This is a question I get more often than I would like to admit: “I burned 500 calories during my workout, I get to eat those since I burned them, right?”
1- how do you even know you’re burning that many calories in a workout?
2- keep reading
Let’s first discuss TDEE and BMR (referenced here as well, so if you have already read my cardio blog- skip ahead)
Your BMR is your basal metabolic rate AKA what you burn without moving.
Your TDEE is your total daily energy expenditure AKA your BMR + moving (in a day)
You burn calories 24/7/365. You don’t just burn calories in the gym.
If you want to lose fat, you need to eat in between your BMR and TDEE. For simplicity, let’s say your BMR is 1500 and TDEE is 2000. AKA your body (height, weight, body fat %) burns an extra 500 calories from all the moving you do (in and out of the gym) in a day. In order to lose weight, you need to be in a deficit.
SIDE NOTE- I am not sure who wrote your meal plan (if anyone) if you are reading this. If you need a custom meal plan to configure all of these numbers for you- checkout
In order to be in a deficit- you need to be eating less calories than you burn (and still be above your BMR to prevent your body from going into starvation mode).
So if you are burning a total of 2000 a day and your meal plan calls for a 1600 calorie diet- you SHOULD NOT be “eating back” the calories you burn in a workout because the 1600 calorie diet already factors in the calories you are burning during your workout. If you eat them back- you will basically be at a maintenance level style of dieting (aka no weight loss and no fat gain).
At the end of the day- you need to be in a deficit to lose, eat what you burn to maintain, and eat more than you burn to bulk.