Weight Loss
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Burning calories - Just how does it work?

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I've read millions of different answers on this subject. But I figure I would ask here and hope to form some sort of unified answer.

So, I intake about 1250-1500 calories a day. I do a total of 3 miles per day at 2.9-3.2 mph along with a little weight lifting. According to various calculators, I'm only burning about 600-800 calories from my workout. So that leaves 600+ calories a day that I'm not burning. The only reason I mention the 600+ is because I've read that you have to burn what you bring in. I just...don't get it.

Maybe I'm missing something here. Do you have to burn all the calories you bring in to lose weight? How is that possible? Or does it work some other way? I'm sure this is posted somewhere on this awesometasticallyriffic site, but I can't find it!@

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You have to burn what you bring in yes, but your body burns a heck of alotta calories just by being alive. You can calculate how many in the tools-section on this site (it's based on height, weight, age and gender), which you need to take in in addition to your workout expenditure. I'm going to assume you're a girl, seeing as your calorie intake is so low (a man should never go under 1500, a woman: 1200).

After you've calculated how much your daily expenditure is PLUS your workouts for the day, you subtract 500-800 calories from that for weight loss (but don't go under 1200).
yepa is right.    for instance i burn 1700 calories just doing nothing but sitting around. if i add some aerobics, i burn 2000 calories a day. then you need to consume enough so the deficit is not more than 500 (give or take).  2000 calories burned  - 1500 calories consumed = 500 calorie deficit    there for a weight loss for the day.    sounds to me like you need to eat more,  eating too little will put your body in starvation mode - not healthy.   

good job on the exercise     add a profile to - it helps when you ask questions when the responders know your goals.    :) 
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the bulk of the calories expended is basically normal body functions like breathing.. making your orgrans work accordingly. I think u got it wrong its impossible to burn 600 - 800 calories uless u were working out the whole damn day. I think u need to focus on weight training since muscle needs extra calories to maintain and u can basically burn more even when ur sitting down doing nothing as opposed to cardio where your burning calories only when ur actually working out. The calorie in and out is simple... All the calories you take in should be used accordingly = extra unused calories will always turn equal to fat which is why people create a calorie deficit when trying to lose weight. 
I burn 1800 calories every day doing absolutely nothing.  Just being alive.

I eat 1300 calories.  Subtract 1800 from 1300, I have a 500 calorie deficit. I lose 1lb per week.

You burn calories being alive too, you need to eat back all the calories you burn exercising, or if you have a hard time eating that much, cut back on the exercise.


Tomorrow I burn 300 calories on the elliptical trainer.

I need to eat 1600 calories.  1600 - 300 = 1300 calories total that day.
yep, my nurtrionist even told me that if the human body was a pile of organs lying on a floor, doing nothing. we would still need 1000- 1200 calories to survive.

so for example i might need 1500 - 1600 to maintain my organs and brains functions. but i might need 1500 more with the amount of activity i do ( yeah i eat like 3000 a day)

granted age and activity applie, im still growing and am 16, so the calories i told you are just a ball park estimate.
I really didn't know we burned up that much by just "being". I guess I really should eat a bit more. Today I burned about 500 calories and ate maybe 1200. This will cause my body to go into "save the fat" mode, correct?

It's just hard for me to grasp the whole, eat more, lose more concept. It makes sense, yes, but the fact that I'm eating more is what gets me. Guess I just need to make myself realize that I'm eating what I burned. But then I think "Ok, so I eat what I burned...what was the point of exercising at all?"

See my mental delima?
Yeah you have to eat back what you burn to make sure you get what the calculator thingy says you need. What I did is use that tool and entered in sedentary even though I am not. Then when I exercise I factor that in so I can eat back those calories so my body doesn't go into starvation mode. I didn't get that concept in the beginning and not only did I not lose, I gained. I also had my RMR checked and it ame in at just under 1400-that is what my body needs to function optimally. So if I work out really hard-say do a good hour of cardio I can burn 400 or so cals. That means I have to eat nearly 1800 cals that day to avoid eating too little. I really get to eat alot on lifting days if I do the usual cardio too. Like last week I burned 300 during cardio and 509 lifting for an hour-so yeah, you can burn 800 or so cals and not have to work out all day. I wear a heart rate monitor that calculates the calories burned for me so I know it is accurate. I am currently 131-132 at 5'2.5". Just make sure you are eating enough. And the point of exercise would be to improve your heart health, bone health, gain muscle (=increased metabolism) and release those endorphins!!!
no, dys, it won't cause your body to go into save the fat mode.

However, you are missing out on vital nutrition.

I think there is a an easier way -- I simply give myself a calorie budget -- a range -- and stay within that range.  The range is calculated according to my goal weight for sedentary and light activity, as that best defines my lifestyle.  the range is 1350-1550 calories per day.  This way, I have flexibility in planning and I don't have to add back the calories I burn at the gym.

Nature has given every person a calorie budget -- what is required to keep that body healthy.  If you were already at your goal weight, what would you be eating?  How many calories.  It makes sense to me to start eating that way now. 
Dont ever do that.

Your body by just sitting idle burns a good amount of calories.

Check what is you Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and then you decide how much you are planning to lose.

That will give you the exact # of calories you need to burn.

Please dont starve yourself.

Jul 31 2009 04:07
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i can burn 800 calories in one hour.


if u jog/power walk at around 4.7/4.8 mph and take a small break every 15 minutes or every 200 calories, youll finish a little over an hour.

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