Newbie's Question about Daily Calorie Totals + Exercise?

Apologies if this has already been asked before.

I am new to the 12-week Weight Loss Programme and to help me keep track of my calories and exercise, I have been using MyFitnessPal. My calorie goal is 1,400kcal, but as some of you may know -- MyFitnessPal lets you "earn" extra calories with any exercise you do.

For instance, if my calorie goal is 1,400kcal, and I burn 200kcal in a day, MyFitnessPal lets me eat 1,600kcal while still claiming I'm on target.

My question is -- is this okay? Or should I only be eating 1,400kcal regardless of how many calories I burn through exercise?

Thank you!


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8 Replies

  • Good question 😀 I wondered if it was OK as well.  Love to know???

  • Hi, I'm doing the same thing. I normally eat near enough to the 1400 kcal going by your example. I don't always hit my goal, mostly under. I also used the BMI calculator so its showing a different amount there. Hope this helps :-) 

  • Personally I'd stick with what your given and aim for that, you 'lol lose faster, or I hope so.

  • You mean stick to 1,400kcal food regardless? I definitely find that very difficult! 😨 But thank you for your reply!

  • I never add in what I've burned.............never think of it, I do tend to eat raw sweet peppers and tomatoes and snacks, which I find helps.

    1400 seems reasonable to me, although I don't know your weight, you or what you need

  • This has definitely been asked before. The issue here is that the calories earned through exercise are an estimate and may not be that accurate to rely on. I don't think people tend to lose weight through eating back all the exercise calories, although you can allow a little leeway. I think the easiest way to get your head round the calories + exercise debate is to use the NHS BMI checker. You have to select a level of activity, and then the BMI checker takes this into account when it suggests a calorie range for you to follow to lose weight. I think the highest level is representative if you're planning to really up your exercise. This may give you a recommended calorie intake that's a bit higher then 1400 but at least it gives you a consistent daily amount to aim for that takes your usual amount of exercise into account. Hope that helps 😊

  • I've also been using MFP for a long time. I find that if I eat the "exercise" calories I don't lose weight. It really messes up my weight loss. As someone has said, I don't think the exercise calories are that accurate, so it will slow down your weight loss if you compensate for the exercise by eating more. I also find that there is a psychological bonus from not eating those calories.

    Also on here, and on MFP it says I should eat 1400 calories. I cannot lose weight on 1400 calories - that just keeps my weight steady. So I make my own calorie target because I know what is best for me. We are not all the same and age makes a big difference.

  • I don't put in my exercise to my fitness pal for this very reason. I write it down on a separate "exercise calendar" (pen and paper!) and go back and add it at the end of the week :) this way I never get tempted to think about how many calories I've burned because whether I've burned 50 or 500 calories, the most important thing is I did the exercise in the first place.

    I think it's so easy to eat more than u burn off and much better to have that extra success at the end of the week :)

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