Just to complicate things further, the numbers you get from most calculators and formulas are based on people at a healthy weight. In fact most of the formulas were developed using young athletes. The numbers assume that every one of your pounds can use as many calories as every one of a college basketball player's pounds. Unfortunately, nobody knows exactly how great the difference is, but we do know that most calculators recommend too many calories for obese people (and most exercise calculators overestimate calorie burn for obese people.)
As one of the previous posters already noted, 1700 calories is a good base for a woman. It's probably pretty close to what you will need to maintain your goal weight, so learning how to eat 1700 calories of healthy, nutritious food is a good long-term plan. You'll be learning the skills and habits you'll need for maintenance. It's also an amount that will make it easy for you to meet your basic nutritional needs.
And that's why you have a recommended calorie minimum. It's about getting enough food to give you nutrients, not about calories per se. If you're meeting your needs for calcium, protein, fiber, and things like that, you don't really need more just because you exercise. If the exercise makes you hungry, it's okay to eat more so you don't feel uncomfortable, but sticking to 1700 isn't going to hurt you if you don't want to eat more. Chances are good that you're not really burning 900+ calories in exercise on a regular basis; that estimate is what an athlete of your size theoretically would burn doing the same thing. But the athlete's pounds are mostly muscle, and each pound of muscle burns more calories than a pound of fat does. I suspect that Kris hadn't seen your weight ticker when she replied, or else it translated your weight to kilos and she read it as pounds. A person who was close to her goal weight probably *would* need to eat back at least part of her exercise calories just to avoid wearing herself out, but you have plenty of reserves to draw upon.
So the answer is actually in between the two sets of conflicting advice. You *can* replace some of your exercise calories and still lose weight, but you don't absolutely have to. It all depends on how your workouts make you feel.
Fitness Minutes: (40)
1,068 2/19/14 4:50 P
You will even get professional/nutrition experts who give conflicting information.
I can tell you this. I have lost weight without adding "extra" calories if I knew I'd be burning more due to exercise; however, yes, I lost a bit more (faster) if I exercised more. I lost my weight sticking to about 1200 calories per day until I got to my goal. I then was only able to add about 300 calories to this which is what I eat every day. It works for me. Therefore I will stand by my recommendation that you not add 1000 calories to your "base calorie amount" because you are burning 1000 calories extra per day exercising. I think it would be better to get used to that "base amount" which is actually quite reasonable, and not a too-low amount. After you get to your goal, if you remain that active you will have to add the extra calories in order to maintain your weight and not continue losing. (I have lost over 80 lbs since my highest weight at age 29, AFTER having three children).
At your current weight, 1700 calories would be around the minimum for you. The heavier we are, the more calories our body needs to perform it's essential daily task of keeping our organs etc. working properly. IF you burn 900-odd calories with exercise, then yes, you WILL need to eat more, because it would leave a base rate of 800 calories to perform it's normal daily functions.
What ranges has SP given you to eat between? Generally the lower number is your sedentary times - the higher number should take into account the exercise you are doing, IF you have input the exercise accurately when you set up your account. IF you are doing more exercise, or more intense exercise than you indicated, you may have to go back and adjust that information to give a more accurate range.
Fitness Minutes: (3,650)
90 2/19/14 9:32 A
Mixed messages here..lol. You are saying the exact opposite of what Kris just told me. The base caloric intake that I am looking at (1701) is for a person that weighs much less than I do. So here is how I am looking at it, my base will always be 1701 and when I exercise and burn calories (whatever number that is at the time) I eat calories to account for the burn, however I will have the base of 1701. And when I get down to that weight I will readjust my calories to accommodate for the weight loss, then those new calories will be for a person that again weighs less than I do at that point.
Fitness Minutes: (40)
1,068 2/19/14 9:21 A
I do not believe it is as complicated as so many resources claim. The fact is if you eat 1701 calories a day and burn off 945 more calories than you would normally burn doing little or no exercise, this will allow you to burn almost two pounds a week. The closer you come to taking in the same number of calories you burn off, you will lose little or no weight.
1700 calories is enough to assure you get a good balance of nutrients you need so worrying about eating more because you exercise more is not necessary and may be counterproductive if you want to lose weight. If I were you, I'd stick with the 1700 figure until you get to your goal. Then if you maintain the same level of activity you will have to add more calories to your days until you find the balance where you maintain.
Fitness Minutes: (3,650)
90 2/19/14 9:09 A
Hello Kris, Thank you for answering my question so quickly. I think this is the part that I have been misunderstanding for a while. I do write in the tracker as well and I like working out early and this will help so I can adjust the calories I will be eating for the day. I thought I understood it, basically whatever calories are suggested to eat it [tracker] will compensate for my workouts? And I will always have whatever base calories I am supposed to have and those above that are compensating for burning calories?
Strange as it seems, when we exercise, we NEED to eat more to accommodate this. We have a minimum calorie base, based on our weight, gender, age and being sedentary. Then when you factor in being overweight, and/or exercising, then we need to eat more. it doesn't hinder our weight-loss efforts so long as you are eating within the range that SP has for you. It is good that you are weighing all your food. Are you recording it in the Nutrition Tracker or just writing it down? Recording it in the Nutrition Tracker is best because then you have an accurate overview of what you are really doing, and can make informed changes as and when needed.
Hopefully they will answer your questions more fully.
Good luck, Kris
Fitness Minutes: (3,650)
90 2/19/14 12:16 A
Hello everyone! I have a question, I have been reading The Spark book and have been writing my food intake down as well as weighing it...but I am confused about the whole calorie intake vs. calorie burn. Here is what I mean, if I am supposed to have a caloric intake of 17,01 (example) but I exercise and burn 945 calories for the day, the calorie reader that is attached in my tracker tells me to eat around 2,646 per day. I am confused because I am trying to lose weight and it seems counterintuitive to me. Could someone help me understand this?
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