My fitness app

Been using the my fitness app for a week now. I love how easy it is to log foods especially with the bar code scanner. for the weight i want to lose it recommends i eat around 1320 calories a day, however i am quite good with exercise and then it minuses the calories burnt through exercise. Should i still only aim to eat a total 1320 calories a day or use the total net it tells you taking into account the exercise.

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3 Replies

  • I did the Fast Diet (5:2) and Michael Mosley says not to use your exercise calories, they're a bonus. I lost three stone in six months on the diet and was running three times a week. A trick with MFP is not to click on the button that says you've completed your count for the day. On the 5:2 Diet I was only eating less than 500 calories two non-consecutive days, and if I clicked on that button I got nagged - so I never did. MFP is brilliant! Now I just fast one day a week and run three times a week and I've been the same weight and a UK size 10 since last April!

  • You only get nagged if you eat less than 1200 calories gross, exercise doesn't seem to have any impact on that warning. I just ignore it as I don't have any intention of consistently eating fewer than 1200 calories a day or doing 5:2 and thus averaging fewer than 1200 calories per day over a week) It doesn't seem to alter anything else although it is a bit annoying seeing the dire warning that one day with 20 fewer calories eaten (MFP is really not that precise) might be putting you into 'starvation mode'

    However, what I do find more of a problem with MFP is that there doesn't seem to be a way to set it so that doesn't offset your exercise calories elsewhere. My own preference is to *plan* only on the basis of gross calories rather than on planning on eating exercise calories. I am trying to adjust my basic appetites and expectations, without excluding anything, rather than 'dieting' so the result for the day may be is that I've met a net target. It's like a safety net.

  • I also use the MFP app to count calories. I do "eat back" my exercise calories and have still had plenty of success losing weight (down just over 4 stone in the last year and a bit). However, I don't trust the calorie burn MFP gives in the database or what the exercise machines say at the gym. Instead I use what is given on my heart rate monitor, which is only about 50% of the calorie burn suggested by MFP or the gym machines!

    The main reason I "eat back" my exercise calories is that I am usually pretty active and found that I started to feel tired and hungry all the time if my calories were too low. Also, my running times and general fitness in the gym was not improving at all. Not good! If I can eat more food and be happier but still lose weight that that made more sense to me. It depends on age and weight of course, but you may be able to eat quite a bit more than 1300kcal and still lose weight. At the moment I lose eating around 1700kcal per day (5ft3 and 31 years old).

    So, my advice would be upping your calories a bit if you start feeling like you are eating too little or you are losing at a rapid rate (more than 1kg per week over a month or more). Just my two cents!

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