# Need help - quite confused (new to calorie counting)

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Posts: 90 Member
Hi guys,
Anyone can help me figure out how many calories I should consume to lose weight? I am a little confused about why MFP put my calories up when I log exercise as well.
So I am 111kg, 173cm, 30 years old, have a light active lifestyle (not a sedentary but not running around all day either). I exercise 4-5 times a week (2-3 days I do over an hour of cardio + weight training, swim for around 30 mins afterwards, another 2 days I come to gym for a quick 30-45 min run on a elliptic trainer).
Any help with calorie calculations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

## Replies

• Posts: 30,886 Member
edited January 2015
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Do you not like MFP's goal?

MFP estimates your maintenance calories (without exercise) from your age, height, weight, and sex, and then will give you a goal to lose weight based on the amount you tell it you want to lose per week (up to 2 lbs or 1 kg, depending). For example, a 1 lb/week loss requires that you eat on average 500 calories/day less than your maintenance, so if MFP calculates maintenance at 2000, a 1 lb loss will have you eat 1500 calories/day. One exception is that it won't go below 1200 (quite reasonably), so if you had said 2 lbs/week, that would have required a 1000 calorie deficit, or have you eat 1000 calories per day, and MFP will say 1200 instead.

Note that this is without exercise, so if you decide to exercise for part of it (as you should, ideally!), then you can either eat that exercise back (why it gives you back the calories) or simply set it up so you ask for a lower goal (1 lb/week, say) and then plan to exercise for some additional loss. It should work out the same.

I wouldn't overcomplicate it beyond that at first.

If you do log and eat back exercise a lot of people recommend treating the additional calories skeptically or lowering them and eating only about 1/2 or so back, at least at first, since they can be overestimated by MFP.
• Posts: 3,440 Member
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That's how mfp works. It gives you the amount of calories you need to lose weight without exercising. Now if you add exercise, then you have to fuel body. If you log exercise with mfp numbers, the usual suggestion is to eat back 50-75% as those numbers aren't completely accurate.

Say your daily calories are 1400 (I'm just using example numbers as your diary is closed). Then you exercise and burn 300 calories. You have to NET 1400. Meaning this... You eat 1700, burn 300, you finish the day with 1400 calories. That's how mfp works. I hope my explanation helps. :flowerforyou:
• Posts: 90 Member
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MFP puts my daily intake at 1900, which seems a bit high for me. I always thought that you would take TDEE and minus 500cal so according to that calculation my daily intake would have to be 1500 cal.
Am I just scared to eat more than 1500-1600?
• Posts: 4,138 Member
edited January 2015
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There is some trial & error involved. Based on where you set your activity level (which does not count exerise) MFP says you're going to burn X per day. This is NOT TDEE since it does not consider exercise. But maybe you don't pick the best activity level, and you actually burn a little less or a little more. The best you can do is a) be accurate & honest on your logging/intake and b) try a 'plan' for 4-8 weeks and see how it worksfor you.

I had to convert your stats to understand them, but at your current height & weight: you burn a good # of calories per day just for regular activity. Your BMR is ~1900 calories per day. Which means if you were sedentary you would burn 2200-2400 calories. You say you're lightly active AND you exercise. So unless there are medical issues, you cannot possibly maintain at 1900/day.

How do you figure that your TDEE is 2000/day? (You suggest TDEE - 500 would be 1500.) I ran stats of 244 pounds, 5'8", 30 years old & female.
• Posts: 8
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I use iifym.com TDEE calculator (many people think this is the best one), minus that number by 20 or 25 percent to figure out how much to eat for weight loss. I custom enter that number into MFP. Generally MFP will be off from other calculators but it's generally the right range which ever you choose.
• Posts: 90 Member
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StaciMarie, I have poly cystic ovarian syndrome and I put on weight faster than I lose it. I will try with 1900cals for now and see how it goes, of course there are going to be days where I'd go over that limit (birthdays, eating out).

Thanks for your help guys! Lovely community :-)
• Posts: 90 Member
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