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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet


Hey guys. Sean Nalewanyj here at www.SeanNal.com
and in this video today I’m answering sort of a beginner question but it is one that
I get asked very often which is: Should you eat back the calories burned from exercise?
Now it’s actually kind of a confusing question to be honest because it really just stems
from a basic misunderstanding of how the fat-burning process works. Now this does apply to a muscle
growth as well but almost everybody who asks me this question usually has fat loss as their
main goal. If muscle growth is your goal then the same basic logic applies with the answer
that I’ll be giving but I will be addressing it from a fat loss perspective. But the thing
to understand here is that fat loss ultimately just comes down to managing your total net
energy balance in the big picture. Meaning that at the end of the day or the end of the
week, when you add up all the energy you consume so the calories that you eat an all the energy
that you expand so all the calories that you burned at rest and during exercise. You need
to be in a situation where you’re expending more energy than you’re taking in. if you
do that and the amount of your expending in comparison to what you’re taking in is large
enough then you’re going to lose fat. Now you can tip that balance in your favor in
two ways: you can eat less food to reduce your energy intake and you can exercise more
to increase your energy expenditure. In almost all cases you’re going to be doing some
combination of both. You’ll be tracking your food intake and eating a bit less food
than you normally do and you’ll be performing weight training and cardio session throughout
the week as well. And the combination of those two, so eating less and exercising more not
going to result in fat loss. Now some people, depending on their preference may go a little
further in either direction. Some people like myself, prefer to cut dietary calories a bit
further and do a bit less cardio. While others prefer to only reduce their food intake slightly
and then burn more calories through cardio. Either one is acceptable though, and it does
create the same basic bottom line result. But at the end of the day it’s really just
about creating a net calorie deficit by burning more than you consume in the overall picture.
So there’s really no question of, “Should I eat back my calories burned from exercise?”,
you simply have a certain daily calorie intake that you shoot for and you have a certain
amount of exercise that you perform throughout the week. And the combination of those two
creates an overall calorie deficit for fat loss. Again, it’s really just about managing
your calorie intake versus your total calorie burned in the big pictures. So the question
of eating back exercise calories it really doesn’t come into play. Just fine the right
balance for yourself between eating fewer calories and performing additional exercise
until you’re landing somewhere in that one to two pound per week fat loss range. And
there’s really nothing more to it than that. Yes you can create a larger deficit and lose
fat faster than that but for most people usually around one to two pounds per week is typically
a good range for maximizing short and long term adherence, maintain your training performance
and keeping your hunger, your energy levels, your mood, your libido and other factors in
check. And again if you’re asking this question and your main goal is to gain muscle than
the basic logic of everything that I’ve said here still applies, except that you need
to do the opposite and consume more calories than you burn. And on top of that your total
weight change should be closer to around half a pound per week gain rather than the one
to two pound per week loss that I previously outlined. So I hope that answer the question.
Again, it really basic but one that I do get asked a lot. If you want to grab a fully structured
step-by-step plan that shows you how to combine proper nutrition with an effective training
plan to maximize fat loss or muscle growth, then you can grab my Body Transformation Blueprint
by clicking here or by visiting www.BodyTransformationTruth.com using the link in the description. You can
follow me on social media. Again the links are below. The official website is www.SeanNal.com
and feel free to like, comment and subscribe if you did find the advice helpful. Thanks
for watching guys and I’ll talk to you again soon.

33 thoughts on ““Should I Eat Back My Exercise Calories?”

  1. finally someone who answered this question. I was wondering however…I am currently doing p90x3 (I'm on day 80 and hope to do another two full rounds of p90x3 back to back) and according to my nutrition guide I am supposed to eat 2700 calories ( 40% carb, 30% protein and 30% fat ). I'm 184 but when I started I was 196. I definitely do not burn 2700 calories during a workout although as you know p90x is very intensive and often incorporates a high amount of cardio paired with synergistic resistance exercise. I also use a food scale and my fitness pal to track everything that goes into my mouth. my goal to drop 5 percent more body fat (to 7%) and build as much lean muscle possible. do you think 2700 calories per day is too much or too little. Mind you my main primary goal is to cut fat.

  2. Common knowledge and very good advice Sean.thank you for this. I have dropped my cardio to 2-3 fasted mornings a week rather than 4 but I've upped my training sessions.

  3. A non calorie related question, I've noticed when I'm doing overhand bicep curls I will sometimes feel a sort of shock shoot from my wrist up to my forearm. It doesn't hurt, it just feels like a 9 volt battery type of shock. Sometimes it happens every set or only once per arm workout. Any info would be much appreciated.

  4. People say that calorie calculators (like Harris Benedict) are inaccurate…but how inaccurate are they? Are they so inaccurate that they become completely useless or do they retain usefulness even if they are somewhat wrong?

  5. Whilst I would agree with everything you said, there are occasions where I may burn an extra 2000-3000 calories in a day, due to a long duration activity and on such occasions I would tend to increase my calories for that day, rather than have such a large deficit for the day, which I would think is more likely to hit muscle mass to a larger extent. This would not apply to most people, because very few are likely to burn that many extra calories in a day, but for people who do all day hill hikes or ultramarathons or any other reasonable exertion activity that lasts most of the day, when they would normally only be burning extra calories for an hour or so per day, extra calories may even be essential for you to complete the activity.

  6. Awesome video Sean! This question isn't really about this particular topic but I've noticed that whenever i play any sports (I'm 24), I get tired very easily. I believe it's because I rarely do any cardio since I lose weight so easily. How can I incorporate cardio for endurance and stamina and still be able to gain mass at the same time? Thanks in advance!

  7. Sean,
    does that mean during your cut, when u refeed for the week, u should lower your calories on other days to compensate for the weekly calorie deficit because of the refeed?

  8. Hey Sean..I have a friend that has a question….she eats an average of 1200-1250 calories per day…She also work out once or sometimes twice a day. She aim to burn at least 800 calories a day doing cardio (She said she knows these machines can overestimate calories burned sometimes so does she take this into consideration). Should she eat more than 1200-1250 calories per day if she's  burning off lots of calories?? Her goal is fat loss. Thanks.

  9. is it OK to eat different amounts of calories each day, example…one needs to eat 2000 cals every day to lose a pound a week or they can eat 1500 a day to lose two pounds a week, would it be OK to eat between 1500 and 2000 cals through out the week to lose weight, or should the cals be around the same every day???

  10. My biggest question is, If i exercise for a whole hour and burn 300 calories, And come home and eat a 500 calorie meal, Even on 1500 calories a day, Will this make me gain weight?

  11. What if I am trying to both lose fat AND gain muscle. I'm a female and although I don't want to get huge, I want to look cut and improve my strength.

  12. If I want to bulk and compensate the calories , which macronutrients I should compensate with? Is it a problem if I compensate with fats? Healthy fats like avocados and nuts?

  13. i have a weird question, is lifting weights a part of this 500 calorie defecit ? another question what if i played a soccer should i add back the calories if i am already eating 500 less?

  14. I'm trying to bulk and limit as much of the fat gain as possible. My question is: is there any use in cardio if I'm going to eat back all the calories burned from exercise, so I'm in a surplus?

  15. I have a question. I have to lose fat. I walk fast for 1 an a half hour, cycling for half an hour and then workout for another half an hour a day. I weight 58 and I'am 4'll. What's the best time to work out. What I do is walk and cycle in the morning empty stomach then I eat lunch and then after an hour I do the workout for half an hour is this okayy??

  16. you didnt answer the question. at all.
    everybody knows that calorie deficit is the only chance to lose weight. the thing is. will it help build muscle, if i eat back all my calories right after exercise???

  17. I'm female and used to be huge and I started losing weight by just bringing my calories down with almost no exercise, and got down to 13.7 stone quite quickly. But since about three months ago it's not working any more, even if I lower the calorie intake and exercise. I went down as low as 1300 calories for a whole 2 weeks (all healthy stuff, low fat and hardly any sugar) and I didn't lose any weight. Then I consumed 1300 AND exercised for 30 mins to an hour every day (mostly jogging) but still haven't lost weight and it's been another 3 weeks. So I'm going down to 1200 and exercising even more to see if that works. I want to just be 9 or 10 stone by next year, not too thin. But I'm stuck at 13.7 and sometimes it goes even higher! Nothing is working.

  18. So i burned like 700 calories today and i have 1000 calories left and its 7pm and i dont know if im overeating

  19. Hi Sean, I am an endurance athlete and I use a heart rate monitor + power meter to accurately track my energy expenditure and calories burned. I currently aim for a 750 calorie daily deficit but any calories burned through exercise, I will eat back about 1/2 of those. I may burn 1,000 – 1,500 calories a day in exercise alone. Does this seem like an okay plan?

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