I have a new client who is doing really fantastic with her eating and actually listening and doing the “homework” I give her. She is using MyFitnessPal to track her calories and had a question about the calories it added to her daily allowance after she logged the exercise we completed. She thought eating the 500 calories she burned during exercise seemed wrong. After giving her my answer, I poked around on the internet to see what others thought about this topic. Apparently, this is a heated debate for many fitness professionals! After reading a bunch of articles this article, Calories Burned During Exercise are “Meaningless“, is the one I agreed with the most. In a nutshell, the article states that compared to the rest of the day, the calories you burn during exercise are meaningless. We burn anywhere between 1500-3000 per day doing “nothing”. The 200 -500 calories burned during exercise really are negligible What does this mean for the normal client trying to lose 20 lbs? In my opinion, I do not believe we should make it our goal to eat back those 500 calories. That being said, I do know that exercising makes us hungry and eating a little more chicken, brown rice or oatmeal is not going to be a problem with weight loss. Focusing on building muscle is the way to go. The more muscle you have the more you have a little buffer zone for eating a treat or two. 🙂
“Once you have that solid muscular foundation, it makes losing fat 10 times easier. Not only can you eat more calories and lose weight, but you’ll be burning more calories at rest. Having a little extra muscle can burn hundreds of extra calories per day. In fact, one pound of muscle burns approximately 5.67 calories a day.” –Calories Burned During Exercise are “Meaningless
So the bottom line is to treat exercise as a way to build muscle which will keep you burning more calories while doing “nothing”! The article states all of this in a clear concise way… check it out! Then get to the gym and start building some muscle!
The Calorie Coach has many great articles about losing weight and exercising and how the two fit together.