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Adding Half the exercise calories lucycaz — Aug 09, 2018 10:34AM PDT

It is recommended that you eat back 1/2 your exercise calories when trying to lose weight is there a setting that can do this rather than adding them all or none at all?

1 Community Answers

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Maximiliano MyFitnessPal Agent Aug 09, 2018 12:41PM PDT


Thank you for taking the time to contact us. Your normal average daily burn is already taken into consideration when we set up your profile and determine your daily nutritional goals (calories to eat). However, we do not actually take into consideration any extra exercise you do outside of your normal day until you add them to your diary under the “cardiovascular” section. If you do exercise, then your daily nutrition totals will go up to replenish what you have burned via exercise. These increase due to exercise can come from manually logged workouts within the MFP app or pushed workout data coming from other linked partner apps. (This will include iPhone and Android Step trackers and any paired all-day wearable trackers)

Any all-day trackers are measuring your activity level for the entire day and helping us fine-tune what your goals should be on a daily basis. The days you see higher Nutritional goals (more calories to eat) than previously set are days where you have been more active than originally estimated. For newer users, we recommend eating back your calories burned via exercise.

Advanced users, users with dietary instructions from a physician or nutritionist, or athletes with specific performance needs may benefit from the features of MyFitnessPal Premium, which include the option to turn off, or modify the behavior of, exercise calories. You can learn more about exercise calories, and the options provided by MyFitnessPal Premium, in this article:

We set your nutritional target in Net Calories which we define as:

Calories Consumed (Food) – Calories Burned (Exercise) = Net Calories

What that means is that if you exercise, you will be able to eat more for that day. For example, if your Net Calorie goal is 2000 calories, one way to meet that goal is to eat 2,500 calories of food, but then burn 500 calories through exercise. When your exercise calories increase, your other nutritional goals will also fluctuate to match.

Think of your Net Calories like a daily budget of calories to spend. You spend them by eating, and you earn more calories to eat by exercising. To help avoid setting your body into starvation mode, we do not recommend for any member to consume under 1200 net calories.

If you are following a guided plan from your doctor or nutritionist, we also allow an option for you to customize your own nutritional goals. You can set your own nutritional goals by following these instructions (

Our program currently only calculates calories burned via our “cardiovascular” section. Estimating the calories burned from strength training is very difficult because it depends on a variety of factors: how much weight you lifted per repetition, how vigorously you performed that exercise, how much rest you took between sets, etc. Because of this, we do not automatically calculate how many calories you burned from strength training exercises.

Again, since our program does already account for the deficit and allows exercise to award more calories for the day, we would recommend trying the program as designed and see how it works for you. If you need to customize your goals beyond the options available in our standard program, please consider upgrading to MyFitnessPal Premium!

We hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other problems or questions. We wish you all the success in reaching and maintaining your health and fitness goals.

Kind Regards,
MyFitnessPal Staff

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