If you want to lose weight, one of the most helpful things you can do is start tracking your calorie intake. 

This improves your awareness of how much you’re eating, where you can cut back, and how to budget your calories so as to eat your favorite foods while still losing weight. 

Many people take this a step further and start tracking their calorie expenditure (“burn”) using an activity tracker like a FitBit, Apple Watch, or Jawbone. 

If you’ve used one of these trackers, though, you’ve probably noticed that on some days you burn a lot more calories than others. A hike, bike ride, or jog can jack up your calorie expenditure by several hundred calories.

In this case, the person set a daily calorie budget of 2,000 calories, and they’d already eaten and tracked all of those calories. But they also went on a bike ride that burned 327 calories, which opens the question . . . should you “eat back” those ~300 calories? 

Even if you don’t use an activity tracker, you’ve probably wondered the same thing: if you burn more calories on a particular day, should you eat more to compensate?  

The short answer is that no, you probably shouldn’t eat back the calories burned during exercise. 

If you want to know why this is the case and learn a better way to manage your calorie intake that doesn’t depend on activity trackers or constantly balancing your daily calorie budget in this way, keep listening. 

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Time Stamps:

2:51 – The problem with eating back calories 

20:06 – Does that really work if your actual calorie expenditure changes a lot day to day? 

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