Weight Loss
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# eating back calories and minimum daily calorie requirements

• Keep daily deficit between 500 - 1,000 calories a day to lose at a safe rate of 1 - 2 lbs a week, [Calories burned - minus calories eaten = deficit] and
• don't eat below the bare minimum of 1200 calories a day  for women or 1500 for men...
You can use the expenditure calcultor and log your extra exercise/activities and log your food to figure your deficit.  But, the calculators are an estimate and a place to start.  Only.

for a more simple explanation than reading through 5 pages of discussion, see posts 94 - 96 :)

http://www.calorie-count.com/forums/post/page /4/34137.html#94

Hope this helps!

/end edit 5/26/07

Original Post:  could someone please explain what is meant by this, with illustrations with #'s if you could?

it confuses me, and i think maybe it's something I should try to understand.

maybe we're all saying the same thing...

ok... let's define a few words... for people who don't know...

what is bmr & rmr?

BMR and RMR are estimates of how many calories you would burn if you were to do nothing but rest for 24 hours. They represent the minimum amount of energy required to keep your body functioning, including your heart beating, lungs breathing, and body temperature normal.

bmr is?  basal metabolism rate

http://www.caloriesperhour.com/tutorial_BMR.h tml

BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, and is synonymous with Basal Energy Expenditure or BEE. BMR measurements are typically taken in a darkened room upon waking after 8 hours of sleep; 12 hours of fasting to ensure that the digestive system is inactive; and with the subject resting in a reclining position.

rmr is? resting metabolism rate

RMR stands for Resting Metabolic Rate, and is synonymous with Resting Energy Expenditure or REE. RMR measurements are typically taken under less restricted conditions than BMR, and do not require that the subject spend the night sleeping in the test facility prior to testing.

sedentary is?

• sedentary = Little or no exercise and desk job
AMR is? AMR stands for active metabolism rate.

THIS site gives you an AMR, an active metabolism rate. To get to this number, assumptions are made about how many calories you burn doing all those activities I listed above (Getting up, knitting with mumsie, making lunch, petting and playing with puppies, feeding puppies, water aerobics, going bathroom, etc.) (per Hkellick's reply #19 in this thread

from reply #30 in this thread; Active Metabolism Rate. It's what this site assumes when you ask for expenditure and allowance. It's your BMR times a number, an estimate of how much you burn, in total, based on your activity level.

For example, if you're sedentary,

What numbers does Calorie-Count calculators Use?

The Calorie-count "Expenditure calculator" uses the AMR
(active metabolism rate) which is about the same as the TDEE (total daily energy expenditure used by the other website).

http://www.calorie-count.com/calories/calorie s-burned.php

AMR is? AMR stands for active metabolism rate.

THIS site gives you an AMR, an active metabolism rate. To get to this number, assumptions are made about how many calories you burn doing all those activities (Getting up, knitting with mumsie, making lunch, petting and playing with puppies, feeding puppies, water aerobics, going bathroom, etc.) (per Hkellick's reply #19 in the thread about minimum daily calorie requirements)

from reply #30 in the min daily requirements thread; Active Metabolism Rate. It's what this site assumes when you ask for expenditure and allowance. It's your BMR times a number, an estimate of how much you burn, in total, based on your activity level.

Calculating how much you should eat to lose weight at a safe rate.   Use the calorie-count calculator called "allowance"

http://www.calorie-count.com/calories/calorie s-goal.php

if you leave the goal date blank, it will estimate calories to eat based on about 1.5 lbs loss per week... and will be based on your estimated activity level.

for example, i put in sedentary because i work at a desk most days and evening.  So my typical day is all sedentary.  And the calculator gives me a 750 calorie deficit to lose 1 1/2 lbs a week

When I exercise, those are additional calories burned, and I sometimes have to eat more to keep my deficit from getting too big....
98 Replies (last)
Eating back calories is when you are listing yourself as sedentary (sp?) and are working out and burning some calories.   If you burn, say 300 calories at the gym then you eat back an additional 300 calories into your diet.

Or if you do a ballance sheet through out the day then it looks something like this (I'll do an example for a woman with a target of 1300 calories for the day witha sedentary life).

300 Breakfast
+100 Snack
____
400
+500 Lunch
___
900
+100 Snack
____
1000
-300 Gym
____
700
+400 Dinner
____
1100
+200 Snack
____
1300

So see how though that person ballanced for the day with their NET 1300 calories... when in reality they ate back 300 of those from working out at the gym.

EDIT:

Simpler put its:

Calories with deficit + Calories Burned in Exercise

For me a guy... this is

1500 + Whatever I burn in exercise
I think it has to do with workout.  Of course, I could be wrong.  The way I see it is the eating back calories you burn from workout so we are not below the bare minimal for our bodies.  But I have also heard people, who go to dietitians, say that they suggest not to eat all of it back.  I generally eat a lot anyhow.  hehe. <3 United.
• 300 breakfast
• 100 snack
• 500 lunch
• 100 snack
• 1,000 so far
• 400 dinner
• 200 snack
• 1,600 total
ok, i would say this is your calories eaten 1,600 which should be subtracted from your cals burned.

if your cals burned sedentary is 1,700 and you exercise + 300 gym, then you have 2,000 burned.

2,000 burned - 1,600 eaten is a 400 deficit.

Question: Why would it be important to look at this a different way and subtract the 300 exercise from the 1600 eaten for a net of 1,300?

I guess I don't know why we would want to do this?
my other question is...

why does it matter if your setting is sedentary?
I guess it's really more concerning on the lower end of spectrum.  Lets say someone is 4'11 and 100lbs.  BMR would be around 1273 and Sedetary expenditure is at 1500.  The person feels like he/she wants to have a deficit of 800 and eats about 1300 calories a day.  So this person exercise to burn about 600 calories a day.
(Sedetary + 600 = 1500 + 600 = 2100  Now 2100 - 1300 = 800)

The problem we run into here is  "Does this person need to eat that 600 back or not?".  It's basically the same problem as the Net Calorie thing.  Should Net be at BMR or should Total just not below BMR is ok?
You all have confused the heck out of me...all I know is that I only "eat back" my calories if it causes me to fall below 1200 calories (which for my height and weight is about right)

For instance, if I take in 1800 cals and exercise off 200 cals, that leaves me with 1600.  That's plenty for me, so I wouldn't have to eat back that 200 that I exercised....HOWEVER, if I were to take in 1600 cals and exercise off 500, that would leave me with 1100, in which case I would probably eat something small to get me to the bare minimum of 1200.
Sorry, peaches.  I really didn't mean to confuse you.  I am just pretty much doing a little discussion with United and everyone. hehe

For myself, I do this.
I eat around 1700/day now.  I exercise and burn about 300-400 off per day 6-7 days a week.
ok... let's define a few words... for people who don't know...

what is bmr & rmr?

BMR and RMR are estimates of how many calories you would burn if you were to do nothing but rest for 24 hours. They represent the minimum amount of energy required to keep your body functioning, including your heart beating, lungs breathing, and body temperature normal.

bmr is?  basal metabolism rate

http://www.caloriesperhour.com/tutorial_BMR.h tml

BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, and is synonymous with Basal Energy Expenditure or BEE. BMR measurements are typically taken in a darkened room upon waking after 8 hours of sleep; 12 hours of fasting to ensure that the digestive system is inactive; and with the subject resting in a reclining position.

rmr is? resting metabolism rate

RMR stands for Resting Metabolic Rate, and is synonymous with Resting Energy Expenditure or REE. RMR measurements are typically taken under less restricted conditions than BMR, and do not require that the subject spend the night sleeping in the test facility prior to testing.

sedentary is?

• sedentary = Little or no exercise and desk job
AMR is? AMR stands for active metabolism rate.

THIS site gives you an AMR, an active metabolism rate. To get to this number, assumptions are made about how many calories you burn doing all those activities I listed above (Getting up, knitting with mumsie, making lunch, petting and playing with puppies, feeding puppies, water aerobics, going bathroom, etc.) (per Hkellick's reply #19 in this thread

from reply #30 in this thread; Active Metabolism Rate. It's what this site assumes when you ask for expenditure and allowance. It's your BMR times a number, an estimate of how much you burn, in total, based on your activity level.

For example, if you're sedentary,

I sent this as a pm a couple days ago, but maybe it will help here. Rather than thinking of it as 'eating back calories'

I think of it as adjusting my calories each day depending on activity.

I have my activity level set at sedentary and log only intentional exercise (like a workout or a long walk). Once activities are logged I review the total expenditure # on my account home page. I compare that to my calorie intake. I then make sure my expenditure is more than my intake, but not too much more. I try pretty hard to make sure the calories consumed number is no more than 1000 calories less than the expenditure number--ideally it should be no more than 500 calories less.
In my example that person had 1600 calories for the day but their NET calories were just 1300 which left them with whatever deficit they were intending to go for (assuming something healthy like a 750 calorie deficit).

I said someone sedentary in my example because someone more active would need much more calories a day than the bare minimum of 1200 or 1500 (women or men).

Those that are much more active have some level of activity built into their daily minimums.   The more active they are the higher it goes and the less they need to track.

I'm not 100% sure how this all works, i just know that your body uses the food in your body to provide the energy for all that working out you are doing.   So that means you need atleast that minimum calories to run all your bodily functions + the extra for that exercise you are doing.   It's not just going to magicly be provided by the fat in your body since your body can only metabolise so much of it for energy.

So this is where eating back the calories comes in to play.

Think of it like the athelete.... they need a lot more nourishment to provide the energy for what they are doing.   When you exercise, atleast for those few moments you are an athelete... and thus you too require some more calories for your body to run.
It's confusing because it isn't clear whether the minimum calorie recommendation (1200 for women, 1500 for men) is based on raw intake or net calories.  I've always assumed it means net calories because, well, that makes sense; surely if you need 1800 calories to survive, and you eat 1200 and exercise off 1200, you aren't getting enough??  Even though you ate the recommended 1200 calories that day.

So the reason to subtract calories burned from calories eaten is to keep from going below 1200 net calories.  U2G gave two ways to calculate the deficit, and they both work.  But here's the difference (I'm changing the numbers slightly to make my point):

1700 sedentary + 500 exercise = 2200 burned, - 1600 eaten = 600 cal deficit.  Looks all right.

OR

1700 sedentary = 1700 burned, - (1600 eaten - 500 exercised off = 1100 net cals) = 600 calorie deficit.  Net cals are below 1200 ... not so good.

I hope this makes sense.  The "eating back" recommendation, as far as I understand it, is all about making sure your net cals are not too low.  I'd love for someone to tell me if I'm thinking about this wrong.  ;-)
lysistrata, I think you hit the nail on the head right there.

One way or another your net cals for the day have to be above those 1200 (women)/ 1500 (men) lines or you are falling below your daily allowance for your body to run.

But with thinking all the cals you eat for the day this means the same as working out 500, having 2000 to eat (for a man) and thus having a 2000-500= 1500 NET cals for the day.

Which is why it's easier to tell someone just to eat that minimum (Pending their stats) + eat back what they burn in exercise.

The results are the same but it takes less words.
sorry, i was away...

ok, here's my couple of thoughts...

i don't think i've seen anything that says you need to eat back your calories in the net calculations... but i haven't looked that hard...

What I have seen widely recommended out in the medical diet community is that the 1,200 calories recommended for women and the 1,500 minimum recommended for men (have also seen 1,400 for men @ mayoclinic) are described as the recommended # of minimum calories to eat when you diet.

The sources then go on to say that you add in exercise

you should eat more if you are hungry or bigger or need more

but they don't generally give a formula to check against exercise and increase the minimum calories...

So, I've always considered it a separate guideline.

guideline 1) keep deficit between 500 - 1,000 cals a day for a 1 - 2 lb rate of weight loss

guideline 2) don't eat below the 1,200 level...

• so, if you 300 exercise plus 1,400 sedentary burn = 1,700 then your max deficit is going to be 500 (which is 1,700 - 1,200 = 500)...
• and don't go below 1,200 cals to get a higher deficit.
• If you want a higher deficit exercise more...
ok, i've had a chance to double back and read the examples, and i think the goal is the same; to ensure that people are getting enough food.

i guess my question would be:

besides discussion on this website, is there documentation or sources that recommend the eat back theory way of calculating?

i haven't seen it myself, so i think i'll go google, but if someone has favorite links they would like to share, I would be interested in them :)

lol ~ googling eat back calories brings up articles on people who eat more after exercise than they burn...  not what i'm looking for... and of course, it brings up a few threads here...
I'm not aware of any articles either way ... although I did discover that net calories means something completely different than the way I've been using it.  Net calories really refers to exercise and it's the difference between the total calories burned and the calories you would have burned anyway just by being alive.

So, I could be way off on all of this ...
where did you discover that lysistrata?  mind sharing the link if you still have it?

i didn't get anywhere googling eat back calories... maybe need to try different terminology... going to google more...
well I found this link on "calculating minimum calorie requirements"

http://www.scientificpsychic.com/fitness/diet .html

and I really like this information on the minimum level of calories

The body requires protein to maintain the muscles and to produce hormones. Essential fatty acids are needed for cell replication and to maintain the structure of the nervous system. Therefore, any reduction of Calories must be accomplished by reducing saturated fats and carbohydrates. A diet should never reduce the amount of protein or essential fatty acids (EFAs). The body needs at least 15 grams of EFAs per day, which can be obtained by eating meats, fish, nuts, and flaxseed. Very low calorie diets (less than 1300 calores per day) should be avoided because they generally do not provide all the nutrients needed for good health.

Will try to explain "my method".

First of all, why does it matter if you assume sedentary.. it does and it doesn't. *I* like to assume sedentary because my activity is between lightly active and moderately active.

The question comes down to.. how many calories do you burn, all day, for all activities you do. Getting up, knitting with mumsie, making lunch, petting and playing with puppies, feeding puppies, water aerobics, going bathroom, etc.

Most sites give you a BMR, Basal Metabolism Rate. This number is the number of calories your body needs to survive but does NOT include ANY activity. It's what.. your bones, stomach, heart, brain, etc. needs.

THIS site gives you an AMR, an active metabolism rate. To get to this number, assumptions are made about how many calories you burn doing all those activities I listed above (Getting up, knitting with mumsie, making lunch, petting and playing with puppies, feeding puppies, water aerobics, going bathroom, etc.)

When you assume you're sedentary, you assume a certain amount of activity. I think it's ROUGHLY equal to the amount of activity you get for.. living your life without breaking a sweat.

So, I've always suggested that to figure out what to eat, you add the calories back that you burned exercising.

Now, to numbers.

Let's say your BMR is 2000, Jules. That's the number of calories your body needs to live.
Let's further say that, assuming you're sedentary, your AMR is 2400.
So, what i'm saying is... this site tells you, assuming you're sedentary that your EXPENDITURE is 2400.

With me? :)

Now, let's say that you're doing Water Aerobics, Jules. And that you burn 400 calories over an hour of Water Aerobics.

So, for that day, you can ESTIMATE you are burning
2400 (AMR) + 400 (Exercise/Aerobic Activity).

Your total expenditure for the day is 2800.

Now, many doctors now says to lose 1.5 lbs. per day (the maximum you should aim for), you need to eat 750 calories less than that, so your ALLOWANCE is 2050.

This is what you should eat and includes ALL of your activity for the day and a reasonable deficit of 750.

That, Jules, is how you eat back your calories. :) It's about keeping that reasonable deficit of 500-750 calories and including all the calories you burn. :)

Does that help? :)

This is something I, personally, need to do because when I exercise I burn 600 calories a session which, if I don't eat back, raises my "reasonable" deficit from 750 to 1350, too much!
I found that here when I googled "net calories."  And they also mention it in here.
98 Replies (last)