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TOPIC: Newbies Please READ ME (2nd edition)

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April 13, 2008 3:27 AM
Wow, look at all the new faces! Welcome all of you guys that have joined up in the last few days and weeks. I guess it really is true what they say about new diets starting in the spring (although we don't call it dieting, we call it a lifestyle change)

Anyway, don't get me wrong, I don't mean Newbie in the derrogatory sense, we are delighted that you have decided that MFP is a good place to start your journey (or continue it!). Over the past 6 or 8 months some of us have put out some great, informative posts that have helped many on MFP. I hope you will take a few minutes and read them, they can be very informative and may head off some questions you ask before you ask em.

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/3047-700-calories-a-day-and-not-losing

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/6556-the-answers-to-the-questions

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/9433-expectations

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/10589-for-those-confused-or-questioning-eating-your-exercise-calo

regards,
-Banks
April 13, 2008 5:51 AM
When you joined MFP you filled out a questionnaire about yourself (your date of birth, height and current weight and desired weight) your current health and daily physical activity INCLUDING exercise and then your desired weight loss goals.

If you included your planned exercise activity to meet your personal goals MFP calculates those into your daily diet plan. For example, when I signed up I indicated that I was 200 lbs and wanted to get down to 165 lbs and that I have an active life style (I move around a lot) and my work out (or planned work out) is 7 days a week for an hour at a time and I want to lose 2 lbs a week. MFP told me that if I do just what I indicated that I should eat 1510 calories a day and, based on my workout plan, burn 3,230 calories a week to achieve my 2.0lbs loss a week. MFP footnotes that if you work out more you get to eat more.

What MFP doesn’t appear to provide us is the calories earned difference in our actual workout vice the projected workout routine we entered when we signed up. For example, if I worked out 1.5 hours each day for the whole week, a half hour increase over my sign up projection, then that calculates out to 4850 calories I would burn for the week or a 1620 calories extra burned over the initial projection. What I would expect to see on my food log would only be about 230 calories added to the already exercise calculated figure of 1510 or 1740. That is not what appears on my calorie log.

What I see on my food log are the calories I received at sign up (based on my projected exercise) and the calories I supposedly earned from today’s exercise (that match my projection at sign up) again included as bonus calories or 2,087 even though I didn't exercise any differently than what I projected.

When I initially signed up I ate to the higher number and gained weight instead of losing it but after I analyzed the sign up procedure and read all the notes I decided to just eat the base calories given but not the higher number based on my daily activity because there was no change to what I had forecasted. Since that change I have consistently lost 1.9lbs a week close enough to my targeted number for me.

The point I’m trying to make here is that each of us, new and old members, should go back and re-enter your information, stopping short of creating a new account, to see what MFP projects for you today and compare those numbers to your existing daily diary. Once you have done that you need to then pay attention to your daily work out routines to determine when you go over your initial projections to ensure you’re not deficit eating.

I’m not faulting the site for all the good that it brings to each of us who are in need of a plan to get ourselves healthy. What I am saying is that there appears to be a calculation error between the exercise and food tabs inconsistent, as in my case, with what we signed up for. MFP can only do so much for us using various calculators to determine the general rules that guide us all but we all now need to be aware of how these projections affect us and our weight loss goals over time and adjust accordingly.
  23003
April 13, 2008 5:59 AM
Look at this, "Newbies Please README 2 - The Revenge"

It's never over for us newbies - I mean, especially for us newbies wink

Thank you Rheston and Banks! You're very supportive and helpful smile
April 13, 2008 6:02 AM
QUOTE:

When you joined MFP you filled out a questionnaire about yourself (your date of birth, height and current weight and desired weight) your current health and daily physical activity INCLUDING exercise and then your desired weight loss goals.

If you included your planned exercise activity to meet your personal goals MFP calculates those into your daily diet plan. For example, when I signed up I indicated that I was 200 lbs and wanted to get down to 165 lbs and that I have an active life style (I move around a lot) and my work out (or planned work out) is 7 days a week for an hour at a time and I want to lose 2 lbs a week. MFP told me that if I do just what I indicated that I should eat 1510 calories a day and, based on my workout plan, burn 3,230 calories a week to achieve my 2.0lbs loss a week. MFP footnotes that if you work out more you get to eat more.

What MFP doesn’t appear to provide us is the calories earned difference in our actual workout vice the projected workout routine we entered when we signed up. For example, if I worked out 1.5 hours each day for the whole week, a half hour increase over my sign up projection, then that calculates out to 4850 calories I would burn for the week or a 1620 calories extra burned over the initial projection. What I would expect to see on my food log would only be about 230 calories added to the already exercise calculated figure of 1510 or 1740. That is not what appears on my calorie log.

What I see on my food log are the calories I received at sign up (based on my projected exercise) and the calories I supposedly earned from today’s exercise (that match my projection at sign up) again included as bonus calories or 2,087 even though I didn't exercise any differently than what I projected.

When I initially signed up I ate to the higher number and gained weight instead of losing it but after I analyzed the sign up procedure and read all the notes I decided to just eat the base calories given but not the higher number based on my daily activity because there was no change to what I had forecasted. Since that change I have consistently lost 1.9lbs a week close enough to my targeted number for me.

The point I’m trying to make here is that each of us, new and old members, should go back and re-enter your information, stopping short of creating a new account, to see what MFP projects for you today and compare those numbers to your existing daily diary. Once you have done that you need to then pay attention to your daily work out routines to determine when you go over your initial projections to ensure you’re not deficit eating.

I’m not faulting the site for all the good that it brings to each of us who are in need of a plan to get ourselves healthy. What I am saying is that there appears to be a calculation error between the exercise and food tabs inconsistent, as in my case, with what we signed up for. MFP can only do so much for us using various calculators to determine the general rules that guide us all but we all now need to be aware of how these projections affect us and our weight loss goals over time and adjust accordingly.


True enough, I never put in that I exersiced at all when I joined because I knew my exersice times and days would change weekly. My calories were calculated based on a lightly active lifestyle and that is all, though I exersice 4-5 days a week. I then used my exersice calories as needed during the calorie crunch time.
April 13, 2008 8:28 AM
flowerforyou
April 13, 2008 8:35 AM
Rheston, let me just see if I understand. Are you concerned over the fact that when you check in and put in your current weight, that it doesn't change your daily calories to reflect it? If that is your concern, I agree with it. I just confirmed that by the way people. If you lose weight, it reflects it in your profile but doesn't update your calorie totals. You need to redo your goals if you lost weight for the new calorie numbers to show up in your food log. go give it a shot and see for yourself. Go to the check-in section, add a new lower weight, and then go back to your food log, it doesn't change the amount of calories you need. That is probably not a good thing and something people should be aware of. The only way it seems to work is if you go back to your goals section, and re-put in your new weight, then it will update your calories.
April 13, 2008 1:36 PM
bumptongue
April 13, 2008 1:38 PM
time to bump wink
April 13, 2008 3:48 PM
banks,

I've adjusted my goals a couple of times since I've joined the site and in return it has given me lower calorie intake numbers but never asked me if I've changed my exercise activity.

The point I was trying to make earlier is that if you enter an exercise level of activity when you first sign in to the site and stick to it you probably shouldn't pay attention to the plus up in calorie intake the site gives you because your calories you were given at your initial sign up were based on the exercise you said you would do.

On the other hand if you didn't enter an exercise activity when you joined the site then you should enter your exercise activity and pay attention to the extra calories you need to eat.

In my case, I entered my exercise activity, logged it in as well, received more calories to eat on top of the exercise calculated calories I received at my initial sign up and my program got off to a rough start.

If I didn't know better I would have quit the site believing, once again, a fad environment or I was a failure at even this simple thing. Instead I looked at the site and the way I registered and came up with the points I made earlier: If you calculate exercise into your initial sign-up the site isn't "smart enough" to know the difference between what was previously calculated against what you are actually doing. It's because of this point that I think many people are struggling with the two values provided by the site.
  23003
April 14, 2008 4:20 AM
OK I see, you're adding exercise into your activity level. You shouldn't. The activity level is for what you do during the day for normal activity, NOT including specfic cardio or weight training activity. There is a specific section for exercise that is different from activity level. It's important to note that when entering your exercise into your goals section all you are doing is giving the site a guideline so it can estimate what your recommended workout times/days should be, it doesn't add any exercise calories into your goal until you've actually performed and enter them; whereas daily activity is basically a measure of how active your metabolism is throughout the day. The reason for the distinction is because spiking the metabolism with exercise is temporary, where activity level is the constant level of calorie burn through the day.

for example, I sit at a desk all day, but I do about a mile a day of walking including walking up and down stairs (for my job). Then when I get home at night I take the dogs out for an hour of play time. This is all daily activity. so I set my activity level as lightly active, even though I do Very vigorous workouts for about 1 hour a day 6 days a week. My exercise routine isn't added into this part of it. That is separate. If you add your exercise into your daily activity AND add exercise to your exercise journal, you are effectively doubling the amount of calories you are saying you burn. which would account for why you were eating too much when you first started.

this one of the biggest reasons people don't have their calories right. If you're not sure, better to underestimate your activity level, or wear a heart rate monitor for a full day (without exercising that day) and use the custom setup to put your daily calorie burn in manually.
April 14, 2008 7:57 AM
BUMPPPPY doodle doo!
April 14, 2008 11:20 AM
any BUMP 'll do.
April 14, 2008 1:36 PM
Bump happy
April 14, 2008 1:49 PM
glasses
  5978
April 14, 2008 3:06 PM
bump...need to keep those links at the top of the post!!
  22896
April 14, 2008 6:45 PM
wink
April 14, 2008 6:50 PM
Oh thank God! deanea, I haddn't seen you bump me for like, a whole day. I was getting worried. tongue
April 14, 2008 8:31 PM
QUOTE:

Oh thank God! deanea, I haddn't seen you bump me for like, a whole day. I was getting worried. tongue



I've been doing some day shifts so not home as often now....I'll try to keep on top of things!.wink
April 15, 2008 2:54 AM
tongue
April 15, 2008 6:43 AM
bump
  36446
April 15, 2008 8:48 AM
bumpity do dah, bumpity-ay! Mah o mah, what a buppity day!
  51211
April 15, 2008 1:14 PM
wink
April 15, 2008 3:22 PM
bump!
  24284
April 15, 2008 7:12 PM
yawn
  51211
April 16, 2008 12:07 AM
tongue
  36446

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