Weight Loss
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Caloric Intake and Working Out question

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Why is it that I need more calories consumed when I work out? I mean I understand that its to supply energy to work out, but if you eat more doesn't that negate that fact that you just worked out and burned calories? I'm sure its complicated and I've done lots of reading, but I can't seem to wrap my mind around it. 

With Moderate Activity setting my weight loss goal suggests I eat 2600 calories a day, but with Sedentary Activity it goes down to 1800 calories a day. Thats a 800 calorie difference, should I really be eating that much more just because I'm working out? What would happen if I ate only 1800 calories a day, but I worked out at a Moderate Activity level, is that where unhealthy weight loss comes from? Because it almost makes me feel like I shouldn't be exercising at all, since it means I have to eat more.

Thanks to anyone who enlightens me, because I'm a bit confused.

7 Replies (last)

I don't know your stats, but I am at 1800 sedentary so when I workout I eat about that much or more. I think 800 is a healthy deficit (it's my max actually bc I'll get way too hungry otherwise).

Don't workout: eat under 1800 (not more than 1200...that's the cut off for most for healthy results).

Workout: eat at your sedentary level (1800) or more.


If you are trying to lose weight I don't think you should eat 2600 calories a day unless your job is a runner. but then again if you are very heavy like 250lbs then maybe you would need to eat that much.

I find that when I put my stats in different websites I get different answers as to how much to eat. also if you are a guy (lucky) then you can eat much more then us girls can. The site below is great for a lot of things...check it out



I guess I should've mentioned, I'm 6' 2'' I weigh 210 lbs, and I'm 20 years old, and yes a guy.

Im not a runner, but I've been doing 40-50 minute work out dvd's of p90x (daily) and it really kicks my butt, so I figured it went according with Moderate Activity.

So I should be eating between 1800-2600 if I'm working out, and want to lose weight? I'm not sure what deficit means but I'm trying to do some learning c:

A caloric deficit means you have to eat less than your recommended calories per day.. Since your goal is to lose weight, then you definitely will need to eat less than your recommended 2600calories a day. Normally it is not wise to have a really big deficit, because then your body feels deprived and you could end up not losing weight at all.. If you eat around 1800cals a day then you will have an 800 calorie deficit and in about 4 days you should lose one pound (3500 calories).

Exercise is important because cardio helps you burn fat, and weights help you build muscle which in turn boosts your basal metabolic rate. More muscle means you burn more calories per day, which is good for you. Fat burns less calories a day.. So this literally means that if you have more muscle, then even while not doing any physical activity you will be burning more calories. So exercise is extremely important!

And besides, without exercise your weight loss will be very slow, and that might discourage you. That's why I find it necessary for me to exercise and I also eat often especially proteins so I don't lose muscle mass.

You are recommended to eat a little bit more when you exercise, but not to the point you exceed what you have worked out. Say you burn 700calories at the gym, don't eat all 700calories! Some people just increase their calorie intake by half of what they have burned at the gym, so literally that means they eat an extra 350 calories a day, which still leaves them with a deficit at the end of the day..

I hope this helps!

What da1gal is explaining is right...i too did  a lot of research b4 beginning my diet and excercise.

You might like to take a look here

http://nutrition.about.com/library/bl_nutriti on_guide_men.htm

I put your stats here as u have mentioned and got the below info page .read it you might understand it .

http://nutrition.about.com/library/bl_nutriti on_need_results_men.htm?start=1£s_100=2 00£s_10=10£s=0&dpounds_100=10 0&dpounds_10=70&dpounds=5&years=N aN&inches=74&years=20&page=4

one thing more one pound = 3500 calories .A total deficit of 500 calories in food plus workout (say 500 calories) would make you loose 1000 calories perday .And 7 days would be 2 pounds.Plus eating healthy is a must so that you keep getting your nutrition.Ofcourse you will feel hungry when you work out .For starting few weeks the hunger would be uncontrollable .Drink lots and lots of water it will control your hunger and cleanse your body too. a deficit of 800 to 1000 calories  a day would be reasonable i guess for your stats,but make sure your eating very healthy like greens ,protein and carbs and less fatty food and no sugary cola .

May be this helps.

Yeah thanks to everyone that replied, I'm starting to understand it much better now, also thanks for the links I'll be sure to check them out :D

I recommend eating the number of calories you need to maintain your desired weight and letting your exercise be your deficit.

7 Replies