'Move Over Fat Monday' - To Eat Back Calories or Not?

9:38 AM


'Move Over Fat Monday' is going up a little late this morning. I have been trying to recover from our Spring Break trip and organize Jordan's new homeschool curriculum that showed up while we were gone. The topic this week is whether you should eat back exercise calories or not. It is a topic I have been struggling with since beginning this weight loss journey at the beginning of the year and I am just now starting to figure out the answer or myself.

{Eating Back Exercise Calories}

On the Shaklee 180 program that I have been following for the last few weeks and will continue to follow for the next 5 or so months, the app advises me to eat around 1250 calories a day. I stay within this amount, but I also have been exercising almost daily for at least an hour. There has been some debate as to whether you should eat back calories you burn in exercise. If you ask me, I would say "It depends." If you are already eating close to 1200 calories, I would say to eat them back until you net nothing less than 1200 calories.

Why do I think this? This past week I went on a Spring Break trip with the boys. I followed the Shaklee 180 plan for breakfast and lunch, but I splurged a little bit on dinners and even had dessert a few times. I didn't exercise other than the swimming and walking we did on the trip. The result? I lost 2 pounds. The week before I had exercised every day and eaten exactly the amount of calories needed and lost nothing. I believe my body needs some of the exercise calories back in order to avoid going below the healthy minimum level. Coming weeks will see if I am right or not. Now, if you are eating 1,800 calories a day and burn 300, you likely don't need to eat them back as you are still in a healthy deficit level.

{The Progress}

I have decided to stick with the posting of measurements every two weeks, so you will see measurements and even an updated photo next week. This week, my weight was 203.2, a loss of over 2 pounds since last week when I had actually gained back about a half of  pound from the day before.


Total Weight Lost Since 2/18/13: 10 lbs.
Total Lost Since Shaklee 180: 6 lbs.

Do you eat back calories that you burn from exercise?


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11 comments

  1. I do eat them back. The app I use says to...

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  2. I don't. Although I've been trying to eat more than 1,200 calories though.

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  3. I have been sticking to 1200-1300 calories a day. If I work out, I eat the extra calories. Although I have exercised in almost 2 weeks, being able to eat extra is my motivation to exercise. lol.

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  4. I am in the habit of eating back 1/2 of them.

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  5. I don't really pay attention to how much I burn when I'm trying to do well I usually try to stay around 1000-1100 calories.

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  6. When I was trying to lose weight a few months ago, I wasn't eating more after exercising.

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  7. I don't really track calories but more so carbs.

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  8. I don't exercise enough to count any calories to eat back. :(

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  9. I'm a total calorie counter and I think 1200 is a reasonable calorie count but could be low for some body types.

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  10. I would eat them! Then again I'm not the best dieter. :)

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  11. I'm giggling at Fat Monday. :)

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