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TOPIC: Under calorie goal a good thing?

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April 19, 2012 12:50 PM
Okay - so maybe I'm dumb and don't understand how this is all supposed to work, but it always weirds me out on my newsfeed when someone posts that they’re under their calorie goal and everyone says “way to go!”, “nice job”, etc. and then when you look at them you realize that they’re under by a lot. Like 300-600 range. Now I would never say anything at all because that’s not my style, but I just want to confirm one tiny thing. Isn’t the goal to hit your calorie mark every day? Shouldn’t you be over by 10 calories instead of being under by 300?

I just upped my daily intake from 1,200 to 1,370 because I don’t want to plateau early, but if I can lose more weight faster by eating 800-1,000 calories, obviously I’d take that route. But that’s not how it works, right?

To the “big losers” out there – how much do you eat in a day? Can you give your height and SW stats too? I’m just trying to get some perspective. I seem to be lingering in this 8-11 pound loss range and I’m looking to lose 35! I want to see some progress, but I want to do it the right way.

Here’s mine:
Height: 5’7”
SW: 170
CW: 161
GW: 135

Thanks everyone!
  12575878
April 19, 2012 1:24 PM
Bump
  12575878
April 19, 2012 3:24 PM
I don't think you need to hit the goal exactly each day, even 100 either side is fairly accurate and getting the average right over a week is probably sufficient.

If you set a goal and then are consistently under it you may as well set the goal lower and hit it, surely !
  18022302
April 19, 2012 3:27 PM
But what you're saying is that ultimately I should hit within a certain range of my goal... be it + or -100. Not over and under by 300.
  12575878
April 19, 2012 3:29 PM
I agree and always thought this was weird as well. It should have a " " completed their food and exercise diary and was within 50 calories of their goal. Sure would make a lot more sense with the way that this site is structured to lose weight.
April 19, 2012 3:31 PM
I have no idea to the right answer but I think it depends on the amount of exercise. There are days that I'm a few hundred under because I work out and don't eat back those calories.
April 19, 2012 3:32 PM
I'm new here, and was confused by that as well! I'm glad you're asking. My first thought was that they worked out, and had earned calories. But then, you should be eating more to make up the difference, right?
  21153952
April 19, 2012 3:32 PM
Often times, when you see those big numbers of uneaten calories, it might be because they chose not to eat back all or some of their exercise calories. As long as they are not below their BMR, netting below 1200, or have a deficit of more than 1000 calories, it should be okay.
  18282953
April 19, 2012 3:46 PM
IMHO, if you have a very low calorie diet (eg, 800 to 1000 or 300 to 500 per day), you'll lose weight faster. Impossible not to unless there's something seriously wrong somewhere.

If you are on a healthy weight loss diet (eg, deficit of only 250 to 500 max), you'll lose weight slower.

Which is a good thing? Well, which are you able to sustain on in the long term, which will allow you to not be so obsessed by every morsel of food you eat every day and which will minimise the risk of binging and gaining weight again over time?

Again, my personal opinion, if you're in a hurry to lose weight because you have an important event to attend or you just feel so crap with yourself that you just WANT the weight gone, then by all means, go on the VLCD if you have the discipline to BUT if you do this, you should switch to a healthy weight loss diet which you can maintain over a long period of time immediately after you feel better or after the event.

You should also know that on a VLCD, your weight loss will eventually slow down and when that happens, many dieters give up at the stage.

It's all a mental game, really, at the end of the day.
April 19, 2012 3:50 PM
i'm under my cals alot, but i eat my 1200 and choose not to eat my exercise cals so thats why technically i'm under
  8218319
April 19, 2012 3:53 PM
QUOTE:

Here’s mine:
Height: 5’7”
SW: 170
CW: 161
GW: 135

Thanks everyone!


ME:
Height: 5’7”
CW: 122
Calorie goal: 1650+ExerciseCalories

If I can loose a pound a week with that...You should be able to loose with much much more...I ate 2,830 today so far and I'm not even worried about it....You're a tall girl and you need more energy to live...Your BMR (google it, and TDEE, and RMR) is much higher then 1200. Dear lord up your cals.
Edited by CoderGal On April 19, 2012 3:58 PM
April 19, 2012 3:58 PM
QUOTE:

But what you're saying is that ultimately I should hit within a certain range of my goal... be it + or -100. Not over and under by 300.


yes, that's what I'm saying - if you've set your goal then try to hit it. Otherwise it isn't your goal !
  18022302
April 19, 2012 4:03 PM
QUOTE:

IMHO, if you have a very low calorie diet (eg, 800 to 1000 or 300 to 500 per day), you'll lose weight faster. Impossible not to unless there's something seriously wrong somewhere.

If you are on a healthy weight loss diet (eg, deficit of only 250 to 500 max), you'll lose weight slower.

Which is a good thing? Well, which are you able to sustain on in the long term, which will allow you to not be so obsessed by every morsel of food you eat every day and which will minimise the risk of binging and gaining weight again over time?

Again, my personal opinion, if you're in a hurry to lose weight because you have an important event to attend or you just feel so crap with yourself that you just WANT the weight gone, then by all means, go on the VLCD if you have the discipline to BUT if you do this, you should switch to a healthy weight loss diet which you can maintain over a long period of time immediately after you feel better or after the event.

You should also know that on a VLCD, your weight loss will eventually slow down and when that happens, many dieters give up at the stage.

It's all a mental game, really, at the end of the day.

I agree.
Edited by Nimbkar On April 19, 2012 4:04 PM
April 19, 2012 4:09 PM
I know I get confused also. If you look at mine it states that I am under by about 700 that's because I go to the gym after work. By the time I get out of the gym which is about 6:30 I am not hungry. I am not trying to starve myself by not eating and trying to lose weight at fast rate. I also want to do it in a healthy manner. It's so confusing when you close your diary for the day if you go a little over your intake what a difference when it states this is the weight you will be in five weeks of I go under it is much less. Don't know what to do so confused. The message board people say to go over but won't you gain weight?
  3630065
April 19, 2012 4:17 PM
QUOTE:

i'm under my cals alot, but i eat my 1200 and choose not to eat my exercise cals so thats why technically i'm under


"Technically under"? You are under. You ate 1200 and burned off say 300. Your body only got 900 calories that day. They don't suggest to eat your exercise cals as a guideline...it's because that's what your body needs in order to maintain a healthy deficit.

ps- Sorry if that came off as rude, I meant it to be helpful!

To answer the OP...you've got the right way of thinking in my opinion. It's better to be 10 over than 300 under. I'm very rarely UNDER my calorie goal.
  12402302
April 19, 2012 4:23 PM
QUOTE:

I know I get confused also. If you look at mine it states that I am under by about 700 that's because I go to the gym after work. By the time I get out of the gym which is about 6:30 I am not hungry. I am not trying to starve myself by not eating and trying to lose weight at fast rate. I also want to do it in a healthy manner. It's so confusing when you close your diary for the day if you go a little over your intake what a difference when it states this is the weight you will be in five weeks of I go under it is much less. Don't know what to do so confused. The message board people say to go over but won't you gain weight?


How could going over your calorie goal by a little possibly make you gain weight? The goals that MFP gives you has a deficit already built in, depending on how much you chose to lose a week when signing up. 1 lb loss per week would be a 500 calorie deficit per day. Going over by 10 calories would still give you a 480 calorie deficit. You never want your net at the end of the day to say anything below 1200...even better, you don't want it to say a number lower than your BMR. If you find you're not hungry after going to the gym, try to eat more during the day. Consistently being under your calorie goal (and that's INCLUDING exercise cals) will cause you to burn out and cause a stall in your weight loss. The only way you can GAIN weight is to eat above your TDEE (which you can find out through various online calculators..or use what MFP says would be your maintenance calories).
  12402302
April 20, 2012 7:57 AM
Hilarious update, but I consumed about 250 more calories than my daily goal and lost a half pound overnight? With excercise I was told to eat 1,550 and I ended up eating 1,800. I don't plan on doing that often, but I laugh because I I was expecting the scale to go up. Nope.

My new plan is to make it at least 1,370 a day, and eat back enough exercise calories to make sure that I am not falling below the 1,200 net. That should ensure that I'm never in starvation mode. The hard thing for me is lack of food or calories NEVER make me feel tired. I have always had high energy and able to be physically active on very little. But being physically active at low calories levels is causing my weight loss to basically be non-existant. I'm taking a new approach. More fuel is good.
  12575878
April 20, 2012 8:00 AM
It's generally not good to be under consistently, but some people (myself included) like to be under some days so the days they go over even out.
April 20, 2012 8:31 AM
This is why I don't comment on those statuses at all, nor have mine set to update with that. Your calorie goal is your goal based upon your own individual factors, and the idea is to come close to it, give or take. Now there are some people who burn 1K calories a day through rigorous exercise, and they often come in significantly under their goal. I think most of them are still trying to net a minimum of 1200 (or however many over that number), and that's the important thing.
  15164137
April 20, 2012 8:40 AM
I tend to agree with you, overall. I mean- maybe people are saying good job and way to go for the person logging the whole day and completing their food log...not necessarily for staying under. I have told people good job for just completing their log- even when it doesnt say "and was under their daily goal." I mean SURE thats not what most people do but perhaps there are some that do. But I totally agree...when I see people under by 300 or more I'm like- Whhhhaaat?? However, maybe those are the people who choose not to eat their exercise calories back or who save calories for one big dinner or meal out with friends or something. Which brings me back to the fact that say good job on just logging is a great thing to do because let's face it- logging what you eat all day long is a big deal and takes a lot to keep up with!
  1280369
April 20, 2012 8:46 AM
I'm 5'4. Starting weight was 273, Current weight 254, and goal weight is 140. I've been losing an average of 1-2 pounds a week on what was MFP recommendation for me, but I was having to get in lots of exercise because I was still hungry all the time. So I did some research, and decided to up my calories from MFP's recommended 1520 up to 1933. According to fat2fitradio.com, that is what I will need for the rest of my life to reach my goal weight and maintain once I get there. Since I have upped my calories, I don't always hit my goal now, because I'm not used to having so many calories available to me. But I'm working on getting as close to my goal as I can. And some days, I can eat constantly, and still not hit my goal because of extra walking I'm doing for whatever reason.
  14989102
April 20, 2012 8:49 AM
I wrote this long post...and realized I should just keep my mouth shut and only answer your questions so I don't get flamed. :) hahahaha. Here's my answer:

how much do you eat in a day?
I eat between 1800-2400 calories a day now, depending on whether or not I work out. I put myself on maintenance and will re-start a "cutting" phase in June when I don't need to work as many hours.

When I started, MFP recommended 1470. I was always hungry at 1470 and knew I couldn't sustain it. I did more research about calorie guidelines and other websites advised that I could eat more and still lose. So, I set it at 1750 and then 1650 for a few months. I worked out at least 6 days a week in order to "earn" more calories to eat. HAHA. So, during that period I ate about 1800-2100 calories a day and I lost 25 lbs. in 4 months.

Here’s my stats:
Height: 5'5”
SW: 178
CW: 145
GW: not sure...

I don't have a specific goal weight now because my original goal weight was 150. I'd like to tone up and lose more belly fat, but I'm okay if my weight stays the same (because of muscle vs. fat mass) if I can lose inches. If I can lose 5 lbs more, great. If I gain 5 lbs. but lose 2 inches...even better. :D
Edited by healthyliving_girl On April 20, 2012 9:01 AM
April 20, 2012 9:19 AM
QUOTE:

I agree and always thought this was weird as well. It should have a " " completed their food and exercise diary and was within 50 calories of their goal. Sure would make a lot more sense with the way that this site is structured to lose weight.


I think that sounds like a good idea.
April 20, 2012 9:26 AM
I think it's hard to look at other people's diaries for a day and know what's going on. For example, on days I do a long run, 13 or more miles, I will always be under my goal, I just can't eat back all those calories. On the other hand, I have days I go over. Friday tends to be my rest day, no exercise, but it's also the day we set aside for a family dinner, I almost always go over on Fridays. Throw in other events here and there, and I may go over on other days. For myself, I focus on the weekly totals.

Which is why I stopped commenting on other people's diaries, unless someone asks for opinions based on a long stretch of time. For any one day, I have no idea what that person had going on and why they did what they did, and whether things that may look bad are already accounted for.
  14043574
April 20, 2012 9:37 AM
I definiltey do not, or would ever, comment on people's diaries. It's just not something I have business doing. I just wonder what my best approach is at the end of the day. I want weight loss and fast, but I also don't want to starve myself. I just wonder which group has more success. Those that eat what MFP says or those that starve themselves. I know it differs by person, but it sounds like those that do what MFP says are the most successful.
  12575878

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