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TOPIC: I can't work out my activity level!

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May 5, 2012 11:46 AM
I can't work it out! I have it set at lightly active, but I am just not sure what it is. I am trying to work out my TDEE, and the numbers are quite different from sedentry to lightly active.

I try to get to the gym sometimes, but I am inconsistant with it. Some weeks I may go often, some weeks I may not do any extra exercise.

I work a minimum of 24 hours per week (always 4 days), but usually more (this week, I done 29). I am a barista at Starbucks, and it's a pretty busy store. I get a maximum of 40 minutes break per shift (8 hour or more shift) and it's usually split into 20/20 or 10/30.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
  3123985
May 5, 2012 12:01 PM
Bump.
  3123985
May 5, 2012 12:08 PM
Any ideas, guys?
  3123985
May 5, 2012 12:10 PM
I would say lightly active.
  1299395
May 5, 2012 12:11 PM
QUOTE:

I would say lightly active.


Thanks for replying. See, I think lightly active too, but I am now majorly confused. Some people seem to be saying lightly active accounts for exercise, but I am not always consistant with that. But then, with work, I am definitely not sedentary *confused*
  3123985
May 5, 2012 12:15 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I would say lightly active.


Thanks for replying. See, I think lightly active too, but I am now majorly confused. Some people seem to be saying lightly active accounts for exercise, but I am not always consistant with that. But then, with work, I am definitely not sedentary *confused*


I have mine set at lightly active too. I am a para in a special needs classroom. I definitly don't sit all day. I do exercise usually 4-5 times a week but I don't count that as my normal daily activity. I think that is considered "extra"!

As in, someone who does a desk job would be considered sedentary. Even if they exercise everyday.

Am I right?
  1299395
May 5, 2012 12:16 PM
It is tougher to figure out TDEE when your activity level isn't consistent. You could list sedentary and plan on adding any exercise calories in. But I think I'd recommend going with lightly active, and suggest you try really hard to get in a little extra exercise. You could try either method for a month and see how you do, then adjust as needed. With 37 pounds to lose, if you average a pound a week loss you would be doing pretty well.
Edited by gaia3rd On May 5, 2012 12:17 PM
  15396602
May 5, 2012 12:22 PM
Include working out on ur daily schedule...get a notepad....walk on ur lunch ur breaks
May 5, 2012 12:24 PM
QUOTE:

It is tougher to figure out TDEE when your activity level isn't consistent. You could list sedentary and plan on adding any exercise calories in. But I think I'd recommend going with lightly active, and suggest you try really hard to get in a little extra exercise. You could try either method for a month and see how you do, then adjust as needed. With 37 pounds to lose, if you average a pound a week loss you would be doing pretty well.


Thank you! I appreciate your response :-)

I have considered the sedentary level, but it seems wrong, ya know? But I work four days a week, and have three days off. On those three days off, I AM sedentary. What wins? I guess I could eat at sedentary for days off, and for lightly active for work days? But that just gets confusing.

What was working for me before was around 1670 calories per week, with eating back most of my exercise calories when I do exercise, but I've been at a bit of a stall for a few weeks.

I am currently on 1803 calories a day. My TDEE is apparently 2303. I obviously subbed 500 for the deficit. I try to be as active as I can in other areas (taking the stairs, walking more etc), I dunno. Lightly active seems right to me, but at the same time, I worry it's wrong.

Am I over-complicating things? *facepalm*
  3123985
May 5, 2012 12:25 PM
QUOTE:


I work a minimum of 24 hours per week (always 4 days), but usually more (this week, I done 29). I am a barista at Starbucks, and it's a pretty busy store. I get a maximum of 40 minutes break per shift (8 hour or more shift) and it's usually split into 20/20 or 10/30.
Thanks!


I was a barista & shifty on and off for years :) just left actually about 4 months ago. When I was @ the bucks I had my activity set at lightly active because you're on your feet all day, running back and forth and lugging milk jugs around. I work at a bank now and dropped it to sedentary because I work at a desk all day now. I could really go for a cuppa verona right about now :)
  290125
May 5, 2012 12:25 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I would say lightly active.


Thanks for replying. See, I think lightly active too, but I am now majorly confused. Some people seem to be saying lightly active accounts for exercise, but I am not always consistant with that. But then, with work, I am definitely not sedentary *confused*


I have mine set at lightly active too. I am a para in a special needs classroom. I definitly don't sit all day. I do exercise usually 4-5 times a week but I don't count that as my normal daily activity. I think that is considered "extra"!

As in, someone who does a desk job would be considered sedentary. Even if they exercise everyday.

Am I right?


I think so hun. This whole activity level thing confuses me a bit though. I overthink too much! Your job sounds cool by the way, you're doing an amazing thing flowerforyou
  3123985
May 5, 2012 12:26 PM
QUOTE:

Include working out on ur daily schedule...get a notepad....walk on ur lunch ur breaks


What do you mean?

Also, there's rarely time to walk about on my break. I need to sit for a while, because it's taxing being on my feet, rushing around, and by the time I sort out some food and wolf it down, it's time to get back to work!
  3123985
May 5, 2012 12:28 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:


I work a minimum of 24 hours per week (always 4 days), but usually more (this week, I done 29). I am a barista at Starbucks, and it's a pretty busy store. I get a maximum of 40 minutes break per shift (8 hour or more shift) and it's usually split into 20/20 or 10/30.
Thanks!


I was a barista & shifty on and off for years :) just left actually about 4 months ago. When I was @ the bucks I had my activity set at lightly active because you're on your feet all day, running back and forth and lugging milk jugs around. I work at a bank now and dropped it to sedentary because I work at a desk all day now. I could really go for a cuppa verona right about now :)


Hello, fellow partner! I love meeting people who work/used to work at 'Bux. I think you're right - I think lightly active is the right one for me. But then, should I eat back my exercise calories if I'm going off my TDEE - 500?

You should try our new blond roast!
  3123985
May 5, 2012 9:51 PM
QUOTE:


Hello, fellow partner! I love meeting people who work/used to work at 'Bux. I think you're right - I think lightly active is the right one for me. But then, should I eat back my exercise calories if I'm going off my TDEE - 500?

You should try our new blond roast!

I do eat mine back most of the time, because I figure my activity level is just my normal calorie burn without the exercise. Some days I don't eat back all, but I look at the full week's calories rather than individual days so some days I'm over (like today!! Twizzlers and popcorn at the movies!) and other days I'm under but for the week as a whole I'm pretty close to the goal. However I will say I don't track exercise like cleaning the house, folding laundry ect... I know some people do but I only track things I consciously do for exercise.

And I love the willow! I left just as blonde was rolling out. I did miss the fancy new steaming pitchers you have now that makes tall no foam latte's a cinch, soooo jealous!
Edited by Nikiki On May 5, 2012 9:53 PM
  290125
May 5, 2012 9:57 PM
If you are using MFP to calculate your calories, then workouts aren't ncuded in your activity level.
I'd say you would be lightly active. Try that setting then eat the cals that MFP recommends plus any extra cals from workouts.
  4147547
May 5, 2012 9:59 PM
I would set it as sedentary and eat extra when you are able to get to the gym.....If you are not getting there every week I would not set lightly active.
May 5, 2012 11:24 PM
average it? Figure out what your calories would be for sedentary and lightly active and do (light active x 4 + sedentary x 3)/7 and then go into setting and set that number as your calories. That way you can just eat the same number of calories in a day but at the end of the week hit your goal.

And I'm lightly active and I log exercise :-)
  4864089
May 5, 2012 11:32 PM
If you work and are on your feet a lot... select light activity... then log and eat back your exercise calories
May 5, 2012 11:36 PM
I agree with all the people that say lightly active and add exercise.

Think of your TDEE as the calories you burn without your specific workouts. Look at the bigger picture- you certainly burn more calories on work days than a non work day if you sit at home on the couch, but day-to-day it evens out over time. You can't gain or lose any significant amount of fat in the period of 1 day, it compounds over time. The smaller hills and valleys even themselves out over time. So you have two options, either you can make an overall estimation of how much you work out and use one of the higher activity levels, and not log your exercise calories, or you can choose the activity level based on your life when you're not working out, and add exercise calories in. Most people on this site choose to log and add exercise calories, because you're already logging food.
  20711900
May 6, 2012 7:17 AM
QUOTE:

If you are using MFP to calculate your calories, then workouts aren't ncuded in your activity level.
I'd say you would be lightly active. Try that setting then eat the cals that MFP recommends plus any extra cals from workouts.


I really think you're right. Sedentary sounds like underestimation, and moderate sounds like it could potentially be an overestimation.

I was using MFP for my calories, but I am now going off my TDEE - 500, (and just a bit more).
  3123985
May 6, 2012 7:19 AM
QUOTE:

I would set it as sedentary and eat extra when you are able to get to the gym.....If you are not getting there every week I would not set lightly active.


But that's the thing, I work four days and my job is active. I'm on my feet for 90% of the shift, and usually ALWAYS doing something. The most sedentary I'll be is when I'm on till, and even then, I am often trying to move around as much as I can (and it's not like you get to sit down when you're on till - you're still standing up). It's just my exercise is inconistant - some weeks, I go every other day, then I have periods when I don't go for weeks. Hoping to change that though. I plan to go today, just need to tidy my room. It's a 24hr gym, though :)
  3123985
May 6, 2012 7:19 AM
QUOTE:

average it? Figure out what your calories would be for sedentary and lightly active and do (light active x 4 + sedentary x 3)/7 and then go into setting and set that number as your calories. That way you can just eat the same number of calories in a day but at the end of the week hit your goal.

And I'm lightly active and I log exercise :-)


That sounds good! I am SO gonna try that formula, thank you :)
  3123985
May 6, 2012 7:20 AM
QUOTE:

If you work and are on your feet a lot... select light activity... then log and eat back your exercise calories


That's what I'm thinking too.
  3123985
May 6, 2012 7:26 AM
QUOTE:

I agree with all the people that say lightly active and add exercise.

Think of your TDEE as the calories you burn without your specific workouts. Look at the bigger picture- you certainly burn more calories on work days than a non work day if you sit at home on the couch, but day-to-day it evens out over time. You can't gain or lose any significant amount of fat in the period of 1 day, it compounds over time. The smaller hills and valleys even themselves out over time. So you have two options, either you can make an overall estimation of how much you work out and use one of the higher activity levels, and not log your exercise calories, or you can choose the activity level based on your life when you're not working out, and add exercise calories in. Most people on this site choose to log and add exercise calories, because you're already logging food.


You put it perfectly, thank you :-)

I have calculated my TDEE from this - http://scoobysworkshop.com/calorie-calculator/, and every other formula/calculator I've used has given me similar results. I deducted 500 from my TDEE to get 1803. But I just want to make sure I am calculating my activity level right. But the way you explained it put it perfectly in perspective for me - you're right, it averages out over the week, and I work more days than I don't, and my job is active.

But, if I am going off my lightly active TDEE - 500, CAN I actually eat exercise calories back? If I eat 1803 one day, then the next, eat that, burn 400, then eat that back to net 1803, it doesn't make a difference, does it? Because people are saying my TDEE includes exercise *majorly confused*

Thanks sweetie!
  3123985
May 6, 2012 7:34 AM
I think most of us who came here initially for weight loss would do well to just use MFP's settings until we get closer to goal, and get into the details of TDEE, etc. as we get closer to maintenance and have established an exercise routine we know we can keep to. The threads that have information on manually settings are really interesting, but also somewhat confusing if it's new information. From your description I'd guess you would use the lightly active setting and add in intentional exercise. If it doesn't work the way you want after a trial period, try something else!

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