Eli5 When counting calories and being at a deficit should I eat to replenish the calories that I’ve lost through working out?

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On the internet there’s a lot of misinformation about losing weight while maintaining muscle. I’ve tried to follow the most tried and true path but recently when I work out I’ve been sore for a longer period of time after working out. (Compared to when I used to not count calories) This being said explain to me why I should or shouldn’t eat the calories back that I have burned for the day. Example- if I eat 1800 calories on a normal day and I run and burn 600 calories should I eat 2400 calories or 1800 calories.

In: Biology

Depends your goal- are you trying to lose, maintain, or gain weight?

No matter what anyone tells you, you cannot lose weight and maintain all your muscle or gain muscle without gaining fat.

If you wish to lose fat then you need to burn calories. If you consume calories you burned while working out then you’re defeating the goal.

Out of the calories you do eat, you want the least bio available. Avoid simple sugars etc.

Rule of thumb: if you eat more than you burn, you gain weight. If you eat equal to what you burn, you maintain. If you eat less than what you burn, you lose weight.

If you’re counting calories, then you eat according to your goal. If you need 1800 a day just to live and burn an extra 600, as long as you eat less than 1800+600=2400 Calories, then you’ll lose weight.

Eating 1800 calories and not exercising will change your weight the same as 2400 calories eaten + 600 calories burned through exercise, as the exercise and extra food will cancel each other out.

Of course exercise has other health benefits, so it is better to do the exercise regardless.

The assumption than you’ll lose muscle from just a kcal deficit is incorrect. You’ll lose fat if there is fat to lose.

Muscle loss is tied more to disuse not kcal reductions.

I’m not a professional, but it seems to me if you are trying to lose weight but maintain muscle, the food you do eat needs to be high in the nutrients you needs. Fish is great for oils, fats, and proteins. Then veggies and fruit.