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Do You Eat Back Any Of Your Exercise Calories?



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Hi there! So I have been told so many different things about whether or not to eat back your exercise calories and I am wondering what others do... I have been using Myfitnesspal.com to track/log my calories, Protein, exercise and what not, and they highly recommend eating back your exercise calories to keep your metabolism in check. I eat about 1200 calories a day but recently have been swimming laps for at least an hour a day (burning almost 800 calories), sometimes swimming laps on top of also doing Water aerobic classes for 60 min, and I have been hungrier, so I eat some of them back (not all). However, since I have been doing this, I have hit a small plateau and stayed at right around the same weight! Doesn't make sense to me since I am still not netting anywhere near the recommended 1800 calories a day to lose weight :( It is hard to exercise so much and not be hungrier for more than 1200 cals, but why am I not losing weight quickly like I have been the last 2 months or so?! Any input? Does anyone else eat their exercise calories? HELP PLEASE I AM SO FRUSTRATED!!

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If you look at it logically, you're trying to lose weight, so you're trying to create a calorie deficit. So why on earth would you purposely eat back those calories? Makes no sense.

You might TIME your eating to include a snack right after exercise - many people believe we need a small Protein snack. But overall, you need a calorie deficit - which you achieve by eating less and exercising more.

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If you look at it logically, you're trying to lose weight, so you're trying to create a calorie deficit. So why on earth would you purposely eat back those calories? Makes no sense.

You might TIME your eating to include a snack right after exercise - many people believe we need a small Protein snack. But overall, you need a calorie deficit - which you achieve by eating less and exercising more.

Well there is alot of research that states that eating back your exercise calories keeps your metabolism up and that the key is to have your "net" (food intake-exercise) needs to be at your calorie goal... I am not making this stuff up alot of people do it apparently. I still have a deficit everyday...

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Here is something I found on my fitness pal that explains it a bit... not saying it is entirely correct or right for everyone i am just gathering opinions on the matter http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/539912-why-eating-exercise-calories-is-so-important

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So without your aerobics class included, (since I don't know how many calories that is), you net 400 calories before you eat back any of your exercise calories. Lets say you eat another 3-400 calories out of the 800 you burned while doing laps, so you have a total caloric intake of 800 max? maybe that's not enough calories and your body is going into starvation mode (anything you eat, your body will store as fat, since it believes you are starving it). If you are suppose to eat 1800 calories that is 1000 calories less then what you are meant to have. Now, i'm taking random figures, I don't know how many calories you actually end up with, but being overly rigorous can hurt you as well as being lazy can. Or it could just be a plateau. Like so many people seem to have. Anyways, good luck!!

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If you look at it logically, you're trying to lose weight, so you're trying to create a calorie deficit. So why on earth would you purposely eat back those calories? Makes no sense.

You might TIME your eating to include a snack right after exercise - many people believe we need a small Protein snack. But overall, you need a calorie deficit - which you achieve by eating less and exercising more.

I totally agree with Jachut, eating back the calories u just burned seems very strange. I maintaained my weight loss by creating a defiecit in calories and i lost weight, maybe u just hit a small plateau .. i stuck to around 1000 calories a day and burned around 600 to 800 every day each week without fail, if i ate more calories i would not lose weight. All the written advice can only be in general and for mrs average, sometimes we just dont fit into their neat little boxes, to eat all those extra clories u are burning each day u may as well not have a lapband to curb your hunger :)

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I am 1.5 years post-op and I am just like you. I had plateaued a lot during this journey because I was not taking in enough calories. Although I was working out nearly 5 days a week and eating under 1200 calories, I was only loosing 1 pound a week. So I spoke with my doctor and nutritionist and they both agreed that adding a Protein Shake after my workouts would help with this and it has. I have since seen a huge improvement in my weight loss. I am still about 20 lbs. away from goal, but at least I am closer than I was a year ago.

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I try to eat my meals after exercising. This way I don't have the slippery slope of eating to much of a post work out "snack". Esp. for bandsters it's a thin line between a snack and a bandster size meal.

Of topic I highly recommend using a Water proof MP3 player for lap swimming. Makes time go by sooo much faster. I also use it when I'm doing Water aerobics on my own (not during real classes). Take a look on Amazon.< /p>

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Personally, I like my net calories to be less than 300 if I have any for the day. I don't have time to work out until the evening, so after I've entered all of my food into MyFitnessPal, I judge how much exercise is necessary beyond my normal routine.

Right now, I'm only 4 1/2 weeks post-op, but I'm only taking in around 800 calories a day (I'm doing very lean Protein, veggie, and fruit if I'm still hungry, greek yogurt for Breakfast with fruit if I'm real hungry). It's probably too few calories, but I just had a fill and am still figuring out what I can and shouldn't eat, as well as how much. Little portions seem to keep me full for about 3 hours. Plus, I drink 80-100 oz of Water a day. I try to burn at least 500 calories a day with exercise.

Again, this is just what I do personally, and I'm steadily losing weight.

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I lost weight at a better rate when I was over 200 lbs. I lost 10 or more lbs each month, it was so great! Now I lose about 4/5 lbs each month, don't get me wrong, I am happy I am losing just hate the slow pace!

I usually don't eat more than 1100 each day, and have not eaten the extra calories. I get the theory, it's just hard to eat so much more now!???

I know Dr Oz has mentioned this process with metabolism also, I think I will give it a try.

I only have about 30 lbs left to lose, I do not want to have this go on forever. want to see if I can maintain, like a normal person!!

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I would think you need to count in the calories required to maintain your weight.........having only 400 net calories (1200 eating, less 800 burned) is too few and your body is in starvation mode. eat more!

So you have a dietician or nutritionist? Ask!

Sent from my iPad using LapBandTalk

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The short answer is that as long as your body is getting everything it needs daily, you're good -- whether that means a net of 400, 800, etc. If your body needs more energy, it can use its stores, and that's how we lose weight, right?

The important thing to remember is that -- especially while cutting calories -- you still need the same amount of Protein, Vitamins, and minerals in your diet. Depending on your habits, this can be hard to do on a FULL calorie diet (to maintain your weight), much less on restriction.

On a side note, I've found that varying caloric intake and eating a variety of foods (as opposed to the same things every day) keeps my metabolism going. I could eat the same thing for every meal and get everything I need, nutrition-wise, but then my body gets complacent. Experiment and see what works for you!

I absolutely eat back some or all of my exercise calories, because having Protein right after a workout supports your muscle mass, which helps recovery, supports your body's resting metabolic rate, and improves each successive workout.

And, frankly, after a good workout, I think I deserve a treat! I've earned it. That it happens to be good for me as well makes it a guilt-free no-brainer. ;)

P.S: Count my vote for audiobook workouts! :)

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Well there is alot of research that states that eating back your exercise calories keeps your metabolism up and that the key is to have your "net" (food intake-exercise) needs to be at your calorie goal... I am not making this stuff up alot of people do it apparently. I still have a deficit everyday...

Awesome thread, Carolina! :)

I also wanted to specify (since I kind of glossed over it in my previous post) that we really need to make sure our bodies aren't breaking down MUSCLE for energy. That's why taking in enough Protein to support your muscle mass and the rest of your body's needs (storage, movement, circulation, immune response, etc.) is so crucial.

At the extreme, you could eat the bare minimum to meet nutritional requirements and then exercise so much that it negates every last calorie. If your body still has stored energy to burn, you'd be alive...but I wouldn't call that living.

And in practice, weight loss is easier and a lot more fun if you fuel, reward, and energize yourself every day. :)

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Well there is alot of research that states that eating back your exercise calories keeps your metabolism up and that the key is to have your "net" (food intake-exercise) needs to be at your calorie goal... I am not making this stuff up alot of people do it apparently. I still have a deficit everyday...

OK you may have read my reply but I just decided I was being overly sensitive and need to rephrase anyway.

what I said in a nutshell was it seems a bit strange to me to ask for the advice, but then quote me, refute me and claim to not be making it up. You asked a question and you can either disagree or agree with my opinion.

But if you still have a calorie deficit at the end of the day then you ARENT eating back the calories - and you may indeed be undereating if you're sure you burn 800 calories wiht an hour's swimming, that's one helluva workout. I sure couldnt do it, even in a spin class and I'm very fit, but I guess I'm also only 145lb these days.

At the end of the day though, trying to make your weight loss fit the math is a path to madness, plateaus and uneven loss is what happens to most of us. I used to go weeks without losing and then suddenly drop 10lb in two weeks.

I dont know whether what you mean is do you need to eat more or do you need a specific type of snack immediately post workout. I dont really know. I lost all my weight running, with minimal strength training, never drinking Protein shakes and eating carbs, so apparently I had no hope of success. Yet I lost 120lb, have kept it off for four years, am fit, toned and have the body I want. So to my way of thinking that means there's any number of paths that will lead you to a fit, health body and weight loss - as long as at the end of the day all those paths lead to eating less calories than you burn.

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At the end of the day though, trying to make your weight loss fit the math is a path to madness, plateaus and uneven loss is what happens to most of us. I used to go weeks without losing and then suddenly drop 10lb in two weeks.

I dont know whether what you mean is do you need to eat more or do you need a specific type of snack immediately post workout. I dont really know. I lost all my weight running, with minimal strength training, never drinking Protein shakes and eating carbs, so apparently I had no hope of success. Yet I lost 120lb, have kept it off for four years, am fit, toned and have the body I want. So to my way of thinking that means there's any number of paths that will lead you to a fit, health body and weight loss - as long as at the end of the day all those paths lead to eating less calories than you burn.

I think there is a fine line between obsessing and being aware and mindful of your body (what, when, and how much you eat; how your metabolism works over time; etc.)

It is so incredibly helpful to pay attention to the data to get useful feedback about what works for you and what doesn't, but fixating can be counterproductive -- and reductive.

My wife and I always have to remind each other that it's the trending averages that matter, not a few pounds gained or lost here or there. After literally years doing this though, we have a lot of historical data to go back to.

Think like a scientist. Jumping to conclusions is almost always a bad idea. Keep an eye on your test subject (yourself!) and log changes over time. Stay detached (I know, easier said than done!) and focus on the patterns established over weeks and months, rather than day to day, to see what the results are.

On the flip side, the ultimate goal of weight loss -- I think -- should always be to improve health and well-being. If you aren't gaining more energy and a happiness, it may be time to make some adjustments. I lost over 120lbs the first time more than 10 years ago, but I gained it ALL back over time since I had deprived myself of not only good nutrition, but also the foods I loved. And I wasn't healthier, happier, OR more energetic.

It sounds like you found what worked for you, Jacqui! Cheers! :)

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