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TOPIC: Activity level to calculate TDEE

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April 21, 2013 1:09 PM
I've been reading and researching a lot about eating at your TDEE and it makes so much more sense to me than simply restricting calories. Plus I was eating below my BMR for a couple months, which I now know isn't good! I calculated my TDEE using the scooby calculator, but I'm a bit unsure as to which activity level to put. Right now I work out 4-6 days a week for about 30 min each day. I do a variety of cardio (running mostly) and weight/strength training. Would this be considered light or moderate activity?

With light activity, TDEE-15% gives me 1550 calories, and with moderate it gives me 1865. That's a decent difference so I want to make sure I'm doing it right!
April 21, 2013 3:32 PM
April 21, 2013 3:45 PM
How much other activity (not talking "exercise") do you average during your regular day? If the majority of your day is spent seated than I'd pick light active but if you are up/down/standing most of the time then I'd go w/moderate.
I work out at least 5x (usually 6) week (hard - sweat dripping soon after warm-up period ends) for at least 45 minutes/each workout, walk w/the dog at least 4x/week (at least 2 miles each time), and spend many hours/day doing (moderate/vigorous manual labor) taking care of animals (I have 25 head of cattle) -- over the course of a week I average in the extremely active range for TDEE.
April 21, 2013 3:51 PM
I read somewhere on here to just use the sedentary or light exercise mode and to eat back exercise cals. That's what I started about a week ago. I'll see how it goes. I have mine set for 1550 and I eat my cals from exercise so I am eating around 1800-1900 depending on what I burn that day. I have a Polar heart rate monitor and those are supposed to be pretty accurate so I just go with what that says. From what I have read on here a lot of people have said that MFP overestimates the cals a bit.
April 21, 2013 4:00 PM
If you go Home -> Settings -> Update Diet/Fitness Profile, you'll see the list. Since MFP works by adding the calories you exercise to the calories you need to eat, it seems to me that you should select a level that fits your activity minus exercise. So say you have a desk job and then work out at the gym hard for 45 minutes. Minus the gym, you're sedentary, so select that, then estimate how many calories you burn and record them. That way you'll eat less on rest days. As a mom of 3 who can never eat a whole meal without getting up at least 57 million times to get *something*, I am not sure if I should put it at light or active, but I've got it at light for now, and if I feel deprived consistently, I'll up it to active.

Then remember that you can change things manually. Go to Home -> Goals -> Change Goals, and you can change settings around. If you find yourself consistently eating an extra 100-200 calories but you're still losing, then you could just add them there so that it would look better on your home page. I changed my sugar and fiber intake goals (both up) because I know that the amount of fiber they recommend is too little for me, and even when I eat all savory and no desserts, I was getting "too many" grams of sugar, so I changed it to reflect a more reasonable ideal.

Good luck!
April 21, 2013 4:08 PM
Thank you for replying!
I don't do too much other than my exercise - desk job and cleaning the house on my days off with a walk thrown in there on days I don't run. So it sounds like I'll set it at light then for calculating TDEE (which I miscalculated at first, TDEE-15 gives me 1650 calories). That factors in exercise cals, so I shouldn't eat those back correct? Just change the MFP settings to reflect my TDEE.

Thanks again!
April 21, 2013 4:12 PM
I do Tdee- 20% and I do not eat my exercise calories back since I included it......Good luck bigsmile


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