Quick question RE: calories :): Hi Its only... - Weight Loss NHS

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Quick question RE: calories :)



Its only my first day doing calorie counting and using myfitnesspal so may seem a silly question, but here goes.....

If I exercise today and burn 200 calories, does that mean I can eat 200 more calories on top of my daily calorie limit of 1200? So can I now eat 1400 calories today?

Thank you x

12 Replies

People may answer differently, but I would say no you shouldn't eat the calories. That being said, 1200cals sounds quite low. I've been sticking to 1400cals and losing weight fine, and even had several days over the weeks where it was closer to 1600/1700cals, but I mainly had 1400cals which should definitely be low enough for most people to see some weight loss. If you do the NHS bmi checker, that will give you a more accurate sense of how many calories you should be eating. It takes into account the level of activity that you do, so there's no need to add extra calories.


I basically just don't add my exercise calories into myfitnesspal. I prefer to track my exercise in terms of how often/how long/how far/how many times per week. But others may say differently! Also, there's an element of trial and error, of seeing what works for you. Some days I've done so much exercise (e.g. epic bike rides along the coast) that when I went over my cals by a couple of hundred I really didn't feel that bad about it. But I would never have added on the 1000cals that my fitness tracker said I'd burnt!

Thank you ever so much for your reply. Seems a lot clearer now and you sound quiet knowledgeable :) therefore I will follow your advice.

Thank you again x

No don't eat those calories. The advice that Ruth has given you is good sensible advise.

I do on the other hand add exercise calories into myfitnesspal but would never eat them.

Trafford1 x

Brilliant, thanks for your advice :)

Its all new at the moment so trying to get my head round the concepts x

Thank you for your help, I'm going to watch the video you posted tonight when I get into bed (quieter as daughter will be In bed) then hopefully I can make a decision based on the facts.

Much appreciated x

Hi Mandy I am slightly out of synch with the others on this one but perhaps its because of the tools I use.

I use a Fitbit Flex which integrates with MFP and feeds it my calories burned info constantly.

I try to stick to my goal calories BUT you have to listen to your body as well. I'd suggest you stick to your goal calories for at least a month while your body gets used to hunger cues and eating in a different way.

Then if your body is hungry try hydrating.

If its still hungry then feed it - don't get stuck on not eating because you will be eating into your exercise calories.

Your exercise calories are a bonus towards extra weight loss but they are also there to be used if need be.

On Tuesday I ended up with 1200 extra exercise calories - and I was extremely active that day - so I allowed myself a few extra hundred calories because I was genuinely hungry.

So in the end - try to stick to your goal calories but listen to your body and consider your activity levels - you do not want to get to the point where your body is consuming protein/muscle because it needs a quick energy hit and feels like its in starvation mode.

mandy_ydnam in reply to Dave1961

Hi Dave

Thanks for the advice :)

Think I am going to start on 1400 calories and stick to that for a month like you say (good idea).

I have been looking at the Fitbit and other products similar and was wondering weather to purchase one. Been reading reviews to see if they are worth buying.

Absolutely brilliant advice. Only been on here a few days and I love the amount of help you get and the knowledge that people have too.

Thanks again :)

Dave196125kg in reply to mandy_ydnam

Andrew here has a Jawbone and swears by it - I like my Fitbit Flex which was only about $100 so I guess they are both worth considering.

What I like about it is that I will always find a way to hit my 10,000 steps - even if it means doing a quick round the block at 9:00 o'clock at night or parking my car 200 metres from my front door.

I like that Myfitnesspal keeps me mindful about my eating and the Fitbit keeps me mindful about being active :)

There is also an app called Endomondo which I have started looking at - another free one - where it will track stuff like biking and pilates and feed that into Fitbit, which is great at tracking step based activities but not so good at other activity.

These 2 can then work with MFP as well. I dunno how it all hangs together but it seems to work quite seamlessly :)

Its amazing how much fitness stuff like wearables and apps has appeared in the last few years.

mandy_ydnam in reply to Dave1961

Definitely want one just deciding which one now :)

Yes, isn't it great how many fitness products are out now! I like gadgets so to have one that is now of use to me is even better :)

Feel like I've turned a corner now and its not just a phase I genuinely want to keep it up x

Dave196125kg in reply to mandy_ydnam

Thats awesome and I am sure whatever you get will be right for you. I kind of wish I had gone for the charge HR now because I would like to start getting heart rate readings as I get fitter but maybe that can be a Christmas present to myself.

Then again if I keep adding things like swimming and biking I might need to look at some other trackers that do a little more.

Just went for my first real bike ride - only 20 minutes - since I was a kid and Endomondo tracked it, worked out average calories and then it just appeared in Myfitnesspal and Fitbit. Awesome!

Love a gadget or two :)

The only thing I'd say is that we need to use a certain amount of energy/calories just to stay alive. These are followed up into the calorie expenditure calculations which means that if you add these to your calorie allowance you are adding too many. You would have used some of those calories anyway just keeping I've. Good luck.

There was a post about this on the my fitness pal blog, it's called "Ask the Dietitian: Should I Eat Back My Exercise Calories?". You can search for it on the blog page. Hope this helps

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