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SIMONEKP Posts: 2,760
5/14/13 1:28 P

I also use myfitnesspal and I do not eat back all the calories. Myfitnesspal subtracts the deficit required from your daily calorie need based on the weekly goal you set (for example 1lb = 500 calories) so any exercise you do in addition your regular everyday activites are calories that you can eat and still stay on goal. My only problem with that theory is that the our bodies are not that great at math and so I don't eat many of the calories back. For example, right now MFP gives me 1260 base calories, I typically burn 500-600 calories daily. I don't eat 1800-1900 calories because that is too much and I need to leave room for error in calulations of errors with food intake and any overestimation on calories burned. I typically eat about 1300-1350 calories which is toward the lower end of my spark range of 1260-1610.

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (78,838)
Fitness Minutes: (77,519)
Posts: 2,170
5/14/13 10:35 A

Take a look at the calorie calculation here:

From the above calculation you can find out your maintenance calories, and consider a 500kCal daily deficiency and the calories you have burned to find out how much you should be eating that day. That means, you would have to eat more if you burn too many calories, but there is no such thing as eating all the exercise calories back.

Alternatively you can also use the concept of "net calories" to find out how much more you should be eating in case you burn too many calories, but there is no advantage to that calculation over the one that the above link points to.

"Eating back all exercise calories" is not a general rule. The general rule is, if you want to lose fat gradually, you create a 500kCal deficiency every day through eating less or exercising or a combination of both. If you create a larger deficiency, you would still lose fat, but that would be too hard for you and thus unsustainable. If you create a smaller deficit, that would be better for developing good habits for a healthier life, but it will take longer to lose the same amount of fat and can exhaust your patience.

MISSY4181 Posts: 240
5/14/13 8:14 A


I haven't found the HRM very useful for tracking calories. I do hot yoga, and pilates and there is a lot of moving around so it doesn't read right. I also haven't gotten a good read in the water either.

ALORTA SparkPoints: (7,363)
Fitness Minutes: (3,449)
Posts: 310
5/14/13 3:38 A

side question;
do you use a HRM or just the cal counts on here? I know my counts changed drastically after I invested. Then again, I don't know how accurately HRMs read your heart rate while swimming. I know mine can *go* in the water... but besides using it while jet skiing out of curiosity I never tested its aquatic value.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,443
5/13/13 9:39 P

It is true that very high levels of activity do need a higher intake to support them. But how high you can go before needing to eat more will depend on the circumstances. And you are right that at lower levels of activity, eating back exercise calories will undo your hard work.

Spark doesn't work on the concept of net calories, as it is too crude an approach to this problem, and fails to take into account your personal situation.

Fortunately, Spark will take care of the math for you. Just look at how many calories you would realistically burn through exercise in a TYPICAL week, then update your Spark Exercise Goals (accessible from the LH side of the Start page) with this figure. Spark will then recommend an intake appropriate to your needs and goals.


SPORTYLAWGIRL SparkPoints: (11,853)
Fitness Minutes: (18,215)
Posts: 148
5/13/13 9:08 P

You don't need to eat back the calories you worked off, but you do need to eat enough calories to support both exercise and your basic bodily functions.

1520 calories seems like a small amount of calories to be eating for someone burning 1034 calories through exercise. If you put your weight, weight loss goal, and your weekly calorie burn goal into Spark they will give you an appropriate goal range for how many calories you should be eating in a day based on both your basic bodily needs as well as your exercise level.

Good luck.

MISSY4181 Posts: 240
5/13/13 8:39 P

Does anyone have any knowledge of net calories? I would appreciate some help on this topic. I use my fitness pal as well and today I ate 1520 calories, swam laps before and after work burning 1034 calories. My net is only 486 calories. I don't understand why I would have to eat back calories I worked out, what is the point in working out then? My husband keeps saying I need to eat back the calories I worked out and I just don't get it. Please help.

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