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TOPIC: Calories in vs. calories out

 
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January 7, 2011 6:38 AM
I'm really confused about the whole calories in vs. calories out thing

When I use to eat bad, I was probably eating about 2500 calories a day (and that calorie intake would maintain my current weight).
Fitness pal says I need to eat 1240 calories to maintain my goal weight.
So yesterday I had 1100 calories.

To loose one pound you need to burn 3500 calories. To loose weight you have to take the calories in vs. the calories out.
So does that mean I lost 1260 calories (2500-1240) or does that mean i only lost 140 calories??

Any advice?
January 7, 2011 6:49 AM
For me, I had a BOD Pod analysis done and it showed that my body is capable of burning 1265 calories per day just living (not walking or doing much of anything). This means that I can eat 1265 to maintain my goal weight.

I was eating probably around 2000-2500 calories per day and my weight supported that and I maintained. Now that I cut my calories down to 1265 I am losing weight. .... that's as much as I know....which is really much. lol

I have heard that you should not eat less than 1200 calories because your body will go into starvation mode which will make it so that your body will hold onto everything you put in, instead of using it as energy.
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January 7, 2011 6:51 AM
i dont understand the whole thing either? Im suppose to eat 1200 cals a day but twhen u excercize and say burn 500 cals then ur intake for the day should be 1700 cals as long as u stay at or under ur goal for the day then you should lose weight. UU r suppose to eat your calories that uve burned so they say, but like i said im confused too?
January 7, 2011 6:53 AM
1240 to maintain your current weight? That seems terrifically low.

Are you sure you don't mean 1240 to lose weight? Where is MFP giving you that number?
January 7, 2011 6:53 AM
Go to the "Tools" tab and calculate your Base Metabolic Rate. This is about how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. If you want to lose 1 lb., you need to eat 3500 calories fewer than that. Don't confuse the BMR with the number of net calories you need to achieve your weight goal. If you set a weight goal then you should be able to eat up to the amount of net calories you have budgeted for yourself and still lose weight.

Don't forget, we're talking about net calories. To make this work you're going to have to put out calories too. Eating less will shut down your metabolism, in my experience, and you will be hungry and not lose weight.

Be sure to record all your foods. I doubt that when you were eating bad you were actually eating 2500 calories a day. I'm sure that doesn't account for everything. I'm eating about that many calories now and I'm seriously watching what I eat.
January 7, 2011 6:54 AM
QUOTE:

For me, I had a BOD Pod analysis done and it showed that my body is capable of burning 1265 calories per day just living (not walking or doing much of anything). This means that I can eat 1265 to maintain my goal weight.

I was eating probably around 2000-2500 calories per day and my weight supported that and I maintained. Now that I cut my calories down to 1265 I am losing weight. .... that's as much as I know....which is really much. lol

I have heard that you should not eat less than 1200 calories because your body will go into starvation mode which will make it so that your body will hold onto everything you put in, instead of using it as energy.


1265 is your BMR, not your maintenance calories by "just living", the bod pod means just that...no activity whatsoever...as in bedridden. To get your maintenance calories, you need to add your daily activity (not exercise, but activity...as in showering, walking around your house from place to place, etc) to your BMR.
January 7, 2011 6:54 AM
read this
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/10589-for-those-confused-or-questioning-eating-your-exercise-calo
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January 7, 2011 7:03 AM
Are you still trying to lose weight? You say that you are maintaining, but it sounds like your calorie count recommended by MFP is a weight loss amount, it's a little low for maintenance unless you are very small. I think that you mean that MFP is setting your calorie goal of 1240 a day to lose some amount of weight (dependant on what your current weight is)...

As for your question on calories in versus calories out (I'm not sure what you mean by that honestly, your terminology is a little confusing)...Your body burns a certain number of calories just through normal activity (not exercise) from day to day. That's why MFP asks for your level of activity; they are using that to determine (based on other factors as well), your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is the number of calories that you should be consuming to support normal daily function.

If you are trying to lose weight, you want to create a calorie deficit, or eat less than your body needs to force it into a situation where it has to burn energy (in the form of calories) your already have stored up in order to function properly.

For example: If your BMR is 1750 (what you need to function normally) and you eat 1250 calories a day (this is where your deficit is generated), you are creating a daily deficit of 500 calories. (1750 - 1250 = 500)

Over a week, your deficit would add up to 3500 calories or 1 pound of weight loss (your body had to burn 3500 calories of stored up energy, resulting in loss of weight). (500 X 7 = 3500 calories OR the equivalent of 1 pound)

You need to be careful that you don't eat too few calories (you will put your body into starvation mode). Just as an FYI, most nutritionists will tell you that you should be consuming no less than 1000 calories a day or else you are putting your body in a state of starvation (which is obviously very bad).
January 7, 2011 7:05 AM
While you were probably eating 2500 some days before, you probably ate less on some days too. So you probably averaged somewhere closer to 2000-2200. And even if you were a bit higher, if you're like me, yes I "maintained" over a short term (a month), I was gaining long term (5-10 lbs per year). So I was over whatever my maintenance calorie level is, not by much overall, but probably some days at 2500 or even 3000 and some days probably at 1500 or even 1000.

MFP calculates your cals for loss based on a small deficit for each day - that adds up to 3500 per week if you set your goal loss at 1 lb per week. So hypothetically, if MFP says your goal cals is 1250, your maintenance cals would be around 1750. As long you put in your info accurately to start with, if you stay at or near that 1250, you will OVER TIME lose 1 lb/per week.
Edited by ladyhawk00 On January 7, 2011 7:20 AM
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January 7, 2011 7:06 AM
QUOTE:

I'm really confused about the whole calories in vs. calories out thing

When I use to eat bad, I was probably eating about 2500 calories a day (and that calorie intake would maintain my current weight).
Fitness pal says I need to eat 1240 calories to maintain my goal weight.
So yesterday I had 1100 calories.

To loose one pound you need to burn 3500 calories. To loose weight you have to take the calories in vs. the calories out.
So does that mean I lost 1260 calories (2500-1240) or does that mean i only lost 140 calories??

Any advice?


What does maintaining your goal weight have to do with anything? Every day MFP will give you a calorie goal based on your current bodyweight, activity level, and goals. Eat it. If you excercise, you have to eat more to maintain the correct calorie deficit, so eat the calories added after you exercise.

Done and done.
January 7, 2011 7:09 AM
QUOTE:

For me, I had a BOD Pod analysis done and it showed that my body is capable of burning 1265 calories per day just living (not walking or doing much of anything). This means that I can eat 1265 to maintain my goal weight.

I was eating probably around 2000-2500 calories per day and my weight supported that and I maintained. Now that I cut my calories down to 1265 I am losing weight. .... that's as much as I know....which is really much. lol

I have heard that you should not eat less than 1200 calories because your body will go into starvation mode which will make it so that your body will hold onto everything you put in, instead of using it as energy.


That's not what it means. 1265 is you BMR, which is what your body uses just to survive. It has nothing to do with your goal weight, and if you just eat your BMR your won't maintain a healthy weight.

You have to add the calories you use moving around, doing what you do during the day. If you don't, then you aren't giving your body enough calories to survive and it will start consuming lean mass, starting with muscle.
January 7, 2011 7:11 AM
QUOTE:

i dont understand the whole thing either? Im suppose to eat 1200 cals a day but twhen u excercize and say burn 500 cals then ur intake for the day should be 1700 cals as long as u stay at or under ur goal for the day then you should lose weight. UU r suppose to eat your calories that uve burned so they say, but like i said im confused too?


The proper deficit for your goals is already subtracted to give you your daily calorie goal. If you exercise, your are burning extra calories which means you are increasing your deficit, which isn't always a very good thing. You need to eat all the calories you burned exercising in order to maintain the correct deficit for your goals.
January 7, 2011 7:13 AM
QUOTE:

Go to the "Tools" tab and calculate your Base Metabolic Rate. This is about how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. If you want to lose 1 lb., you need to eat 3500 calories fewer than that. Don't confuse the BMR with the number of net calories you need to achieve your weight goal. If you set a weight goal then you should be able to eat up to the amount of net calories you have budgeted for yourself and still lose weight.

Don't forget, we're talking about net calories. To make this work you're going to have to put out calories too. Eating less will shut down your metabolism, in my experience, and you will be hungry and not lose weight.

Be sure to record all your foods. I doubt that when you were eating bad you were actually eating 2500 calories a day. I'm sure that doesn't account for everything. I'm eating about that many calories now and I'm seriously watching what I eat.


BMR IS NOT MAINTENANCE CALORIES, it's what your body uses just to SURVIVE.

Why are you guys answering questions if you have no clue what your talking about, you can really hurt people with this crappy advice!
January 7, 2011 7:31 AM
"Don't confuse BMR with the number of net calories you need to achieve your weight goal". You are taking one sentence out of context and assuming I meant she should just eat the amount of calories to equal her BMR, when in fact my comments show I am saying the opposite.

When you assume....
January 7, 2011 7:37 AM
I feel your pain, Tate.

BMR = what your body needs to survive if you do NOTHING (ie: comatose)
TDEE = what you burn doing your normal daily activities (they all burn calories above your BMR)
Maintainence = What you eat to maintain your weight
1 pound of fat gain/loss = 3500 calories
Deficit set by MFP = 500 calories per day for 1 pound a week loss, 750 for 1.5 and 250 for 1/2 pound (500 x 7 = 3500)
Exercise calories = what you burn doing intentional exercise and should at least be partially eaten (elliptical, running, zumba class) in order to maintain the deficit and give your body adequate nutrition
1200 - a calorie amount set by the WHO as the minimum required calories for a woman to avoid starvation-varies depending on your activities and size and gender


Ps: Read the stickies people. Every question you ever wondered about is answered in beautiful detail! flowerforyou
January 7, 2011 12:12 PM
Thanks everyone for all your feedback and comments. I wasn't aware of the BMR factor and so having factored that in, I now know how to calculate my caloric intake and output. Just to clarify, yesterday was a rare occassion to each such low calories - I have been under the weather and so that contributed to my lack of appetite.

Thanks again everyone!
Amanda
January 12, 2011 5:19 AM


That's not what it means. 1265 is you BMR, which is what your body uses just to survive. It has nothing to do with your goal weight, and if you just eat your BMR your won't maintain a healthy weight.

You have to add the calories you use moving around, doing what you do during the day. If you don't, then you aren't giving your body enough calories to survive and it will start consuming lean mass, starting with muscle.


Sorry I should have written that better, I meant that is what my body requires to live and by live I mean simply just breathing and laying there.
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