Getting in Shape

Does this mean I need to eat more calories?

MFP says I should be eating 1250 calories a day.  I always eat back most of my calories from exercise (I exercise later at night and suck at planning meals some days, so I don't always want to eat all those extra calories late at night).  I noticed that even when I don't exercise, I lose more weight when I go over my calories by 100-200.  When my weight plateaus, I up my calories to 1400 for a few days and the pounds start dropping again.  Does this mean that I should be eating more calories to make my body happy?

Re: Does this mean I need to eat more calories?

  • well, what do you think?  If you lose more weight when you eat more, doesn't it make sense that you should probably be eating more?

    Also, you don't have to wait until after you exercise to eat the calories you burn.  If you know you'll be exercising, you should work them into your meals and snacks over the whole day.

    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
  • I just re-read my post, and it sounds snotty.  I didn't mean it to be--the point I wanted to make was not to overthink things.  If you lose more when you eat a little more, chances are good you should be eating a little more on the regular.  There's not a sneaky reason or anything--it's all pretty basic, and people tend to make things way more complicated than they need to.  Don't!  Do what feels right and works.

    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
  • Bodies are weird. There is a fine line between eating few enough calories to lose weight and eating so few that your body goes into starvation mode.

    1200 calories tends to be that line (it obviously does have some variance depending on your body). If you're only eating 1200 calories TOTAL in a day, PLUS exercising, then you're really not taking in 1200 calories - you're taking in more lik 900ish. This will make your body think that you're "starving" and will then hold onto EVERYTHING that you eat because it thinks that it won't be getting more any time soon.
    So it makes sense that you are losing weight when you add a few calories because this ^^^ is your likely scenario!

    Wedding Countdown Ticker

  • J&K, you are fine!  I didn't think it was snotty.  

    Thanks for the advice!  I just am always nervous to try to eat my extra exercise calories before I exercise because I never know how long I will actually be able to exercise.
  • Steph.. I know what you mean. Right now, I'm set to eat about 1250.. but 4 days a week I do higher intensity cardio classes where I am definitely burning the calories... It's so hard to tell myself I need to eat some of those calories back. >_< I don't want to, but I know the body needs it.. not just for the short term weight loss/muscle gain, but for long-term health. 
  • edited February 2012

    The others are hitting some valid points here,  

    A)  if its wokring for you,  keep doing it!


    B)  if you eat too few calories,  you're resting metabolic rate will also lower as your bosy adjust to the new lower intake and modify how many calories the body burns up.


    Take away,  most of these online apps and equations are merely ESTIMATES of what your body actually burns.  Unless you go and get hooked up to a machine for some type of indirect calorimetry,  then you will always be working with estimated amounts of calories.  You need to experiment and see what works for you,  and you've found it,  so thats awesome.

    One more thing you should do,  not sure if you are doing it already, is throw in some resistance training 2x a week to keep that resting metabolic rate up when the calories intake is lower.

    Good luck!!

    Greg Doyle
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