Remember you can't look only on what calories you burn during exercise. Just by existing you need calories. Got this from a Swedish forum:
In total rest you need: liver - 200 cal brain - 240 cal heart - 400 cal kidneys - 400 cal Then it differs from person to person on how well trained you are. Fat tissue needs less calories than muscles. But let's say - just for lying flat on your back for 24 hrs - your body needs something like 2000 calories.
Having said this I don't mean you can start exercising for 1000 cal and eat 3000 calories a day. If you eat like 1500 calories a day your body has to take the rest of the calories somewhere else - and that's from your fat in the body.
Of course if you can stick to the calories you're supposed to while exercising more than that's the fastest way to lose weight. But that may or may not be possible, depending on how man calories you burn. In the example I gave, staying within calories on days I'm exercising is definitely doable. On the other hand, what if I burned 1000 calories in a day? Then there's no way I'm going to be able to limit myself to the same number of calories I eat on days I don't work out.
Back when I was on SlimFast (a diet I can't say enough bad things about, even though it worked) I had to stop dieting on the weekends. I went dancing on Saturdays, and the first time I tried doing it after having only eaten my SlimFast diet that day I felt like I was going to pass out. These days I think SlimFast does acknowledge exercise in its recommendations, but it didn't a decade ago when I was on it.
For me the choice was dieting or dancing, which at the time meant it was a choice between dieting or exercising since that's the only exercise I got.
The points I earned from exercising on WW were always less than the actual calories I'd burned. So even though I was earning points that I usually traded in for food, I was still burning more calories than I took in.
This is way more than I meant to write. My main point is that while there are things I didn't like about WW, I thought that for the most part the earning points for exercising bit mainly made sense. My only complaint is that as far as WW was concerned that was just as good as staying on points without exercising. I like that SP encourages exercise in all cases.
I'm not a fan of WW either. I never understood how I could earn more points to eat if I exercised. Then how the more fiber my food had the less points it counted for. I'm glad I never bought into it. Calories I get. As long as I eat less then the amount of calories I'm burning I will lose weight. Then exercising will burn extra calories adding to my deficit equally more weight loss. So to me it's not a versus thing but a together thing. Eat less then BMR exercise cardio for burning calories and strength to build muscle which will make your metabolism speed up and burn more calories.
Thanks for your help, Tanteva and Frannie Did. I think I'm starting to figure out SP. I'm having difficulty keeping to my recommended calories, but hopefully my trip to the supermarket yesterday will help. I did my best to buy more fruits and vegetables than I usually do. And switched out some of my low-calorie snacks for lower-calorie snacks.
I liked WW, but Tanteva, you're right about parts of it. While exercise was encouraged, I like that SP takes it for granted that I should be doing both cardio and strength.
current weight: 206.6
Fitness Minutes: (74,637) Posts: 12,855 7/11/09 8:06 A
Welcome to the team. First, you are not earning calories, you are just tracking them. In order to lose weight you have to eat fewer calories than you burn. So, for example, if your body burns 1800 calories a day and you want to lose 1 lb a week you need to eat 1300 calories a day. That way you burn 500 more calories a day than you eat and that would be 3500 calories less a week, 1 lb! There are a lot of good articles on the site about how your body and metabolism work, they have really helped me to understand what I need to do to be successful. Look in the Healthy Lifestyle section under fitness and nutrition. That will help you understand better. Also look at the links in the last message here: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes sa geboard_thread.asp?board=12103x31907R>x26758252
These links will explain the program and some of the tools for you.
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current weight: 200.0
Fitness Minutes: (481) Posts: 43 7/11/09 4:09 A
Well, I'm new here too, so maybe I'm really not the right person to answer ... but here goes ...
Since SP hasn't a fixed numbers of calories for each day, just a span to land within - the calories you loose with your exercise is counted into that somehow. You just use your common sense - if someday you exercise a lot, maybe you can even get over the limit set for calories - and if you for some reason doesn't exercise at all, stay close to the lower level.
Having said this - and now you will tell I'm not a big fan of WW ;) ... WW isn't really a program focusing on the life as a whole (I know they say they do). SP seems to be more into inspire you to take charge of every aspect of life. If you start collecting spark points, you'll notice how you get points just for reading - and while reading you learn a lot about health.
This may be because I'm coming from a WeightWatchers background, but part of the Spark diet confuses me. When I worked out while on WW, I would earn points that could then be traded for food. But on Spark it seems to be different. I'm currently supposed to eat 1250-1600 calories every day. But if I burn 300 calories via exercise is it all right for me to eat up to 1900 calories worth of food?
If not, what if I go over the number of calories I'm supposed to burn in a day? If I burn 300 calories but Spark told me to burn 217, can I eat 83 extra calories?
I realize that within reason the less I eat the more I'll lose, but I'm trying to figure out what the limits are when I can't handle eating less. I don't want to get out of the diet, but knowing how it works will help me use it more effectively.
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