Should you eat your exercise calories?

If you’re goal is to lose weight with a calorie tracking app and a daily calorie app, you may be wondering if you should be eating more calories, when you exercise.

Well, the short answer is no, you should not! The longer answer is, it depends.

The problem is that is is very easy to measure the calories we have eaten, because the calorie values are known and we can put them in our tracker. However, the amount of calories we burn during exercise is not known. Two people will burn significantly different amounts of calories doing the same exercise, based on their age, weight, sex, amount of muscle they have, metabolism, etc. There is no, one rule, that fits all.

On top of this many of use will try and use the calorie figure given by our fitness tracker, but as I’ve explained in this blog, these figures are also generally very inaccurate (i.e. often way too high). Add to this that we’re very poor at tracking all of our calories consumed (we forget to put things in our tracker app, or guess amounts instead of weighing) and we tend to over-estimate how much exercise we’ve done, the net result can be we don’t end up in a calorie deficit at all.

However, it really does depend on how much exercise you have done and the intensity level. A 30-minute brisk walk will maybe burn 100-130 calories. A 30-minute hit class will likely burn three times this amount. Don’t forget though, while a class might be 30 or 50 minutes, the first 5 minutes are usually a low-intensity warm up and the last 5-10 minutes is stretching.

The best policy is to add your exercise calories into your tracking app, if you want, but try not to use them. However, if you find yourself out of calories and you are super-hungry, then you should of course use some of those calories, if you need to. Just don’t eat all of your allocated exercise calories, every day, or you may well find you’re eating more calories than you should.

Weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. It takes just a few minutes to eat a packet of crisps, but can take 15 minutes of vigorous exercise to burn those calories off!

Questions? Comments? Let me know below!

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  1. Pingback: How accurate are fitness trackers? – Revive Fitness Classes

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