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  1. #1
    Registered User clydeashelton's Avatar
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    How much does exercise increase maintenance calories?

    I am going by a tdee calculator which I can't link because low post count but it's probably the first option when you google search. It adds an extra 300-400 calories depending on your activity level which starts from: light to moderate to heavy to athlete. The 'light exercise' applies if you exercise 1-2 days per week and so adds an extra 300-400 calories for everyday of the week. How does maintenance increase by 300-400 for everyday of the week? shouldn't it be for only the days you did exercise? Please someone explain why the calculator does this and if it is realistic

    Thanks in advance
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  2. #2
    Conquer faithbrah's Avatar
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    it's not really realistic, just a rough estimate. that's why you're supposed to pick a calorie number, run it for two weeks while weighing yourself every morning and see what happens. that's how you nail down your actual maintenance

    i usually count gym sessions as 200 calories, but even if it was really 50 or 500 calories, it wouldn't matter because i'm still gaining weight at the rate i'm supposed to
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  3. #3
    weigh, not measure mtnmama's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by faithbrah View Post
    it's not really realistic, just a rough estimate. that's why you're supposed to pick a calorie number, run it for two weeks while weighing yourself every morning and see what happens. that's how you nail down your actual maintenance

    i usually count gym sessions as 200 calories, but even if it was really 50 or 500 calories, it wouldn't matter because i'm still gaining weight at the rate i'm supposed to
    this is basically it unless you are doing something extreme.....
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    ^^ I agree, but OP is specifically referencing the estimator which postulates a certain activity level. Yes, you need to get your own data, but to guess at a maintenance and dial that in for a few weeks is still an important first step before you acquire your own, more reliable data. Since that factors in "activity level," it's not an irrelevant question IMO.

    OP, since it can vary a lot, I'd err on the side of caution and mark it only one notch above sedentary, if you just do regular resistance training, and see where that lands you.
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  5. #5
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Start with sedentary that way you won’t be starting too high. Starting too high is a good way to waste 3 weeks figuring out you were too high. Lower NEAT than you think you have and underestimated calorie amounts will throw everything out of whack anyway and usually in the wrong direction. You can always add in more calories later.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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