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TOPIC: What is a calorie deficit?

 
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January 26, 2013 3:34 PM
People are telling me that if I eat over my calorie deficit I will gain weight... but I don't know how you work out your calorie deficit each week.. Any help please?
January 26, 2013 3:42 PM
A calorie deficit is when you consume less than the number of calories it takes to maintain your body mass. For example (not real values here)...your basic rate to maintain is 1500 cals....but you only consume 1400. Then you have a deficit of 100. Now...these are not real numbers...almost everyone needs more than that to live and walk around and do things. To lose a pound you need to create a deficit of about 3500 calories....NOT IN ONE DAY. To lose a pound a week, you create a deficit of 500 calories a day. Keep in mind though that loss isn't linear....there are more factors to it than just this. Hope this helped.
  14793149
January 26, 2013 3:48 PM
DO NOT take a 500 calorie deficit from MFP's numbers. MFP figures a deficit in to what it tells you to eat. If you use TDEE instead of MFP's numbers, then you can take a 500 calorie per day deficit or you can subtract 15 or 20%.
  17225453
January 26, 2013 3:52 PM
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) - this is the amount of calories that you body needs to exist and for your vital organs to function. It is what you would be given by hospital staff were you in a coma.

TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure) - this is the amount of calories your body uses each day made up of your BMR calories and any additional activity that you do, including normal everyday activity and exercise.

If you want to gain weight you should eat above your TDEE - at a surplus
If you want to maintain your current weight you should eat AT your TDEE
If you want to lose weight you should eat below your TDEE - at a deficit (no more than 20% is usually recommended.

If losing weight you should work out your BMR and TDEE numbers and then take your deficit % off the TDEE number to reach the number of calories you should be eating daily. This figure should not be below your BMR though.

There is a helpful link below where you an find out more information on this subject and also it has the calculators for you to work out your numbers.

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/654536-in-place-of-a-road-map-2-0-revised-7-2-12
Edited by sandradev1 On January 26, 2013 3:55 PM
January 26, 2013 9:50 PM
QUOTE:

DO NOT take a 500 calorie deficit from MFP's numbers. MFP figures a deficit in to what it tells you to eat. If you use TDEE instead of MFP's numbers, then you can take a 500 calorie per day deficit or you can subtract 15 or 20%.


Exactly. MFP gives you a deficit automatically, you don't need to figure out mor e than that, unless you want to get more techie.
The principle is the same, MFP just does it for you.
  14793149
January 26, 2013 9:59 PM
In the simplest of terms, you can find a calorie calculator for you current weight. Let's say that it says you need to consume 2200 calories to maintain your current weight. Anything you eat less than that will help you toward your goal of losing weight, not toward gaining weight.

SO, so, so, if your goal is to eat 1500 calories a day, that means 2200 calories minus 1500 calories equals a deficit of 700 calories day. That means your goal is to consume 700 calories less than what you need to eat to "maintain" your current weight. If you eat, say, 2000 calories that day, you WON'T gain weight. You just won't have a 700 calorie deficit for that day. You'll have a 200 calorie deficit for that day, which is STILL good!! :)

At the end of the week, you will have needed a calorie deficit of 3500 calories to have lost one pound. That equates to a 500 calorie deficit per day. Some days you may have a higher calorie deficit than others. Other days, your deficit will be lower than your "goal," but that's okay. What matters at the end of the week is the average.

We're not wired to eat the exact same number of calories a day.

A calorie deficit is eating less than you need for your weight and activity, and if you do it long enough, regardless of how slowly you lose weight, your body will stop trying to over-shoot the calories and stop gaining. Losing will be much easier if you just take it in stride. Aim for the calorie deficit, but enjoy the days when the deficit isn't on par then get back in the game. Any time you eat less than you used to eat, you're successful.
  22356078
January 26, 2013 9:59 PM
But its not the same. The total amount of calories MFP is telling you to eat, is below your BMR. According to the TDEE approach you eat between TDEE and BMR, but under no circumstances, should ever go below BMR.

There is a fundamental disconnect here that folks gloss over and noone has provided a reasonable explanation as to why such opposing protocols exist:

1. MFP's suggested intake (NET) is below BMR.

2.TDEE's suggested intake is NEVER below BMR.


QUOTE:

QUOTE:

DO NOT take a 500 calorie deficit from MFP's numbers. MFP figures a deficit in to what it tells you to eat. If you use TDEE instead of MFP's numbers, then you can take a 500 calorie per day deficit or you can subtract 15 or 20%.


Exactly. MFP gives you a deficit automatically, you don't need to figure out mor e than that, unless you want to get more techie.
The principle is the same, MFP just does it for you.
January 26, 2013 10:03 PM
QUOTE:

But its not the same. The total amount of calories MFP is telling you to eat, is below your BMR. According to the TDEE approach you eat between TDEE and BMR, but under no circumstances, should ever go below BMR.

There is a fundamental disconnect here that folks gloss over and noone has provided a reasonable explanation as to why such opposing protocols exist:

1. MFP's suggested intake (NET) is below BMR.

2.TDEE's suggested intake is NEVER below BMR.


QUOTE:

QUOTE:

DO NOT take a 500 calorie deficit from MFP's numbers. MFP figures a deficit in to what it tells you to eat. If you use TDEE instead of MFP's numbers, then you can take a 500 calorie per day deficit or you can subtract 15 or 20%.


Exactly. MFP gives you a deficit automatically, you don't need to figure out mor e than that, unless you want to get more techie.
The principle is the same, MFP just does it for you.



MFP gives you a deficit off your TDEE not your BMR based on your chosen activity level and goals. The reason people get numbers below their BMR is often because they select 1.5-2.0 lbs per week loss which is too ambitious for most people's goals and results in MFP suggesting a deficit that is too large and a calorie goal below BMR.

Another reason is that people often select "sedentary" activity level when in truth, most of us are closer to "lightly active."
Edited by VelociMama On January 26, 2013 10:07 PM
January 26, 2013 10:11 PM
QUOTE:

But its not the same. The total amount of calories MFP is telling you to eat, is below your BMR. According to the TDEE approach you eat between TDEE and BMR, but under no circumstances, should ever go below BMR.

There is a fundamental disconnect here that folks gloss over and noone has provided a reasonable explanation as to why such opposing protocols exist:

1. MFP's suggested intake (NET) is below BMR.

2.TDEE's suggested intake is NEVER below BMR.


QUOTE:

QUOTE:

DO NOT take a 500 calorie deficit from MFP's numbers. MFP figures a deficit in to what it tells you to eat. If you use TDEE instead of MFP's numbers, then you can take a 500 calorie per day deficit or you can subtract 15 or 20%.


Exactly. MFP gives you a deficit automatically, you don't need to figure out mor e than that, unless you want to get more techie.
The principle is the same, MFP just does it for you.



This is not correct.

If you set a reasonable target and activity setting on MFP, it will not put you below your BMR.

Also, the TDEE less a % may well end up with you below your TDEE if the % cut is high.

Its just math.
  18358448
January 26, 2013 10:13 PM
QUOTE:

MFP gives you a deficit off your TDEE not your BMR based on your chosen activity level and goals. The reason people get numbers below their BMR is often because they select 1.5-2.0 lbs per week loss which is too ambitious for most people's goals and results in MFP suggesting a deficit that is too large and a calorie goal below BMR.

Another reason is that people often select "sedentary" activity level when in truth, most of us are closer to "lightly active."


Ahhh, so this was the missing link. Now it makes sense. What would you suggest is the MFP equivalent of the %20 cut? is it the "1/2 pound loss" or the "1 pound loss" selection?
January 26, 2013 10:17 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

MFP gives you a deficit off your TDEE not your BMR based on your chosen activity level and goals. The reason people get numbers below their BMR is often because they select 1.5-2.0 lbs per week loss which is too ambitious for most people's goals and results in MFP suggesting a deficit that is too large and a calorie goal below BMR.

Another reason is that people often select "sedentary" activity level when in truth, most of us are closer to "lightly active."


Ahhh, so this was the missing link. Now it makes sense. What would you suggest is the MFP equivalent of the %20 cut? is it the "1/2 pound loss" or the "1 pound loss" selection?


Generally it is nearer to 1lb. Average TDEE is say 2,000 for a woman and 2,500 for a guy - a 20% cut is then 400 - 500. So it is more or less a lb. The lower your TDEE, the less of a cut and the higher your TDEE is, the higher of a cut it is.
  18358448
January 26, 2013 10:17 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

MFP gives you a deficit off your TDEE not your BMR based on your chosen activity level and goals. The reason people get numbers below their BMR is often because they select 1.5-2.0 lbs per week loss which is too ambitious for most people's goals and results in MFP suggesting a deficit that is too large and a calorie goal below BMR.

Another reason is that people often select "sedentary" activity level when in truth, most of us are closer to "lightly active."


Ahhh, so this was the missing link. Now it makes sense. What would you suggest is the MFP equivalent of the %20 cut? is it the "1/2 pound loss" or the "1 pound loss" selection?


It depends on where you start. If your TDEE is 3000 calories, then a 20% cut is 2400 calories per day (600 calorie per day deficit = little more than 1 lb per week). If your TDEE is 1800 calories, then a 20% cut is 1440 calories per day (360 calorie per day deficit = closer to 1/2 lb per week). Men and women with more body mass to begin with will have higher TDEE which means a 20% cut will be a larger calorie deficit for them than someone of a smaller size but proportional to their TDEE.
Edited by VelociMama On January 26, 2013 10:20 PM
January 26, 2013 10:20 PM
QUOTE:

It depends on where you start. If your TDEE is 3000 calories, then a 20% cut is 2400 calories per day (600 calorie per day deficit = little more than 1 lb per week). If your TDEE is 1800 calories, then a 20% cut is 1440 calories per day (360 calorie per day deficit = closer to 1/2 lb per week). Men and women with higher body mass to begin with will have higher TDEE which means a 20% cut will be a larger calorie deficit for them than someone of a smaller size but proportional to their TDEE.


Got it 100%. Thanks for the perfect explanation.
January 26, 2013 10:21 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

It depends on where you start. If your TDEE is 3000 calories, then a 20% cut is 2400 calories per day (600 calorie per day deficit = little more than 1 lb per week). If your TDEE is 1800 calories, then a 20% cut is 1440 calories per day (360 calorie per day deficit = closer to 1/2 lb per week). Men and women with higher body mass to begin with will have higher TDEE which means a 20% cut will be a larger calorie deficit for them than someone of a smaller size but proportional to their TDEE.


Got it 100%. Thanks for the perfect explanation.


No problem! Glad I could help. smile
January 26, 2013 10:26 PM
Glad we got this figured out

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Edited by DavPul On January 26, 2013 10:27 PM

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