Eating exercise calories ..... Im confused!!!

Discussion in 'Calorie Counting' started by kira1985, 23 May 2011 Social URL.

  1. kira1985

    kira1985 Full Member

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    Hi all,

    Sorry to inundate the cc forum with posts, but I am really confused about eating back my exercise calories.

    If I burn 300 cals on the treadmill, but then eat them back, does this not ruin the hard work at the gym? Obviously I get the fact that you will be fitter and your toning muscles, but as far as pure lb loss goes, does the fact you eat them back not make it pointless?

    Sorry for sounding naive, but just need some clarity!!!
     
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  3. Legomom

    Legomom Gold Member

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    Lol I have wondered this too! I'll be watching the replies! I think the reason you eat them back is because your already restricting your calorie intake? So for example if you need 2000 cals to maintain but are only eating 1500 then doing 500 cals of exercise would leave you effectively only eating 1000 (coz you've used 500 of your 1500) which is too low for your body to function healthily and puts you into starvation mode? If this makes any sense?
     
  4. Fattack

    Fattack Likes to eat

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    It depends on how much you're eating. As Legomom has said, if you're already restricting your calorie intake, then you should eat back your exercise calories. Your NET calories (eaten calories minus exercise calories) should never be lower than 1200 or your body will eventually start to hold onto fat (starvation mode) and your metabolism will slow. I'm on 1200 calories to lose roughly 0.9lbs a week (I'd like to lose more a week, but I'm very short and approaching 25 BMI, so I can't get any lower than 1200), so if I burn 500 calories at spinning, then I need to eat 1700 that day.
     
  5. themango

    themango Full Member

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    Also, what constitutes exercise. If one was to walk 6 miles out of necessity not exercise should this be counted? Especially if it was often?
     
  6. kira1985

    kira1985 Full Member

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    im still confused - i understand that you cant let your calories get too low or else you will go into starvation mode, but surely that means your exercise will only help with fittness and toning rather than weight loss (if you are eating back what you ahve burned off)?

    Sorry to sound dumb, but im quite lazy and trying not to make this an excuse not to exercise! :)
     
  7. themango

    themango Full Member

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    I have the same mentality as you and just dont undersatnd it either. I would also prefer to workout and not eat the calories back to lose weight quicker but that's not happenign either. I think I#ve plateued unforunately
     
  8. cat_1977

    cat_1977 Full Member

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    He he, I'm the opposite. I exercise so I can eat a few extra cals & still lose. I see it as a kindof safety blanket, in case of the odd blowout.

    Also, exercise makes me feel like a different person. Much healthier etc so much more motivated to stick at it.

    Finally, toning etc is not to be sniffed at. You can transform yourself. Scales may not tell you you've lost as much as you want but if the jeans are looser it's happy days all round!
     
  9. Fionat29

    Fionat29 Still trying!

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    If you go to Myfitnesspal.com there is a lot of discussion about net calories/exercise. If you are supposed to be on 1200 calories but do 400 calories worth of exercise, then you need to eat 1600 calories of food.
    Never worry about sounding silly, everyone has questions and we're all here to help.
     
  10. Legomom

    Legomom Gold Member

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    ^^ this is what I'm trying for instead of my eat less burn more mentality!! I think not eating exercise cals DOES work in the beginning but you lose very fast and the minute you stop you just balloon back up coz ur body has adapted to being more active! And of course your not feeding the machine but asking more of it which can't be healthy!

    Sadly after doing all this last year I'm pretty sure the only way to lose the pounds and keep them off is to go slow and get into the routine of being active! It's a for life change not a 6 month chore :( which is a pity really lol

    Strike a bargain to eat half of them! Best of both worlds haha

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  11. kira1985

    kira1985 Full Member

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    That's a good idea, do you think I could eat half of them? Dont get me wrong, you all know far better than me, so if eating them all back is best, then thats what I will do, I'm just struggling to get my head around how exercise assists your weightloss if your eat them back! Although just discussed it with my boyfriend and makes more sense now!
     
  12. Fattack

    Fattack Likes to eat

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    Ok - if you don't eat your exercise calories back, then you don't have enough calories to maintain your muscle mass, so you lose muscle (as well as a bit of fat, but mostly muscle) and your body stores the fat in something known as "starvation mode". This lowers your metabolism, so whilst you may lose weight, you're not losing fat, you're losing muscle, and will find it very difficult to maintain the losses. Moreover, you'll start to look a bit flabby because you'll be losing muscle mass, not fat.

    Think of your metabolism like a log fire. You want to keep it burning, and you want it to burn brighter so that you can burn fat faster / lose weight easier. How do you get a fire to burn brighter/faster? You add air (exercise). If you add too much air, and not enough fuel (food), the fire is overwhelmed, and dies out. You want a nice balance of air (exercise) and fuel (food) to keep the fire(metabolism) burning brightly!

    You don't have to eat them ALL back every day (for example, I'm doing a 25 hour spinathon in a month - I'll never be able to eat back all my calories!), but you should aim to be around 1200 calories NET (after you've subtracted your exercise calories from your eaten calories) minimum 99% of the time to avoid starvation mode.
     
  13. Fionat29

    Fionat29 Still trying!

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    That is the clearest explanation I've read! Well done you!
     
  14. Fattack

    Fattack Likes to eat

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    Thank you! What people (including me) don't always remember is that to burn fat, the body needs energy - from (healthy) food! Burning fat uses energy/calories in itself :D
     
  15. themango

    themango Full Member

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    I often go under just because I can't eat enough calories, I basically only eat fruit and veg... (not good diet choices I know) but it is impacting my weight loss now I'm kind of plateuing/putting on weight :(. Are there any higher calorie options. I find I am limited by my fussiness
     
  16. Fattack

    Fattack Likes to eat

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    Do you mean you only like fruit and veg, or that you find you're only eating that by habit?
     
  17. Legomom

    Legomom Gold Member

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    Maybe try adding in some chopped nuts and dried fruits? Yoghurt or creme freche with the fruit? Oatmeal is good with lots of fruit in? Dress your veg with a little olive oil an lemon? I think bananas sweet potato parsnips and avocado are quite high cal fruits an vegs so maybe eat them more? (mmmmm prawn an avocado!!!!)

    I'm not a diet guru but I think you need to get some protein in? I might be wrong tho! It's just my vegan freind has to be careful bout finding protein sources or she gets sick. Xx

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  18. themango

    themango Full Member

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    I generally find by habit. I don't generally eat bread, pasta and I hate rice. Unforunately I'm allergic to milk protein and nuts so that's out. I do have soya milk for protein and my main protein source is probably those Linda McCartney vegetarian sausages. I will definitely eat more avocado as it's quite high in calories and so yummy :)

    I have looked at protein sources and apparently if you mix certain types of beans etc you get proteins. The only beans I can particularly stomach though are butter beans.

    Today for lunch I had pearl barley, a sausage and spicy sauce. Normally I have pitta bread with humous and cucumber inside.
    Am definitely aiming to eat more though!
     
  19. Legomom

    Legomom Gold Member

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    Ooh I wanted to try pearl barley! Is it nice? Also I keep having ppl recommend quinoa but not sure what I'd do with it or where I'd get it?

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  20. Fattack

    Fattack Likes to eat

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    themango - I know it's not habit for you to eat those things, but maybe have a hunt for some recipes featuring pasta and see if any of those appeal to you? Wholegrain pasta is an excellent source of good carbs and fibre, and it's good for upping your calories :) As for bread, maybe try different types of bread? I rarely eat "normal" bread, but I do eat quite a lot of wholegrain or seeded pitta, and seeded wraps are delicious with some 1-cal fried mixed peppers and red onions and a bit of houmous (and maybe some quorn if you're veggie, I usually have chicken, ham or beef strips as well).
     
  21. Fionat29

    Fionat29 Still trying!

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    I believe quinoa is alot like Couscous which is a very tasty and quick alternative to savoury rice
     
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