# MFP vs TDEE

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## Replies

• Posts: 7,237 Member
lemurcat12 wrote: »
mirrim52 wrote: »
What do you have your weight loss goal set for in MFP, and what calorie deficit did you choose in Scooby?

But yes, both methods should come out the same if the goals are the same and you are logging exercise properly. TDEE just averages the included exercise out over the week. The problem is, many people compare MFP set to 2 lb loss a week to TDEE with a 500-600 calorie deficit, which is comparing apples to oranges.

I have MFP set at 1 pound per week. I set my TDEE goal at lose fat - 20% calorie reduction.

MFP has me eating 1460 per day. My trainer assures me I safely burn about 260 calories during one of our sessions. That would make my goal on a work out day 1720. TDEE has my calorie goal as 1968. That seems like a considerable difference. Now, if I change my MFP to lightly active, my daily calories jump to 1700 which would be 1960 on exercise days.

TDEE isn't really defined by the calculator, but what you burn (living and through exercise) over the week. So if you think you burn a particular amount more than the calculator is accounting for you'd include it. The only differences (as others have said) would be due to the difference in your goal--for many 20% of TDEE is a bit less than 1 lb/week, whereas the MFP goal is for more. MFP's calculator may also give a different number than some other calculator (it can't include BF%) and may be different than observed TDEE.

MFP apparently has calculated that your maintenance if sedentary is 1960, and if lightly active (but no other exercise) is 2300. This means it thinks your BMR is about 1633. (I thought lightly active was a multiplier of 1.5, which would give 2450, but not sure about that.)

TDEE has your maintenance (with activity) at about 2450, which gives you 1960 with a 20% cut (-490 or just under a lb). So whatever you told it about your exercise/activity caused it to estimate about 490 calories on average per day beyond just being sedentary (if all else is equal). This is consistent with the difference I get from Scooby between sedentary and assuming 3-5 hours/week of strenuous exercise.

So the question seems to be if 490 calories every day is a good estimate of what you actually do on average (with the understanding that it's more some days and less others). If so, that's what you should be logging in MFP too, so it should even out. If not, then you might want to adjust the TDEE number if you go that way.

It sounds as if you are questioning whether your actual workout burns are as high as Scooby is estimating. The Scooby activity entries are pretty imprecise (arguably this is appropriate, since you can't really know it and need to adjust anyway). Also, they probably add in some daily activity for people who say they are more active beyond the workouts, I don't know how their calculation for activity works. If you are concerned that the amount you burn in walking around plus exercise isn't so high, don't use the Scooby number.

I'd say try it and adjust if your results aren't good, though.

The point is she is hungry. So, probably not eating as much as she could be, while still seeing weight loss, but increasing fuel for performance and preserving lean body mass.

I understand that calculators are estimates. Just correcting what seems like an easy mistake.

• Posts: 7,237 Member
deksgrl wrote: »
Again, if you set your TDEE to SEDENTARY, when you do indeed exercise, then it is not calculated properly.
You need to include your exercise in TDEE, so choose a higher activity level.

I understand that. My original post may have been confusing. When I stated I have my activity level as sedentary, I meant that is what I currently have in MFP - as a reference to show the difference between MFP and TDEE.

I believe I correctly identified my exercise in the TDEE (indicating 3-5 days of moderate exercise - I didn't choose the next highest level because that was 5-6 days of strenuous which I don't always accomplish) and the MFP (sedentary because I have a desk job).

Oh, okay, I misunderstood.

You could probably eat a more and still lose at a good rate. And, you will be able to preserve lean body mass, and have more fuel for performance.
• Posts: 30,886 Member
deksgrl wrote: »
The point is she is hungry. So, probably not eating as much as she could be, while still seeing weight loss, but increasing fuel for performance and preserving lean body mass.

I said nothing about what she should eat (except encouraging her to try the higher TDEE and adjust if needed). I was just trying to explain why the numbers were different and what they were based on. So I am not sure what the "mistake" is here or really your response to my post.
• Posts: 30,886 Member
@lemurcat12 Thank you. Actually, thank you to everyone. My concern is that I am happy with my rate of loss...will changing my calories to that extreme drastically change my rate of loss? I don't want to be hungry but I also don't want to ruin my momentum.

If it reduces your rate of loss you can always just lower the calories a little until you are happy with it again. The thing you have to watch out for is that often adding a new workout program can reduce losses at first anyway, since you get more water weight. But on the other hand how many calories you burn is dependent on your intensity and movement throughout the day, and that could increase/be better if you aren't feeling so hungry.
• Posts: 763 Member
@lemurcat12 Thank you. Actually, thank you to everyone. My concern is that I am happy with my rate of loss...will changing my calories to that extreme drastically change my rate of loss? I don't want to be hungry but I also don't want to ruin my momentum.

If you increase your calories, your weight loss will likely slow a bit. How much depends on your body and how much more you eat. But, if you aren't hungry all the time, you are more likely to stick with the changes, put more effort in to your workouts, and be less likely to binge or "cheat". So the tradeoff is usually worth it.
• Posts: 7,237 Member
lemurcat12 wrote: »
deksgrl wrote: »
The point is she is hungry. So, probably not eating as much as she could be, while still seeing weight loss, but increasing fuel for performance and preserving lean body mass.

I said nothing about what she should eat (except encouraging her to try the higher TDEE and adjust if needed). I was just trying to explain why the numbers were different and what they were based on. So I am not sure what the "mistake" is here or really your response to my post.

Oh, because I'm a dope and at a quick glance I thought you had quoted my post, and so I was clarifying my point. So, nevermind. lol.

• Posts: 2,034 Member
Thank you again everyone for your help. I have decided to adjust my macros for a start. I changed to a split that gives me more protein to help me feel full longer. I will try that for two weeks then go from there.
• Posts: 16,049 Member
I think I get what you mean.... The only exercise I get Is walking. Some days I might walk over 20,000 steps, other days it might only be 10,000. It's never exactly the same. So I set my activity level to sedentary, let fitbit sync to mfp and then I can decide how much or how little to eat that day.
Some days I burn 350 calories, other days 850. I let mfp do the math for me
• Posts: 880 Member
My own experience with this is that by increasing my calories (and having the content of those calories be nutritious and not just sugar) I was no longer hungry AND my workouts were more productive. My rate of loss slowed to a half pound a week ... on the up side, I had more energy, made more gains in strength, mobility and balance, and made appreciable changes (for the good) in body measurements. Don't be a slave to the scale
• Posts: 459 Member
I have noticed that even though strength training doesn't burn near as many calories as the HIIT exercise I do, it makes me hungrier- Perhaps because I am newer to weight lifting. I added a whey protein shake to my menu - it is very filling and the extra protein seems to help.