Exercise Does Not Give You a License to Eat More.

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Question: I have learned that in order to lose weight I need to eat at least 1200 calories a day and not to exceed 1600 calories a day. If I exercise and burn 300-400 calories can I add those calories that I burned off to my daily total intake or would that interfere with my weight loss?
Answer: What you’re asking is if you burn off an additional 300 calories and have eaten only 1200 calories that day could you eat the additional 300 since the total would be under the 1600 calories you have as your upper limit. I assume that you’re estimating your calorie expenditure from a cardio machine calculation. That number should only be used as a reference to determine your workload. If you enter your weight and, according to your machine, burn 300 calories, then the next time you use that machine make the same entries and push yourself to burn more calories than the previous time by walking longer at the same incline level, use a higher incline or slightly increase your speed. Exercising and burning calories does not give you license to eat more on a daily basis.
Since you have determined your upper and lower daily calorie limits, refer back to the 80/20 rule. Eat clean 80% of the time and on the weekend give yourself that treat. Your workouts give you a little additional leeway in your weekly calorie allowances. Just don’t give yourself those allowances every day, only once a week. Another useful tool is to have your body fat estimated using the eight or nine measurement skinfold method. These measurements help you to see the areas that are progressing as you lose weight and you can keep a close eye on your Lean Body Mass which is what you want to maintain while reducing the pounds. The weight you lose should be fat, not muscle. Continue to discipline your food intake, give yourself a treat once a week and constantly challenge yourself with your cardio and weight workouts.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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