When you create your profile, we ask you for your age, height, weight, gender, and normal daily activity level. We use these factors to determine the calories required to maintain your current weight. We also ask how much weight you would like to lose or gain per week, and with this goal in mind we subtract calories (for weight loss) or add calories (for weight gain) to determine your daily calorie goal.
For more information on how we calculate your initial goals, please see this article.
Because your daily calorie goal already accounts for your intent to gain or lose weight at a particular rate, you can achieve your goal by eating the specified number of calories per day, with no additional exercise required. If you do exercise, then your daily calorie goal will increase for the day, to stabilize your weight loss or weight gain at the rate you initially specified.
The calories added to your daily goal are divided among the various nutrients such as fat, carbs, and protein, which is why these increase when you log calories from exercise.
When you upgrade to MyFitnessPal Premium… (Web, iOS and Android)
If you are an advanced user or have specific dietary needs, you may wish to exert more control over your nutritional goals. Users who subscribe to MyFitnessPal Premium can modify the effects of logging cardio exercise. This can be helpful, for example, to those who must not consume more than a certain amount of carbs per day, or who may wish to distribute their exercise calories across fat, carbs and protein for specific dietary or performance goals. With a Premium subscription:
- In Android and iOS, visit the "Goals" Screen and tap "Exercise Calories"
- On the Web, click "My Home" then "Goals" then click "Edit" in the "Fitness" area
Then, turn exercise calories to "Off" if you want your nutritional goals to remain static when you add cardio exercise.
Or leave, exercise calorie "on," but select "Custom percentage" and modify the ratio of carbs, protein and fat added back to your goals when you work out!