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Eating back Exercise Calories

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Eating back Exercise Calories

Postby court » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:04 pm

Hey guys -

I know this is a debate that has been going on for a long time. I have never really eaten back my exercise calories and now i am at a bit of a standstill and I am contemplating doing so. For example... here is my eating for today after I have put in my exercise as well...

You have used 443 out of your net daily budget of 1300 calories and have 857 calories remaining. 26% of the calories are from fat, 23% from protein, 51% from carbs and 0% from alcohol.
Fat
36.6 / 34g
Sat. Fat
10 /
Chol.
4 /
Protein
72.7 / 111g
Carb.
162.1 / 139g

I cant see how I can physically eat that many more calories... and as I am not used to eating that many I cant just start today...i am thinking a more weaning into it approach might be the idea. For example this evening I may add a piece of bread with light marg spread on it to go with my dinner. Then maybe a protein shake after the gym... anyone have thoughts on this? When I did jenny Craig they told me "what is the point of exercise when you are just going to eat the food back" but i dont entirely agree with that....
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Re: Eating back Exercise Calories

Postby FatFukShrinking » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:44 pm

I don't know anything about this topic, but i've seen people mention it before. Wouldn't eating back your exercise calories mean that you don't lose weight?
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SW: 121.3kg - 20/04/2010
First Goal: 109 kilos (Losing 10% of my body weight)
Second Goal: 99 kilos (Getting out of triple digits)
Third goal: 85 kilos (Getting back to a weight where i felt more like ME)
Ultimate long term goal: 60 kilos (Losing half of my start weight)
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Re: Eating back Exercise Calories

Postby court » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:12 pm

i think theoretically that is correct and something I struggle to get my head around. But on the other hand if you starve your body and burn too much of its fuel it is going to hold onto the fat for dear life and just burn the carbs/sugars etc instead?? I think it is such a personal thing to be honest. If i eat back all my calories i dont think I will lose anything as my body is quite predisposed to holding on... :cry: :lol:
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Re: Eating back Exercise Calories

Postby EvilWombatQueen » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:14 pm

Hi Court, I know you're well-read in this debate so my explanation below is more for FatFukShrinking's sake than yours.

I come down heavily (no pun intended) on the 'eating back calories' side of things. The argument based on the assumption that your net (total, including what you subtract from exercise) calories are still at a level that will cause you to lose weight. For instance, if you need to eat 1300 calories per day to lose weight your body won't care if it's 1300 from food alone, or if you eat 1600 and exercise away 300 calories. It's still getting 1300 calories to maintain your vital organs, a bit more so you don't starve but not enough to maintain your current weight, so you lose weight.

The problem of not eating calories back comes into play when your net calories ends up well below 'starvation level' and, in worst case scenarios, below basic resting metabolism. When you consume fewer than about 1000 calories per day (this level varies between individuals) your body thinks that it is starving, you'll hear this referred to as 'starvation mode' in a lot of weight loss literature. (Edited to add: this is 1000 calories NET, because if you burn 600 calories running then those calories are no longer available for other tasks in the body). In order to preserve itself for the famine ahead your body slows its metabolism and actually changes how you burn off your calories, increasing the percentage of muscle burned and decreasing the percentage of fat burned. So it becomes harder to lose weight and you lose the wrong type of weight. The temptation for many people when confronted with this situation is to lower calorie intake, or increase exercise, to try to lose more weight. This puts the body even further into starvation mode. You may still lose weight doing this, but you are losing a high percentage of muscle and having to cut back calories to dangerous levels. This can then lead to exercise bulimia, where people exercise away too many calories to the point where they no longer have enough net calories to sustain basic resting metabolic rate. In other words they don't have enough calories to fuel their vital organs. I don't need to tell you how dangerous this is.

So really the 'eating back calories' is based on scenarios where you are in danger of consuming a net amount of calories well below your recommended amount. It's not intended for small amounts of exercise where you are still consuming a safe net amount of calories.

Court, how much exercise per day are you doing? If you are exercising like an athlete you really should be eating like an athlete. I can understand that the sheer amount of food you'd need to eat may be impossible if you are choosing 'diet' foods. I like your idea of bread and butter, but how about looking at it as a way to increase your overall nutrients, so choosing a wholegrain bagel (more calories than bread) and half an avocado (healthy fats)? How about having a handful of nuts in the morning and afternoon?

If your weight loss has stalled then you might find it advantageous to increase your calorie intake. Try it for a couple of weeks at least and see how you go.

Good luck!
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Re: Eating back Exercise Calories

Postby FatFukShrinking » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:01 pm

Hi Ali

Thanks for explaining that! I get what you mean now and that does make sense! It's not something i will have to worry about anytime soon lol. Now i understand why weight trainers have protein before they work out. :D
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SW: 121.3kg - 20/04/2010
First Goal: 109 kilos (Losing 10% of my body weight)
Second Goal: 99 kilos (Getting out of triple digits)
Third goal: 85 kilos (Getting back to a weight where i felt more like ME)
Ultimate long term goal: 60 kilos (Losing half of my start weight)
FatFukShrinking
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 1:42 pm

Re: Eating back Exercise Calories

Postby court » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:22 pm

You know what Ali I am sooo nto well read in this area!! Other areas moreso but this area not so much...at the moment I have gone through what i would call a "bad" phase. I have had two weeks of only light exercise - i.e. a training session, a game and light riding for approx 10 mins daily. To me this isnt adequate. I have eaten a little more than usual (prob around 1800 cals a day!!) and prob drank limited amounts of water.
A usual week for me includes:
A training session for 1 1/2 hours
A high intensity netball match 1hour
4 gym sessions 4 hours
Intermittent bike prob 1 hour total in a week....
i like exercise...
On Jenny Craig I ate 1500 calories. I dropped from 80kgs to 66kgs. Then i did it on my own - 70kgs...then i joined Lite and Easy 67kgs...then i had a few rough weeks - 70kgs.
I just am trying to find my balance and this exercise bulimia sound like it could be me!!! Today I am eating 1300 cals (based on advice from CK) and I am burning over 900 cals. I am thinking my 400 cal deficit is not enough to fuel my body... :shock: I probably do this at least 3 days a week...
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Re: Eating back Exercise Calories

Postby EvilWombatQueen » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:53 pm

Yeah, it sounds like too few calories if your calorie deficit is so great. But if it's only three days per week then it's possible your calorie intake on the other days compensates for it. Especially as sometimes high intensity exercise acts as an appetite suppressant. You'd probably get your appetite back, and then some, on days when you're not exercising.

If you're not eating extra calories on the other days then it could be a good idea to try and increase your calories on your exercise days. Since you're doing a lot of exercise I personally think nuts would be a great addition for their proteins to help you build muscle.
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