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March 24, 2012 11:12 PM
This is the best I can do!

I'll hand you the tools for a successful and sustainable diet that you can use and manipulate to achieve your goals.
If you are looking to lose weight, you just eat the calories given by doing the simple math and following the directions on the page.
If you are looking to maintain weight, you add 20% to the number given and youll know approximately what your TDEE is.
The link is at the bottom of this grand post!

I've said it several times here on this forum and i'll say it again and again:

True dieting needs the knowledge of 3 very important numbers.

1) TDEE or Total Daily Energy Expenditure.
This is the amount of calories you burn all day.
From before you wake up in the morning and pee to the time you lay your head down at night to sleep and into the night.
One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing a post on the forum or on someones Diary "Ugh! I feel sooo guilty because I went over calories today!" when the person went over a few cals over a 40% cut from TDEE.

Knowing TDEE allows you to understand that anything above TDEE is a surplus and you will "eventually" gain weight.
Anything at TDEE you maintain weight.
Anything below TDEE you lose weight to an extent. (see BMR)

2) BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate or RMR Resting Metabolic Rate.
If you were in a coma and in the hospital, the doctors would feed you your BMR in calories.
This ensures you have enough nutrients for vital organs to function.
http://www.brighthubeducation.com/science-homework-help/107443-ten-essential-organs-in-the-human-body/
This is just a small list of vital organs in the human body.
Eating at BMR and staying in bed should maintain things as long as you do nothing at all.
Most people who start using MFP dont really understand the importance of this BMR number.
They jump in with both feet thinking "I'm going to lose soooooo much weight and be fantastic!"
What they dont understand is by not eating back calories from working out, they are netting below BMR.
The only people who should be eating below BMR are folks who have had Gastric Bypass, 500-700 cals/day, or people who are morbidly obese and only for an extremely short time and only prescribed by their "Nutritionist".

Most people who eat at or below BMR will lose weight for a short time.
20-50% of most weight lost on a Very Low Calorie Diet is from Lean Mass.
This is the opposite of true dieting.
Most people who diet want to have better looking bodies and live a healthy life.
They want to reduce fat mass and raise lean mass.
Eating at BMR or lower actually maintains fat mass while dropping lean mass.

If the body does not get enough energy from calories in, it will seek ways to slow itself down.
Leptin levels drop, cortisol levels rise.
Anabolism stops and catabolism begins.
The body switches gears hormonally and tries to maintain fat, a non active tissue that stores energy, by burning lean mass, an active tissue that uses calories.
So in essence fat mass starts to stay the same while lean mass drops.
You can see how this can extend your dietary lifestyle right?

Eating at or below BMR with intentions to eat back calories from working out is a convoluted way of thinking.
We should be eating the proper amount of nutrients first, then creating a deficit with our workouts!
That way if you miss a workout, you still have the proper nutrients in your system.
Youll actually have more energy eating right and sleeping right than if you jumped into a VLCD.
This has been proven!

3) Body Fat%
So many people dont really know what their body fat% is.
I'm shocked every time I ask a member and they dont have a clue!
Some people dont even know what a safe BF% should be!

Athletes (6-13% for men, 16-20% for women)
Fitness (14-17% for men, 21-24% for women)
Acceptable (18-25% for men, 25-31% for women)
Obese (25%+ for men, 32%+ for women)

A good way to diet correctly is to set a body fat% goal as opposed to a weight goal.
The human body fluctuates up to 5lbs on average daily!
That would drive any person crazy who likes jumping on the scale every 30 mins!
Measuring body fat is a more sane approach to the diet.
Expecting a 2-5% change in a month is certainly acceptable in the lower ranges.
In the higher ranges it really depends on your BF%, macronutrients and workout routine.
An interesting paper written by Martin Berkhan, creator of www.LeanGains.com talks about the amount of fat the human body can burn in a day. After reading it I started working out 3 times a week and had better results than working out 5 days a week.
https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=160054937436250

Understanding body fat and how you lose it will certainly keep you from hopping on the scale every day and probably have you running up to GNC for a handy set of calipers $20.

So now that I have given you the 3 most important numbers to always know while dieting, i'll give you a good source to figure all this information out on your own.
This was the first source I used to help myself and countless others to lose weight.
Once you have this link you can keep using it as you drop weight and body fat to recalculate your numbers.
Remember that as lean mass rises and fat mass drops, youll have different nutritional needs!

To truly benefit from a FAT BURNING program you will need to have some type of resistance training.
If you are not lifting weights or doing body weight workouts, you will have a very hard time maintaining lean mass while in a caloric deficit.
I always suggest for gym goers, the Stronglifts 5x5 or Starting Strength programs.
Both teach basic compound moves and can help catapult your strength.
I'm sure you can find many other lifting programs but do keep in mind, if you lift Minnie Mouse dumbbells youll have Minnie Mouse muscles. =D

Cardio is great for accelerated fat loss but if you are overweight or obese I would only recommend a brisk walk.
Every pound of fat on your stomach is 8 on the knees and 10 on the upper back.
Once you get down to an acceptable BF level then run to your hearts content.

So here is the link.
Use it in good health!

visit http://www.fat2fitradio.com/tools/
Do the Military Body Fat Calc first, then the BMR tool.
The Military BF calc is accurate up to about 2%.
The BMR tool will give EXACT calories to eat on a daily basis.
This number is static and I only recommend eating back so your NET is at least 200 above BMR.
Add 20% to suggested calories to know your TDEE.
Use the Katch McGardle BMR number to know your BMR.
Never eat at or below BMR.
For Fat loss plans set up macros at 30% Protein/Fat.
This % is only because MFP wont allow single %.

For more fine tuned macronutrients.....
1g Protein per lean body mass or total goal weight.
.35-.60g Fat per LBM or total goal weight.

Most of the time these numbers are close to 30% of total daily cals.

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask.
If I missed something important please let me know.

Hugs!
=D

"Great bodies are built in the kitchen and while we sleep! Everything else is secondary."
  7369177
March 25, 2012 12:03 AM
thank you Helloitsdan!

here the confusing part for me...

tried the recommended calculations and it gives me:
BMR = 1455 (Harris-Benedict) 1313 (Katch-McArdle)
TDEE = 1746 (sedentary-light)

to lose weight, 1746 (TDEE) - 500 (1lbs/week) = 1246

should I net 1246 or my BMR??? Or is my TDEE wrong by this method? (some "calculators" give me higher numbers)

I'm a petite 5'2". Yes, I have a desk job but exercise 5-6x/week (light to moderate) and eat back most of my exercise cals. Maybe I should be calculating my deficit from a moderately active TDEE (which would then include exercise?)

I've recently changed my macros to 40/30/30 too and eat clean. My goal is to lose body fat. And would like to start weight lifting soon. I'm not saying that it hasn't been working so far but am I on the right track according to your recommendation? It's been a slow process. I just want to make sure I'm doing this right and that it works for shorties like me! (I don't want to be skinny fat again, only to gain it all back.)

BIG THANK YOUflowerforyou
March 25, 2012 12:35 AM
Bump
  5317332
March 25, 2012 1:04 AM
BUMP :)
March 25, 2012 1:21 AM
Bump!
  12232306
March 25, 2012 5:01 AM
Thanks for all the info, Dan!!
  10620094
March 25, 2012 5:56 AM
QUOTE:

thank you Helloitsdan!

here the confusing part for me...

tried the recommended calculations and it gives me:
BMR = 1455 (Harris-Benedict) 1313 (Katch-McArdle)
TDEE = 1746 (sedentary-light)

to lose weight, 1746 (TDEE) - 500 (1lbs/week) = 1246

should I net 1246 or my BMR??? Or is my TDEE wrong by this method? (some "calculators" give me higher numbers)

I'm a petite 5'2". Yes, I have a desk job but exercise 5-6x/week (light to moderate) and eat back most of my exercise cals. Maybe I should be calculating my deficit from a moderately active TDEE (which would then include exercise?)

I've recently changed my macros to 40/30/30 too and eat clean. My goal is to lose body fat. And would like to start weight lifting soon. I'm not saying that it hasn't been working so far but am I on the right track according to your recommendation? It's been a slow process. I just want to make sure I'm doing this right and that it works for shorties like me! (I don't want to be skinny fat again, only to gain it all back.)

BIG THANK YOUflowerforyou


I am pretty sure TDEE is supposed to include your exercise.
  9688190
March 25, 2012 5:56 AM
QUOTE:

thank you Helloitsdan!

here the confusing part for me...

tried the recommended calculations and it gives me:
BMR = 1455 (Harris-Benedict) 1313 (Katch-McArdle)
TDEE = 1746 (sedentary-light)

to lose weight, 1746 (TDEE) - 500 (1lbs/week) = 1246

should I net 1246 or my BMR??? Or is my TDEE wrong by this method? (some "calculators" give me higher numbers)

I'm a petite 5'2". Yes, I have a desk job but exercise 5-6x/week (light to moderate) and eat back most of my exercise cals. Maybe I should be calculating my deficit from a moderately active TDEE (which would then include exercise?)

I've recently changed my macros to 40/30/30 too and eat clean. My goal is to lose body fat. And would like to start weight lifting soon. I'm not saying that it hasn't been working so far but am I on the right track according to your recommendation? It's been a slow process. I just want to make sure I'm doing this right and that it works for shorties like me! (I don't want to be skinny fat again, only to gain it all back.)

BIG THANK YOUflowerforyou



You didnt read it correctly.
You workout 5 times a week.
Sedentary is Little or No Exercise.
And where did the -500 come from?

I'll quote myself "Use Katch McGardle for BMR." "This form gives the EXACT calories to eat daily." "Add 20% to the calories given to know your TDEE."

So here its giving me 2755 for a TDEE (2296x1.20=2755)

Activity Level Daily Calories
Sedentary (little or no exercise, desk job) 1777 <-----Little or No Exercise.
Lightly Active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk) 2036
Moderately Active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk) 2296 <----You are here. This is simple remember?
Very Active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk) 2555
Extremely Active (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i.e marathon, contest etc.) 2814


Please dont over think this.
It's very simple.
Edited by Helloitsdan On March 25, 2012 6:00 AM
  7369177
March 25, 2012 6:35 AM
This is the very best, most informative topic I've ever seen posted on MFP. Thanks, Dan!
March 25, 2012 6:42 AM
bump
March 25, 2012 8:52 AM
saving this!
March 25, 2012 9:02 AM
I'm am so excited to read this, I have been SO lost and needed some understanding.

So, after saying that I think I've read this post so much, I've completely confused myself.

I started at 400 and am down 59lbs. I am stuck and am frustrated. I'm currently set at 1860 calories.

My BMI is 66%
BMR 1529 for the Katch-McArdle Forumla.
1529 x 1.20 = 1834

You say the BMR is the EXACT number of calories to eat.
Then
Never eat at or below your BMR

Do we go by the "Activity Level Calories" in the box?

I do cardio w/HRM 5 days a week and resistance training 3x a week. It suggests 3122?!?!? Holy Moly!

I am not starving and typically eat 100 or so under the 1860 calories and feel good.

I'm sure a million people on here have asked for you to calculate for them, so sorry to add to that. I guess I'm just confusing myself and if the numbers were close, I’d deal with it, but the difference between 1529 and 3122 is too much to guess at. Also being morbidly obese should I lower it under the BMR?

Thanks
Breeze
  5317332
March 25, 2012 9:16 AM
QUOTE:

I'm am so excited to read this, I have been SO lost and needed some understanding.

So, after saying that I think I've read this post so much, I've completely confused myself.

I started at 400 and am down 59lbs. I am stuck and am frustrated. I'm currently set at 1860 calories.

My BMI is 66%
BMR 1529 for the Katch-McArdle Forumla.
1529 x 1.20 = 1834

You say the BMR is the EXACT number of calories to eat.
Then
Never eat at or below your BMR

Do we go by the "Activity Level Calories" in the box?

I do cardio w/HRM 5 days a week and resistance training 3x a week. It suggests 3122?!?!? Holy Moly!

I am not starving and typically eat 100 or so under the 1860 calories and feel good.

I'm sure a million people on here have asked for you to calculate for them, so sorry to add to that. I guess I'm just confusing myself and if the numbers were close, I’d deal with it, but the difference between 1529 and 3122 is too much to guess at. Also being morbidly obese should I lower it under the BMR?

Thanks
Breeze


I'd suggest maybe send him a PM with this info you posted here and see what her says
Edited by SafireBleu On March 25, 2012 9:19 AM
  9688190
March 25, 2012 9:31 AM
Thanks SafireBleu, I just PM'd him :)
  5317332
March 25, 2012 10:15 AM
One of the most informative threads I've read on this website.

Limited broscience here, hahaha!

Save this thread now, chances are that it will help you!
March 25, 2012 10:34 AM
Thanks for all the wonderful information. And the links, I have some reading to do. I love this site and am enjoying this process
  16026419
March 25, 2012 10:45 AM
QUOTE:

One of the most informative threads I've read on this website.

Limited broscience here, hahaha!

Save this thread now, chances are that it will help you!


Props!
*highfive*
  7369177
March 25, 2012 10:49 AM
bump
  18929945
March 25, 2012 10:54 AM
QUOTE:

I'm am so excited to read this, I have been SO lost and needed some understanding.

So, after saying that I think I've read this post so much, I've completely confused myself.

I started at 400 and am down 59lbs. I am stuck and am frustrated. I'm currently set at 1860 calories.

My BMI is 66%
BMR 1529 for the Katch-McArdle Forumla.
1529 x 1.20 = 1834

You say the BMR is the EXACT number of calories to eat.
Then
Never eat at or below your BMR

Do we go by the "Activity Level Calories" in the box?

I do cardio w/HRM 5 days a week and resistance training 3x a week. It suggests 3122?!?!? Holy Moly!

I am not starving and typically eat 100 or so under the 1860 calories and feel good.

I'm sure a million people on here have asked for you to calculate for them, so sorry to add to that. I guess I'm just confusing myself and if the numbers were close, I’d deal with it, but the difference between 1529 and 3122 is too much to guess at. Also being morbidly obese should I lower it under the BMR?

Thanks
Breeze


Okay.
This is simple.
Put your numbers into the calculator.
It spits out 2 types of BMR.
Use Katch McGardle
At the bottom you compare your routine to the activity levels and set mfp to THAT number.
This is a static number so unless you but an obscene amount of cals a day you'll only have to eat back if net dips below BMR.
This shouldn't happen often if you keep in mind that once you burn the limit if fat for the day your body switches to a catabolic state and starts consuming lean tissue.
As a rule of thumb it's good to keep training to below and hour to limit stress and the influx of cortisol in the system.
When cortisol is present, testosterone isn't.
Testosterone builds muscle and puts you in anobolisis.
Cortisol breaks down muscle and puts you in catabolisis.

So you have your number to eat.
This should be close to 2800-3k if morbidly obeses and taller than 5'5".
Once you train and burn cals it drops down to about 2500ish.
Still well above BMR.

Setting Protein and Fat to 30% each will foster a good fat burning relationship and allows the proper nutrients and micronutrients for skin and hormones. The protein takes care of muscles and lean mass.

Savvy?
  7369177
March 25, 2012 10:57 AM
saving this!! = )
  10593211
March 25, 2012 11:15 AM
Bump to digest properly later!! smile
March 25, 2012 11:19 AM
bump because I am gonna have to read that several times to get it. but it makes sense. i have been over my MFP cals almost all week with little exercise (spring break and little time) and only gained .4lb. I thought for sure I would have a huge gain but surprisingly not.

K-M says 1440
Mod. Act level says 2342

So I set MFP at 2342? Yikes that is gonna be hard to hit.
Edited by tistal On March 25, 2012 11:26 AM
March 25, 2012 11:22 AM
essential reading :)
  14463414
March 25, 2012 11:25 AM
bump
  11525043
March 25, 2012 11:32 AM
I'm so confused on what I should have my calories set at.
Based off the website from helloitsdan my numbers are:
BMR: 1283
Number in activity chart: 1816.

So to clarify, I should set cals at 1816 and never eat below BMR? If I set it at 1816 then I shouldn't eat my exercise cals back?? Thanks in advance!!
  19115057

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