counting calories works! (Read 1529 times)

Running Rev'd

    I'm going to try the myfitnesspal.  I currently weigh 192 and would like to get down to 175-180.  Do you log your workouts in there too because the calorie burning seems very high or do you just log food?


    I log the workouts but only eat back 1/2-3/4 of my exercise calories.

    Called to Endure - Blog

    "Everyone gets the sunset. Only the dedicated earn the sunrise."

      I haven't look at myfitnesspal (I use my own spreadsheet to track calories), but most sites/programs that compute calories for exercise you shouldn't trust. If they're accurate at all, they still probably use total calories burned, whereas you want to record net calories burned (calories burned - basal metabolic rate, the calories you would have burned anyway sitting on your ass).


      Fortunately for most of us it's pretty simple; all we have to do is credit calories per mile run. To determine that, see 

      How Many Calories Are You Really Burning?

        Interesting article.


        I wonder how my slow jogging compares in the grand scheme of things on calories burned.  If running burns 137 net calories per mile based on my weight and walking burns 65 net calories per mile, I wonder what kind of calories I'm burning on my MAF runs plodding along at an 11:15 pace.  Somewhere in the middle of those two numbers or closer to the running number?

        Age: 49 Weight: 202 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

        Current PR's:  Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)

          Myfitnesspal does let you log exercise - its painful with lifting so I just enter the running - it goes in 0.5 MPH increments from what I've seen and it does show you burn more at a faster pace and as your weight drop you burn a little less at the same pace.  That all makes sense and goes along with what I know about calorie burning.  Whether its exact or not I don't know but seems to be close enough.  I agree some people will burn more than others just sitting - I know I do.


          Yes ice cream is a particular weakness along with Little Debbies.  I'm trying to save $ so I switched a lot of Little Debbies to Walmart brand.  It tastes OK but not quite as good so they haven't disappeared so fast.  I've only hit the pint of Ben&Jerry's once since this diet but I'll still pile up a bowl of 3 or 4 scoops every week or two...just not every night along with other snacks!


          npaden - the slower paced run is probably close to the middle of the 137 and 65.


          kmays - wow, I've never finished a day in the negatives!  The closest I've gotten was a day of a 10-miler when I slept in and skipped breakfast.  I was under 1,000.

          Doc, my tooth hurts

            I have been using myfitnesspal for the last year. I dropped about 20lbs and use it to maintain weight at this point. It is really depressing when you drink a really good beer and it's like 400 calories. Usually only have those on longer run days though.Big grin

              Myfitnesspal does let you log exercise - its painful with lifting so I just enter the running - it goes in 0.5 MPH increments from what I've seen and it does show you burn more at a faster pace and as your weight drop you burn a little less at the same pace. 


              That makes it more complicated than it needs to be. What, you choose pace and how long you ran? That's recording (the wrong) two variables, when one will do. Just count calories per mile burned. It's almost independent of pace.

                True - I think it only varies by a few calories for each 30 seconds/mile.  Better for it to figure it out automatically than me doing it on paper.


                  Another myfitnesspal phone app success story here. While I havent used it for 4 months, I used it religiously for a year. Dropped from 185 to 137. Tracked food and cardio. It WORKS. Now I am conscious of what I eat and hover around 140. Dropped 5k from over 30 minutes to 20:59 2 weeks ago. I expect to get under 20 this summer. Original poster is right --- cutting out the snacks was the biggest difference for me.
                    Just chiming in with another myfitnesspal success story. I started using it in July last year, and started running in October. Between the two, I've lost a total of 38 kilos so far. I find the calorie estimates for running to be pretty accurate - if anything, I tend to lose weight a bit faster than it predicts. :-)

                      Well calorie counting works in some respect but there are a couple
                      of issues with that. Not all calories are the same - there is a
                      difference in terms of the body responding to either high- and low-
                      quality calories in terms of hormone release. Hormones play an important
                      part in weight and especially fat loss. High quality calories contain
                      plenty of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids...) and they
                      are less likely to be converted to body fat. The whole calorie in
                      calorie out rule isn't really true and far too simplistic.

                      I'm not getting hung up too much on calories anymore but focus on
                      the quality of food, remove sugar as much as possible, include good
                      fats and eat mainly protein and carbohydrates from vegetables.

                      Calorie counting creates an awareness but if you want to take it
                      further or get stuck with your weight loss I suggest to look
                      into this closer.

                        Good job, Kevin.


                        Last year I counted calories while ramping up for Boston and was able to shed about a dozen pounds, even through a 300+ mile month. No doubt the weight loss was a contributor to a couple PRs along the way.


                        In the last few months I've gotten in the habit of eating and drinking anything and everything I want, whenever I want. I hadn't checked the scale in months but started to get nervous when some of my pants started getting tight. Yesterday I faced up to the scale and it read 190.4 pounds. I'm just 5'10". 


                        Calorie counting started yesterday. I want to get in the 170s for my summer goal, Timberman 70.3 in two months.


                        I'm not giving up anything I like. Beer and deserts are ok.


                        I hope nobody has to quote me back in August pointing out my failure. Let's see how it goes.

                          The whole calorie in
                          calorie out rule isn't really true and far too simplistic.

                          Technically true, but not really relevant if you have a good calorie-counting methodology. The question is not whether all calories are exactly the same, but rather what is the effect of operating as if they were?


                          And the good news is, calories counting -- without any regard at all for where the calories come from -- works just fine, as long as you actually do it, and as long as you adjust your calorie budget based on feedback from actual weight data. The magic is all in the feedback. You have to (1) plot a moving average, rather than just looking at daily weight, and (2) over time, observe the trend of this average, in lbs lost per week. Almost  by definition, this plan is guaranteed to result in losing weight at whatever rate you are able to sustain in terms of calorie deficit. Of course, a given calorie deficit may be easier or harder to maintain depending on what kind of calories you are eating.


                          Getting lost in the details of physiological responses to different calorie sources (many of which are poorly understood, active areas of research) can make a perfectly tractable task intractable. I was stuck with this mindset for years, unable to do anything about my weight because I didn't understand all the variables. Then I read the Hacker's Diet, a light went off, I lost 50 pounds, kept it off, and now I run sub-3 marathons and hundred milers.

                            Sub 3 hundred milers...damn, you ARE fast!

                              I use the app too, I tend to get in a snacking habit and gradually increase portion sizes, so this helps me keep track.


                              My issue is balancing calories in vs calories out, I get that it's a basic formula, but in my efforts to reduce calories I find that I can't finish my runs.  Perhaps I'm imagining it, but it seems to catch up with me on day 3. 


                                Interesting - Anytime I have counted calories and tracked activity - It has been almost dead on.


                                I agree that  it is more complicated than that ~ But if I am generally eating healthy, avoiding booze and drinking a decent amount of h20, I do not need to make it more complicated than it needs to be.


                                There is a balance between enlightenment (Understanding every facet of what is happening) and simplicity = Something simple and easy to follow that provides results.  To me the more simple the more likely I will have success.


                                Currently I have lost @ 45 pounds since 1st of year with increasing my exercise and not counting calories.  Just limiting alchohol and trying to make choices based upon what is needed to fuel my running and not over fueling. 


                                Well calorie counting works in some respect but there are a couple
                                of issues with that.

                                7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M