercise does not require extra energy and you're fine with what you're already consuming, then I suppose eating more doesn't make sense.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:29 PM   #7  
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That wasn't the eating back I was talking about. I know people that exercise just so they can eat more. Doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:49 PM   #8  
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When I was on Weight Watcher's, I can't say that I exercised just to be able to eat more, but I generally would use at least half of the extra points that I earned on food. Hunger has always been a problem for me, especially (though I didn't know it at the time) if I don't stick with a relatively low carb, whole foods diet. Getting to eat more, to be honest was an incentive, and since I was still losing weight rapidly while doing so, it made perfect sense to me.

This isn't a race to the finish line, and I think as long as a person is losing weight at a pace they find comfortable whatever incentives keep them motivated "makes sense."
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:01 AM   #9  
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I don't know about eating back. I have a certain amount of fat, carbs and calories I allow myself a day. I exercise. That is how it works with me. I don't eat more because I exercise. Between me, the doc and the nutritionist we decided what my body needs with what little tiny bit of exercise I do a day lol doesn't change a thing. I am lazy, 1/2 to 1 hour of exercise is more than enough for me a day lol.
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:12 AM   #10  
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I think that the only reason someone would eat back their calories is if they are maintaining. If I'm maintaining at 2,000 calories a day, and I want to maintain that weight (not lose or gain) and I burn 500 calories at the gym, I can eat 2,500 calories and maintain. However, if I want to lose weight and I've cut my maintenance calories from 2,000 to 1500 a day and I'm exercising, the exercise burn is a bonus and I wouldn't eat them back.

I hope that made sense? The only reason you would want to "eat back" your calories is if you're in maintenance-mode (ie: at your goal weight).
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:31 AM   #11  
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That would make perfect sense but there are people that are not maintaining and they eat what they burn so they can eat more and set the amount they are allowed to eat higher. I had a woman telling me she does this just the other day. I said why not just eat within certain amounts and let the exercise help you lose weight. She said well she wouldn't be able to eat as much that way. Was asking me why she wasn't losing weight when she exercises at least 2 to 3 hours a day. I couldn't explain it to her.
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:43 AM   #12  
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I think the resources and tools needed to lose weight and maintain weight loss are not the same for everyone. In fact, sometimes we have to change tools and tactics along the way. I think part of the reason I've failed more than I've succeeded with weight loss in the past, is that I didn't customize my plan to suit my needs, my preferences, my body, my lifestyle and my personality. Instead I tried to find out what worked for someone else, and then tried to copy their approach. And, if it didn't work for me, or stopped working for me at some point, I didn't have any back-up plan or idea where to go from there.

This forum, our medical professionals, our scale, our instincts, and tools like food journals or support groups.... can help us find what works for us. The one thing I've learned is that there are no "musts" or "must nots" in weight loss that apply to every one.
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:57 AM   #13  
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Shy Moment,

I think the example you give of this woman is a perfect example of what I was trying to express. If a person is "eating back" some of their exercise calories and still losing weight at a healthy rate, then their behavior "makes sense" if it helps them stay on plan. However, if a person is "eating more" with the rationale that they are "exercising more" and are not losing the weight they want to, then the behavior doesn't make sense. I think again, it is a case of someone needing to find what works for them. If a person isn't losing the weight they would like to, they have to change what they are doing. It doesn't matter what works for someone else, or what the program they are on "says" should be done. What makes sense, is what works -- and what works for you, not someone else.

I think for many of us, what works has to be constantly re-evaluated. It doesn't matter what worked for someone else, or even what worked for me last month. If what I'm doing isn't working, then I have to change what I'm doing. And, if it is working, I don't have to justify it.
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:08 AM   #14  
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I think in some ways I have it a little easier than others who have tryed to lose weight over and over. I have never tried to lose weight before. Never needed to. Once all the meds were out of my system I decided I wanted to look like I did before the meds. I knew diets didn't work. Had watched my mother and sister go thru that cycle over and over. I was checking out plans like Jenny Craig and a couple of others when I ran across this site. I read all kinds of posts and decided what I wanted to do. First I ate lots of lean cuisines and just watched my fat. That worked out great. I learned portion sizes and got the fat down. That wasn't good enough and I knew it. Thought, from what everyone said here, calorie counting wasn't so bad since someone told me about fit day and away I went. I have over the last 7 months fine tuned things a bit here and there. Am sure I will do that again from time to time. This site is so full of people doing so many different things. It is great to get ideas and advice. I added exercise a few months ago. Found I really enjoy my walking/aerobic videos. Don't have to leave the house and I can do one one day and different one the next. Doesn't cost much so it fits into the budget real well. One size does not fit all but seeing the different things people are doing does stir up ideas.

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Old 12-14-2007, 01:18 AM   #15  
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That's what I love about this site. People sharing what has worked for them and what hasn't. It doesn't mean that I can count on duplicating any one person's success (or failure, for that matter), but more than anything, I've learned that boredom and failure (my previous diet companions) aren't inevitable.
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