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Should I eat exercise calories back? Isn't it pointless? Here's the answer!


Slimming down the aisle
I posted this on a another thread but I thought I'd post it again for everyone more generally.

There's been a lot of talk lately about whether you should eat exercise calories back and if you do, what's the point in exercising. Firstly, yes you should eat exercise calories back or at least enough to bring you to 1200 calories after deducting what you burnt during exercise. Fattack used a great analogy the other day, so I'm going to steal it! Basically, consider your body a fire, to have a fire you need fuel. If you don't give the fire enough fuel, it can't burn. It's the same with your body, if you don't give it enough fuel (which is 1200 net calories a day) then it won't be functioning at it's best.

So then there's the question of, if I'm working my ass off to burn 500 calories a day and then eating those calories back, then what's the point I might as well eat less and not exercise. WRONG! Exercise has a lot more benefits than just helping your weight loss. Just a few of those being:

- You're creating a healthy and active lifestyle that will continue once you've reached goal and are no longer counting calories to 1200
- It allows you to eat a little more and therefore makes keeping to 1200 calories NET easier
- It means that you can work off the higher calorie meals that you have when you go out or have a special occasion
- Boosts energy levels and helps you sleep better
- It builds muscle and tones changing your body shape
- Strengthens your bones
- Regular exercise makes you less likely to suffer from certain diseases such as heart disease and diabetes
- It improves your overall fitness
- Exercise releases endorphins and improves your mood
- Reduces stress levels
- Lowers your heart rate and blood pressure through improved circulation
- Increases chances of living longer
- improves posture
- Enhances your immune system so less likely to get ill

I could go on, but I think there's enough reasons there!

So if you're wondering firstly whether you should eat your exercise calories back and whether it makes exercise pointless then I hope this helps you decide on that!
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Your posts f*****g rock!
This should be a sticky imho x


Slimming down the aisle
Haha thanks! I just keep seeing so many people confused about the exercise and eating exercise calories back that I felt the need to remind people of all the many other benefits to exercise other than weight loss!


Likes to eat
Great post! Although I'd also like to add that (incase it wasn't clear) - eating your exercise calories and therefore building muscle (provided you follow a diet rich in protein as well as carbs) also has the by-effect of increasing your metabolism! WOOHOO!
Oh dear, the dreaded calorie debate! I'm staying well clear of that 1000-1200 calorie thread now! :D Thanks for posting this, though I laughed my bum off at your point "(exercise) improves posture" - have you seen me when I come out the gym? I'm like the hunchback of Notre Dame's long lost cousin because I'm still stuck in the attractive hunched position after just doing 20 minutes on the bike! :D


Slimming down the aisle
No no, no debate! I'm just pointing out to people that even IF they eat their exercise calories back, they're still benefiting!
No no, no debate! I'm just pointing out to people that even IF they eat their exercise calories back, they're still benefiting!
Sorry, I never meant it like that - I was meaning 'the dreaded calorie debate' in a touch in cheek sarcastic way. :pillowfight:


Slimming down the aisle
No I know, just trying to put off any future possible debate!


Silver Member
I try to jog about 3 miles 3/4 times per week - these are my favourite days of the week because I get to eat the calories back on something VERY unhealthy! It makes great motivation to do some exercise!


Silver Member
I'm trying to go for a good walk 2-3 times a week, as well as Zumba 3 times a week. Never been into jogging....Unless there's a tiger chasing me :-s
Neither was I until recently. Kinda figured I needed to do some exercise so started doing Couch to 5k - have only been doing it for 6 weeks or so.

Zumba's supposed to be good tho! So I wouldn't worry about the jogging!
I have eaten pretty much all of my exercise calories back this month - which has been a struggle on days I've had 2000 odd extra - but I've lost 6lbs, which is unheard of for me!


Silver Member
iwillsonebeslim.. I think you've just proved the point :D
lol Thanks! I'm just hoping it's not a fluke - I've now got my heart set on losing half a stone in June!
Just to update - I am 9lbs lighter today, than I was on May 2nd!


Silver Member
Wow..Well done you :)
When I started out on my ccing journey 13 months ago I got fixated on the magic number of 1200 and went on my own merry way... It didn't take long and I upped that 1200 by a few hundred because I could have eaten my own arm some days!!!

I was doing 2 exercise classes a week for a few months then joined a gym in Oct 2010 still sticking to my magic number of 1400 cals. It wasn't until I'd stayed the same for 8 weeks in between January 2011 and March 2011 that I did some research and realised I'd been doing things very wrong!!!

Now it seems so silly but I'd got it in my head that a day where I'd eaten nothing but lettuce and done and hour at the gym was a good day... idiot!!! Of course your body needs energy, of course your body does not remember calorie deficits that you think you are earning for a calorific weekend, and of course you are going to wreck your metabolism by not providing it enough energy for 10 months!!!

Now I know it makes so much sense... I'm just so gutted that it took me 8 months punishing my body and 2 months staying the same to realise. I do regret it as I am certain that I would have been much further in my journey by now if I had given my body the energy it needed to let the chunkiness go!!!

Great thread! x
I never used to excercise did it by diet only, yes I was thin but I still had wobbly bits and cellulite! Excercise I find makes me loose quicker, tones my wobbly bits, helps my OCD and makes me feel good about myself.
I've found lately that if I don't eat my exercise cals back then I'm absolutely ravenous, particularly the next day.

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