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Old 07-20-2010, 02:58 PM   #1  
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Default Eating exercise calories?

I've heard mixed messages about eating back exercise calories. In my opinion I would rather not eat them back, but is that most effective? I am 5'4'', 178lbs, and eating about 1450 calories a day. There are about 2 days a week I eat about 1600 and 1 or 2 days I eat closer to 1200. My plan is to exercise 3-4 days a week and burn a total of about 1,000 calories (give or take). I use a Polar heart rate monitor for the tracking.

How many of those 1,000 calories should I eat back, if at all?

Thanks in advance for the feedback
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Old 07-20-2010, 03:05 PM   #2  
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I don't eat back my exercise calories. I mean, the whole point is to burn more than you take in, right?
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Old 07-20-2010, 03:11 PM   #3  
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That makes sense to me too but my calorie counting application on my phone (Lose it) prompts me to eat back those calories. So far I've ignored it but I still wondered what others think.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:03 PM   #4  
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If you are eating 1450 calories a day on average and burning 1000 I'd say this is too low.

At 178 your body needs around 1800 calories a day to function and you are already giving it a deficit of 350, then to add another 1000 calorie deficit will be too much to handle. (total of 1350)

SO I'd either eat 1800-2000 calories a day or cut down the workouts to around 500 calories burned per day if I were in your shoes.

Last edited by beerab; 07-20-2010 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:28 PM   #5  
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So you watch your hrm and make sure you have burned 1000 calories a week?That is a good way to use your hrm.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:05 PM   #6  
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So you watch your hrm and make sure you have burned 1000 calories a week?That is a good way to use your hrm.
1000 is a goal at this point, give or take. I think the monitor keeps me more motivated to exercise and gives me some proof that I actually burned calories Sometimes it's the little things that make a difference.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:37 PM   #7  
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I worked out today and my hrm said I burned 130 calories. I went online and plugged in the same activity and was told I only burned 74. That is some difference.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:13 PM   #8  
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I don't eat my calories back, exactly. but I do monitor my body and when increased exercise has brought severely increased hunger I have upped my calories a little--like 100 calories/day. I've also dropped them when I started to seem less hungry.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:32 PM   #9  
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Sounds like you are just listening to your body which makes a lot of sense to me. Watch a skinny person eat....eats when hungry till hunger stops, you know?
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:24 AM   #10  
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I never eat back the calories I burn. If I did, I would gain weight. Some days you naturally aren't as hungry, use that to your advantage. Then the days you are extra hungry( either from exercise or just have more of an appetite) allow yourself to eat a bit more, but not too much.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:43 AM   #11  
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A friend of mine uses LoseIt and I saw how it does the eat-back. I think it does that because the base calories it was suggesting (for her at least) were very low, so you can afford to eat your exercise.

I did not eat back my calories when I was losing -- I usually burn about 500-600, 5x/week. To me that was key to my success. Now that I'm in maintenance I am eating them back because if I didn't, well, it would be maintenance.

What are you doing that burns 1000 calories? I have a polar HRM, too, and I'd have to run at least 10 miles to burn that much!
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:15 AM   #12  
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Sounds like you are just listening to your body which makes a lot of sense to me. Watch a skinny person eat....eats when hungry till hunger stops, you know?
The trick is to listen real carefully and not hear what you want to hear!

And honestly, in my experience, a lot of "naturally thin" people do watch what they eat, and stop when they are still a little hungry, or avoid eating heavily later if they've overindulged. They just figured out to do that before they gained a bunch of weight.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:16 AM   #13  
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What are you doing that burns 1000 calories? I have a polar HRM, too, and I'd have to run at least 10 miles to burn that much!
I think she is saying she burns a TOTAL of 1000 a week, which is a pretty conservative estimate.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:02 PM   #14  
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I think she is saying she burns a TOTAL of 1000 a week, which is a pretty conservative estimate.
This is correct, 1000 a week. This is not hard core training or anything. I don't plan on eating any of my exercise calories back. When I get into a good exercise routine my body stops losing weight, but I know that fluids and muscle gain is a part of the equation. The Lose It application makes it confusing when it adds those calories back to your day. I wish I could remove them. I log the exercise so I can keep track of my exercise.

I tend to believe my heart rate monitor more than a website calculator for calories burned. The hrm has a fit test that measures your fitness level and of course takes into account your height, gender and weight. In my eyes, more variables equals more accuracy.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:09 PM   #15  
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I don't eat back my calories either. I don't trust the accuracy of the burn, even with my HRM telling me so. I might eat a small amount extra on a heavy exercise day, but never as many as it says I burned.
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