Help understanding MyFitnessPal calorie goal and exercise

posted 3 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
Member
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would probably pick the option just above sedentary (since few people are truly sedentary) then still add in your workouts to eat back those calories.

You have a healthy BMI so maybe if you focus your workouts on building lean muscle you can change how your weight is distributed?  I would lift heavy weights 2x a week, run 2x a week, and have a day for cross training or intervals.

Also, what kind of calories are you eating?  Are you hitting your protein goals?  I’d try swapping out white bread/rice/potatoes for whole wheat varieties and making sure every meal and every snack has some protein.  Limit processed foods, soft drinks, and other ‘junk’ food.

Oh, and drink LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER!

Post # 4
Member
8909 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

I think you’re right.  I think the sedentary vs. active thing refers to your daily habits APART from exercise explicitly for the sake of exercise.  Like, my job has me sitting at my desk half the year, and even though I run 3-5 miles a day most days, I still use “sedentary” cause that describes the rest of my day.  (And I log my running miles/calories.)  Then, when I’m doing field work for my job, I’m out hiking and 4-wheeling and climbing bluffs all day – so I’d call that active, rather than trying to calculate all the calories burned by my everyday activities.

Not sure on calories – 1200 seems pretty low for someone your height…

Post # 6
Member
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Minnow:  Awesome!  Then maybe it’s just a plateau, and changing up your routine will do the trick 🙂  

Post # 8
Member
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

You shouldn’t pick sedentary just beause you sit at a desk. Yes you’re burning less calories throughout the day than those that work on their feet, but your overall caloric burn also depends on how often you exercise. If you work out 2-3 times per week, you aren’t sedentary. That is only a portion of your life. It’s giving you a caloric intake based on the workouts you put in, and assuming without them, that you are sitting on your duff 24/7

Post # 10
Member
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@Minnow:  If it helps, rather than use what MFP clocked me at I used this:

Total Daily Energy Expenditure(TDEE) – 20% = your calories

I always went to a few websites, calculated my TDEE – 20% and then found the calorie allotment that was in the middle. Because one wbesite would say I needed 1600 then next would say 2000 and then one said 1800, so I did the 1800.

If and when you calculate it, I would say you are very active. Even me, as someone who has a desk job, shouldn’t be putting sedentary. That is if you really don’t move at all.

Always make sure you eat your calroies. All of them. Not your exercise ones, but if your net calroies is 1200 and you know you are suppose to eat 1500, you need to eat those 300 calories.

Good luck! Before I found out I was pregnant I was at 1600 calories (up from 1400 earlier) and had lost 28 pounds. Still staying on MFP to keep my weight steady during pregnancy. If you need a friend, I am Megz2006.

http://iifym.com/tdee-calculator/

http://www.fitnessfrog.com/calculators/tdee-calculator.html

Post # 12
Member
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Minnow:  Well you do eat more calories based on your activity level, but typicall MFP adjusts that for you. When you enter in your exercise does it not give you more calories?

Post # 13
Member
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@Minnow:  I just went to a couple TDEE calculators (because they all give you different numbers to eat at) and took the one that was middle of the row, so not the highest or the lowest.

I upped my calories to 1600 from 1400 because I hit a plataeu for a few weeks and wasn’t losing anything. Just by upping I started to lose weight again.

It is up to you whether or not to eat back your exercise calories. I say no, but again, it is up to you. I say no just because as long as you calculated your TDEE correctly, you shouldn’t need to eat them back.

So as long as you eat all 1700 calories a day, you should be good to go! (remember, when you log your exercise into MFP you will look at your NET because that will tell you how many calories you have eaten. Becuase it can get confusing, I just ended up logging my exercise elsewhere like Fitocracy so I always knew I was eating my daily calories.)

Post # 15
Member
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Minnow:  MFP SHOULD be calculating the calorie deficit that you need for you, based on what you stated is your typical activity (which now that I think about it sedentary is probably correct), and what you enter for exercise. Then if it gives you extra calories because you worked out then you also should log that you ate those calories. You do not HAVE to eat up every calorie it allows you like I saw that a PP said. You don’t want to under eat by a lot or on a regular basis because your body will go into starvation mode, but you odn’t need to sit around eating just so you make your MFP calorie goal.

 

Bottom line is this, if you have entered your lifestyle, goal, weight/height etc correctly, and you are correctly logging your food and exercise, then you shoud be able to count on MFP to tell you what to do and how much you are allowed to eat to lose that .5 lb per week. 

 

Just remember though that everyone’s body is different – what MFP says you can do based on a certain caloric intake and output, does not mean you will REACh that because it does not take into acocunt your body’s actual metabolism, how it processes various foods, how it looses weight, etc.. It may say you can lose .5 per week by doing “this thing, this thing, and this, based on this certain calculation”. But that doesn’t mean you WILL depending on your body.

 

But you can go by what it says as your best guess of what you should be doing.

ETA: No just beacuse you burn 600 calories does not mean you should or can eat those 600 calories back, it all depends on the caloric deficit that it has set u for you. It’s much more of a science than 1:1. I would go with what it says to do. The other thing, is if you are given 1600 per day, and you actually eat, 1600 per day, the day you eat 2000+ becaus eyou get a burger and a beer with friends, puts you way over for the week. So it’s ok to have a bit of a deficit, like I said you don’t have to eat up every single calorie it allots you in one day.

Post # 16
Member
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@Minnow: Yeah, this definitely does get confusing. I hated trying to figure this crap out when I first started, lol. MFP wants you to eat back your exercise calories because it already calculates a deficit for you. When you initially set up your profile, it asked you how long and how many times a week you planned to exercise. If you did all that (3x a week at 60 minutes) then yes, you will want to eat your exercise calories. At least this is the way I understand it.

For me, I set all my goals to zero, and I eat my 1600 calories a day. If I exercise I either don’t log it or I keep track of it elsewhere. If I am still hungry, I will eat them, but I try not to.

 

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