Tough Talk Tip: Don't make up for calories burned

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I know this one won't be a favorite. Don't be afraid to tell me what you really think - but it worked for me, and it can work for you.

When you exercise, do not make up the calories you burn with food. Do not say, "Oh, I can eat more because I burned 600 calories today."

Nope. Perish the thought.

I never count calories, I'm just aware of them, but let's say you're eating around 1,600 calories a day to lose your weight. You do 45 minus of exercises that burn 300 calories.

That's great - leave it there. Do not eat more because you exercised. Period.

I know it goes against the grain. I know people will shout, "Oh, you'll go into calorie deficit."

You won't. (I'm talking about most of us trying to lose weight. I'm not referring to people with real food or exercise disorders. That's a different matter altogether).

Most people underestimate the calories they eat and over estimate the calories they burn - which can actually lead to weight gain or a plateau, especially if you're compensating for calories expended.

View exercise as important to losing pounds. As a way to shape up your mind and your body. You need it for your overall health. It's necessary and a bonus to your weight-loss plan.

But do not add up the calories you eat, then subtract those you burn, and think you can eat more. Keep your calories, or portions, where they need to stay to lose weight, no matter your exercise plan, and you'll see that weight steadily drop.

You'll move closer to your goal, and that will motivate you even more.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Yeah. That makes more sense.

    I need to learn to listen to my body.
    4648 days ago
    I never do this one and never saw the point of doing it! You work out to lose weight, not to maintain it! Come on people, get it together!

    4778 days ago
    Dori, This is great. Thank you for sharing your story. I can't wait to hear what you post next!

    4781 days ago
    how true, how true. I have a tendency to do this. I am going to incorporate this idea into my efforts beginning today. I know it will help. The biggest part of this battle is already being won in my mind with a changing of my way of thinking about fitness and weight loss. I have had my head buried in the sand for far too long. I used to think that I would settle for a goal weight of 175--after all, that is a lot lighter than when I started. But now, I've decided I'm going to go all the way to a healthy weight for myself. Why stop at part way? Am I so afraid of failure that I'm going to allow myself to continue to have a cop-out as a back-up plan? No!! I am going all the way!
    4786 days ago
  • SUNNY37
    Thank you for the great reminder.
    4786 days ago
    I never replace the calories i burn since I am trying to reduce weight not maintain! Thanks!!!
    4787 days ago
    Actually, that's one thing I never thought of, until I read someone on a thread trying to explain about the intake/outgoing...Never made a difference to me; As long as I'm eating the calories I'm eating the amount I'm suppose to , I'm not to say, "Ok, I just burned X amount of calories, so I can eat more"..That's kind of defeating the purpose of exercising to burn the calories, isn't it? Isn't that kind of a given? Guess not, if you're blogging a tip about it lol
    4788 days ago
    greetings... I totally agree that I have underestimated my intake and burned calories... great info... blessings emoticon
    4788 days ago
    That's a great point. I have to confess that I'm one of those people that do that. I'm just trying to maintain my weight which is hard enough and that can sabotose it.
    4788 days ago
    Even being one with chronic food disorders I've never done that. I have done the opposite though. I've binged or eaten wrong foods that went over my calories and then tried to work out more to make up for it. I don't know if I can ever be healed of my long term eating disorders, but I am trying with all my strength to combat them with education and discipline. It's a tough journey for me because it's compounded by the bipolar condition. I can actually empathize and relate to alcoholics. But for people like me it's not just a matter of giving something up and removing it from our lives. I'm really happy that being a part of SparkPeople has helped me with my control and discipline even though I still slip up at times, it's a great deal less than when I tried to deal with it alone! So far my dear your tough talk hasn't even gotten close to how I talk to myself yet LOL, but then, I've been dealing with this for a lifetime. There are so many who need to hear what you are saying. I now look forward to getting up each day, just so that I can read your blog. To me, it's a validation, and it's terrific to know that there is someone else who thinks like I do.

    Luvs and hugs,
    Pami xoxo

    P.S. I will reply to your smail asap, but until then, I regard you as a personal friend too and love that you feel the same. Have a Sparktacular day darlin'.
    4788 days ago
    I've never done that, Dori. Before I joined SP, the only 'extra' exercise I was doing was walking... but I still didn't eat more to make up for it. When I joined SP, I read everything very carefully and understood that the calorie range that is calculated for an individual takes into account the amount of exercise that is recommended. I must admit to a problem, however - some days I don't eat enough calories. I know I should strive to do better on that, but now that I'm eating more fresh freggies, I stay fuller longer, so it can be tough.
    4788 days ago
    I have never done that and will not start!!

    (I don know people that do that though so I know what you are talking about.)
    4788 days ago
  • NANADA1947
    as long as i maintain my caloric allotment, i don't add any additional calories to my program to replace calories burned during exercise. i always felt that exercise was so we can firm, condition and tighten while we lose the excess pounds. not so i could eat more.
    4788 days ago
    I keep up with what I eat and stay within my spark range of calories which takes into account my activity level so it's a no brainer for me.

    This tip is easy for me because I've been aware of it for a long time and seen it at work. I know overweight people who go for a 2 mile walk and think they now deserve a meal of their choice.

    4788 days ago
    I just try to eat what I'm allowed. I see my exercise as my time to unwind and get pumped up at the same time. I used to be guilty of thinking because I had worked out for an hour, I could eat a cheeseburger! What a crock of POO! emoticon

    PS how do you count desk dancing?
    4788 days ago
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